Boston , MA — Meditation is now being incorporated into psychotherapeutic practice and combined in surprising ways with other healing traditions, the April issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter reports.
The focused attention of meditation may change attitudes and behavior by decreasing preoccupation with one's own suffering and fostering self-understanding. "Professionals of both traditions are beginning to realize that the resemblance to the aims of psychotherapy is no accident," says Harvard Mental Health Letter editor Dr. Michael Miller.
To the surprise of some, the psychotherapeutic tradition now taking meditation most seriously is cognitive behavioral therapy, the article reports. Behavioral therapy in its original form was concerned only with stimulus and response and tangible rewards and punishments. Eventually behavior therapists recognized the need to take account of thoughts and feelings, and they incorporated cognitive techniques into therapy. Now some therapists have gone further, merging cognitive techniques and meditation in something they call the "third wave" of cognitive behavioral therapy.
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