Dr. B's Blog

Mindfulness may help PTSD

Mindfulness meditation may help reduce PTSD:

The scientists found that the heart and breathing rates of those who had received mindfulness training returned to their normal, baseline levels faster than those who had not received the mindfulness training. Blood levels of a tell-tale neuropeptide suggested that the mindfulness-trained Marines experienced improved immune function, as well.

I chose this particular pull quote from the article because it highlights a very important effect we've found when it comes to mindfulness practice - the physiological effect of practicing meditation. As we know, emotion has many components, from cognitive to behavioral to physiological. Making an impact on any one of these 3 parts can cause a marked difference in the experience of a situation. In CBT, we target the cognitive. In behavior therapy, we target the behaviors. In DBT, we try to go after all 3, depending on what's doable.

One of the reasons I believe DBT is so effective across a wide variety of mental health conditions is the flexibility we have to target what needs to be targeted. There's a certain pragmatism in DBT that isn't really available in some other treatments. Do what works is really the best tagline for DBT that I can think of.