Mindfulness-based therapies

Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose and in the present moment. The goal of mindfulness is to focus less on reacting to something or someone and more on observing and accepting without judgement. It teaches you to be aware of your thoughts and feelings and to accept them, but not attach or react to them. This practice helps you to notice your automatic reaction and to change it to be more of a reflection.

Research shows mindfulness helps to:

  • change negative behaviours
  • manage difficult emotions
  • reduce suffering
  • improve self-awareness
  • increase empathy 

Mindfulness practices can be used with different types of therapies. For example, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with the practice of mindfulness. 

What types of challenges are best suited for mindfulness-based therapies? 

Mindfulness therapies are effective treatments for:

  • stress
  • pain
  • anxiety
  • personality disorders (combined with other treatments)
  • depression (combined with other treatments)

Evidence suggests that children who used mindfulness practices reported higher wellbeing and lower stress scores more often. Mindfulness practices can be helpful for everyone – visit our mindfulness section for more information, and mindfulness audio and video resources.

How long will it take?

This depends on the individual and their specific challenges. Mindfulness programs are often offered in group format, and home practice is highly encouraged. 

BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.