Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Wall Street Journal Article on Mindfulness-Based Treatments

The 01/02/2011 issue of the The Wall Street Journal features an article by Melinda Beck on mindfulness-based treatments. The article quotes Dr. Steven Hayes, the prime originator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dr. Zindel Segal, one of the developers of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Dr. Marsha Linehan, the prime originator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). According to the article:

This new psychology movement centers on mindfulness—the increasing popular emphasis on paying attention to the present moment. One of its key tenets is that urging people to stop thinking negative thoughts only tightens their grip—"like struggling with quicksand," Dr. Hayes says. But simply observing them like passing clouds can diffuse their emotional power, proponents say, and open up more options. ("Here's that old fat feeling again. You know, this happens every time I look at fashion magazines. I am sure judging myself harshly. Do I want to go to the gym? Or I could go to a movie. Or I could stop reading magazines.")

To read the full article, click here.


  1. The WSJ article clearly explains how we can step back and see thoughts as stories we tell ourselves. In the same way, we can take a step back and see that the 'thoughts as thoughts' is also a story (of how/why this therapy works by ACT and MBCT practitioners). What if ACT and MBCT therapies were implemented with a greatly reduced story line? What about a lot of meditation and little story - or just the opposite. Just what is the right cocktail?

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Interesting points. I would add that it's not so much the storyline that's the problem, but how flexibly we hold onto the storyline. So long as we have language, we will create stories. Even psychotherapy is a story to varying degrees.

  3. More evidence that it is not about restructuring dysfunctional thoughts, but rather it is about defusing from them so that they no longer have power over us. What a relief! It is so much more effective to learn how to practice stepping back from them than it is to try to change them.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.