Mindfulness Therapy for Addiction

Mindfulness Therapy for Addiction

Awareness, or mindfulness, is a great practice to begin in addiction treatment. Mindfulness helps a person pay attention to things like cravings which focuses on thoughts, emotions and bodily awareness. Many aspects of addiction and recovery can be supported by mindfulness therapy. Read on to find out more about the benefits of mindfulness meditation in addictions treatment and how it can have long lasting positive impact.

Mindfulness Therapy

Many underlying emotions and thoughts can emerge from addiction. Learning to acknowledge and accept them is healthier than suppressing or ignoring sensations altogether. Mindfulness therapy or meditation, is a technique which supports a person in reframing old thinking patterns. A person is then more easily ready to accept and be nonjudgmental of personal experience through meditative practices. Some of the ways mindfulness can be practiced include:

  • Meditation: sitting in a meditative posture, focused on an object, breath or body and being present in the moment
  • During daily activities: develop qualities while brushing teeth, walking in meditation, talking with friends or in verbal conflict to strengthen positive emotions


Two main goals of mindfulness therapy in addictions treatment exist:

  • Help people tolerate uncomfortable feelings or sensations such as cravings or obsessive urges
  • Ability to experience difficult emotions such as anger or fear with less automatic reactions and more control

Mindfulness supports a person’s awareness of incoming and outgoing thoughts or feelings. In doing so, the individual is able to accept but not attach or react to what is going on around the individual. Expected outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) include:

  • Interruption of automatic processes (impulse)
  • Teaching participants to focus less on reactions to incoming stimuli
  • Accepting and observing experiences without judgment


The practice of mindfulness helps a person increase the capacity for acceptance of the present moment where an individual is able to make positive changes. Learning how to deal with uncomfortable situations and feelings can support a person’s ability to switch off auto pilot mode and be aware of what is happening to improve both physical and psychological states of being. Some benefits may include:

  • Immunity booster
  • Improved sleep
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Management of chronic pain
  • Stress relief
  • Reduced levels of anxiety
  • Increased self awareness
  • Changed judgmental thoughts
  • Control of cravings
  • Emotional control over troubling experiences
  • Development of compassion for others
  • Increased self-acceptance

How it Works

Mindfulness therapy is a short term, group-based intervention which combines traditional Cognitive-Behavioral Relapse Prevention strategies with meditation training and mindful movement. Courses may last as long as a month for an hour or so at a time. Light stretching exercises and gentle movements will be incorporated. Each movement is guided with safety and respect for the body. Mindfulness therapy works because it supports stress management techniques in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings with long lasting positive outcomes for relapse prevention.

The Villa utilizes innovative techniques to support people through recovery. Call today to find out how we can help you get clean and sober.