Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy


Essentially, this therapy is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) being implemented from a trauma-informed or “trauma-sensitive” perspective. The reason this is important is that if a mindfulness teacher (for basic mindfulness exercises) or a therapist utilized MBCT was not trauma-informed, they may not be able to help a person with the pitfalls of trauma-memory induced panic attacks or intrusive thoughts that may arise during mindfulness-based exercises. It is also important that an MBCT therapist and mindfulness exercise facilitator understand that “avoidance” of traumatic material could cause symptoms to worsen.

MBCT is an empirically validated intervention, based on a melding of cognitive behavioral therapy principles and Eastern mindfulness practices. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale modified Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program for psychiatric treatment and developed what is now known as MBCT. According to their book “The Mindful Way Through Depression,” MBCT was originally developed to treat recurrent depression and reducing the vulnerability of future relapses into depressive episodes. MBCT has also been shown to improve symptoms of depression in some people with physical health conditions, such as vascular disease and traumatic brain injury.

Recently, adaptations for survivors of trauma have shown support for significantly reducing trauma-related symptoms. One reason this may be is that MBCT activities if utilized correctly and repetitively can actually strengthen the brain’s ability to withstand stressful situations and symptoms, while other mindfulness-based activities can help create new neural pathways that foster resilience in thoughts and behavior.

MBCT was originally developed as an 8-week group program, but can also be taught in a one-on-one therapeutic setting. As an 8-week program in a group setting, participants learn cognitive behavioral techniques alongside mindfulness exercises designed to increase nonjudgmental, moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Participants use mindfulness exercises to promote new ways of relating to internal (mind-body experiences) and current situational occurrences using curiosity, acceptance, and compassion.

Click here to read more articles about Mindfulness exercises and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

All of the Counselors at The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids have undergone extensive additional training in order to help you:

Following graduate school, all of the counselors at The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids (located inside Health for Life Grand Rapids) have received extensive training in understanding the latest scientific research on neurobiology and how trauma affects the whole person. In addition, all of our therapists have learned at least one, trauma-specific intervention modality, which they have added to their toolbox of techniques in order to best help all people who seek help. This means, that they not only have the same training as your average counselor or therapist in Grand Rapids, MI to conduct traditional counseling and talk-therapy, but they have additional tools and information that will be helpful to people who are looking for more than a “solution-focused brief approach” or a strictly “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)” approach. More good news: Our therapists all know how to utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and interweave those modalities into their personal style. And so, if you are seeking that type of counseling—we also can provide it.

Trauma-Informed Counseling Center

Health for Life Grand Rapids is a multi-faceted clinic that aims to treat the whole person. Health for Life Grand Rapids houses the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids, two Naturopathic Consultants, a Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist, and a Health Coach. We’re your one-stop shop for getting to the root of what is troubling you in mind and body, and helping you heal.

Success Stories

  • Name - Nicole Cain, ND MA

    "Nicole Cain, ND MA is an incredibly talented healer, the best I’ve ever had. She gives you more than 7 minutes, nods, pokes, and writes a script for pills. She is like nothing you have likely seen before in healthcare. She’ll completely change your view of what is possible and what WELLNESS can be." - Actual Client

  • Name - Dr. Matthias

    Professional quote: “Dr. Ronald Matthias: I am the consultant I am today in large part because of Nicole Cain, ND MA. There is no better Naturopathic consultant that I have worked with who has an amazing ability to relate to her clients. She is tough, thorough, and detailed, and her clients love her for it. I am proud to [...]

  • Name - Paul Krauss

    Professional quote: "I'm pleased to recommend Paul as a talented and diligent therapist. During our time together as clinicians at Jewish Family and Children's Service, we facilitated adolescent therapy groups and staffed with each other regarding the clients and families we were both involved in providing services for. During these and other interactions, Paul consistently demonstrated professionalism, genuine care, [...]

  • Name - Actual Patient

    Patient quote: “Paul, I think I know why I can be open with you and not all of the other counselors I have seen. Because I deep down truly and fully and in my heart BELIEVE that you CARE, about me, and about everyone. That is how you made yourself SO good at what you do. And that makes [...]