Russ Harris mindfulness without meditation

Publication1ATRuss Harris mindfulness without meditation

ACT Breaks mindfulness down into four psychological skills:
1. Defusion: Distancing from and letting go of unhelpful thoughts beliefs memories and other cognition
2. Acceptance: Making room for painful feelings urges and sensations and allowing them to come and go without a struggle
3. Contact with the present moment: Engaging fully with our here & now experience with an attitude of openness and curiosity
4. Spacious awareness: Accessing a spacious sense of self – the observing self -,a transcendent aspect that is conscious of thoughts and feelings as passing experiences but not identified with them

For people with depression, defusion is useful – Depressing or worrying thoughts come and go like passing cars (This is more helpful than ruminating worrying Catastrophising)

Defusion Techniques:
– Simply observe it with detachment
– Repeat it over and over aloud until it becomes a meaningless sound
– Imagine the thought in the voice of a cartoon character/movie character/sports commentator
– Sing it to the tune of happy birthday
– say the thought in slow motion/fast motion
– Or silently say “thanks mind for such an interesting thought”
– notice negative self-talk, then repeat the thought with this in front: “I’m having the thought that [insert negative thought/self-talk”], then replay it to include “I’m noticing I’m having the thought that [insert negative thought/self-talk”] – NOTICE THE DISTANCE/SEPARATION/DEFUSION FROM THE THOUGHT
[In contrast to CBT, there is no disputation or evaluation of the thought]
[in ACT, the focus is not on whether thoughts are true but whether they are helpful]
[ACTis predicated on ‘workability’ & making life richer & fuller rather than ‘stuck & struggling’]

[Hands as thoughts metaphor provides a powerful metaphor for cognitive diffusion]
Source: HCPJ 0ctober 2009 pp 21-24


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