Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Started in 1979 at UMass Medical School, over 22,000 people have completed the MBSR program and thousands of doctors and healthcare professionals have referred their patients to MBSR because of its efficacy. Mindfulness teaches individuals to stay present and to discern between thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and urges.

Tested amongst children, adolescents, and adults, mindfulness-based approaches have been and found to be effective for:

Adapted from The Center for Mindfulness at UMass.


ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

ACT aims to enable individuals to create a life rich in meaning while acknowledging that pain and discomfort is a part of life too. Symptom reduction is a byproduct when we take mindful and effective acton to live based on our values and staying in contact with the present moment. unpleasant and unwanted "private experiences" naturally come up during our lives. ACT gives individuals tools to handle these experiences and work with then or in spite of them while learning to stay open to their present experiences with curiosity, openness, and receptiveness. ACT also helps professionals to develop skills in compassion, acceptance, empathy, respect, and mindfulness. 

ACT is underpinned by six core process:

  1. Acceptance - the active and aware embrace of those private events without unnecessary attempts to change them.

  2. Cognitive Defusion - changing the way one interacts with or connects to thoughts without changing them by focussing on diminishing a thought's unhelpful functions decreasing in the believability of, or attachment to, private events..

  3. Being Present - a means of connecting the ongoing description of thoughts, feelings, and other private events in a defused and judgemental way.

  4. Self as Context - using language in the modes of mindfulness exercises, metaphors, and experiential processes to enable perspective-taking. A flow of experiences without attachment to them or an investment in particular experiences.

  5. Values - identifying qualities to guide purposeful action to form a rich, meaningful, vital life.

  6. Committed Action - short, medium, and long-term behaviour change goals.

The evidence for ACT's efficacy is extensive and includes 15 countries spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and North America. It has been shown to be successful across socio-economic background, race, age, intellect, education, and etcetera.

Adapted from an overview by Russ HarrisAssociation for Contextual Behavioral Science, and ACT Mindfully.