This post was written by Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT, Social Media Specialist a member of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn. By Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT[Flickr, Spring Light Meditation by Hartwig HKD, CC BY-ND] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Interventions focused on mindfulness have become increasingly popular in the past two decades, and more recently there has been increasing psychotherapy research on this topic. Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism and can be described as the practice of bringing awareness to the present moment . Contemporary psychology has adopted mindfulness as a coping mechanism for dealing with difficult emotions and situations . Intervention strategies that incorporate mindfulness aim to help individuals acknowledge and respond to negative emotions and stress in ways that promote healthy adaptation to their circumstances. Meditation is often a vehicle by which individuals are able to achieve this greater awareness.Popular MBT’s…[Flickr, Meditation mountain top by Jillian, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Some of the more popular mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) approaches include mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) . MBT’s are can be used with clientele struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, as well as other issues we know to be common in the military community. MBCT has been used not only as a way to reduce symptoms, but also to prevent relapse of problems. Research on MBSR has shown that its use leads to significant reduction in symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression while increasing self-esteem . There is also research that shows MBSR can reduce emotional reactivity and enhance emotion regulation in individuals struggling with social anxiety disorder . MBSR assumes that greater awareness can provide more accurate perceptions, decrease negative affect and improve coping .Effective with Professionals…As discussed in a previous post, those in helping professions are often vulnerable to the negative effects associated with helping others in distress. Professionals providing services to military families often hear painful stories related to loss, suffering, pain, crisis, violence, and death which can take a toll on their well-being if self-care practices are not implemented. MBTs can benefit practitioners in the helping professions because it can help prevent the negative effects  associated with burnout, secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue.References Bishop, S.R., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N.D., Carmody, J., Segal, Z.V., Abbey, S., Speca, M., Velting, D., & Devins, G. (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(3), 230-241 (p. 230). Hofmann, S.G., Sawyer, A.T., Witt, A.A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169-183. Goldin, PR., & Gross, J.J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83-91. Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57(1), 35-43. Shapiro, S.L., Astin, J.A., Bishop, S.R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: Results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.