As mentioned in our lecture, modes of therapy are intended to change people through thinking, feeling, and their actions. These can be termed cognition, affect and behavior respectively. All three modes of therapy can be related and described using the mindfulness approach.
The mindfulness approach attempts to change someone’s thoughts, or cognition, by having the client realizing the negative thoughts, and trying to replace those negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, if someone is thinking “I suck at this new job”, instead they can think, “I am learning a lot of new skills at this job I haven’t quite mastered yet”. When clients think, they reflect about the past events, and plan the future (Brown, Marquis & Guiffrida, 2013). Clients must be actively aware of what they are saying or feeling, including when they make judgements or label unconsciously (Brown et. al., 2013). By becoming more aware and changing the negative thought process, clients can create a more optimistic and fulfilling life.
Behavior, or changing how someone feels, is another mode of therapy. The mindfulness approach helps clients overall feel less stressed. In a study conducted by Weijer-Bergsma, Formsma, Bruin, & Bögels (2012), research concluded that attention and behavior problems are reduced, and executive functioning improved. As well, mindfulness was found to improve sleep quality (Hou, Ng, & Wan, 2015). There are different methods of the mindfulness approach, that use physical movement as therapy. An increasing popular method is yoga or meditation. The behavior displayed through yoga includes deep breathing, to relax the mind and body, as well as alleviate stress. As mentioned above with cognitive changes, the client’s behavior should overall be more positive, possibly displaying more confidence in their life, or even trying new experiences or activities in their life.
The last mode of therapy is affect, or the emotions that clients will feel. As mentioned earlier, the cognition aspect is making the client aware of thoughts and changing the client’s perspective. Therefore, the affect in the mindfulness approach involves the positive feelings that occur, after reducing negative emotions. Overall, continual changes from negative to positive affect will result in a better emotional state. Examples of better emotional states can include being more optimistic, finding positive in a negative experience or environment and being more hopeful about life.