Home > 15 Minutes > August 2011 > Stanford Cognitive Therapy and Meditation

Stanford Cognitive Therapy and Meditation

Posted by admin on January 22, 2013

This is taken from an article in the Mercury News on Stanford University ‘s social clinical trial and they are working with people who have social anxiety, both with cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation.  This is what they say it does:  Cognitive behavioral therapy challenges patients to re-consider disturbed thinking that generates negative self-views.  Through gradual anxiety-arousing situation exposure, it builds confidence their worst fears are un-warranted.  Fear exposure also breaks hardened cycles of avoiding anxiety-provoking situations.  Mindfulness meditation, in contrast, stimulates the brain network in the posterior cortical region that helps us pay attention.  The shift directs the mind away from distorted self-perception.  It also appears to reduce social anxiety by interrupting habitual poor self-judgments and ruminations on self-defined negative traits, among other changes, Golden says.  The discovery early treatment stimulates a different Neuro network, and hence a different mental approach, is critical.  He said some people mesh with one type of treatment.  Just like some drugs work better with certain people, one form of mental training doesn’t necessarily help everybody. Brain scans for psychological research can ultimately prove useful in future treatment approaches. 

I think with cognitive behavioral therapy, challenging distorted thinking is a lot like the Create Your Desires exercise Step 2, when you can challenge negative thoughts.  The statement “Thank you doom and gloom (depressive and anxious thoughts), it’s illusion of the Ego, to test me, to show me I’m not a part of the whole”.  That’s it.  That is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy.  The idea that 85%-90% of things we think about will never happen and reminding ourselves of this is cognitive therapy.  Mindfulness, in contrast, stimulates the brain.

The first thing, I noticed when I started meditating daily, was how I would catch myself during the day having been lost in my thoughts.  In fact, now, when negative thoughts are a reality tester and it wakes me up.  “Ok, I was away in my thoughts”.  The statement: “Darkness is the Stairway to Heaven” is to me what meditation does.  We become aware of these thoughts and signals things aren’t working.  Just like anger is a signal we aren’t at ease, these negative thoughts are signals and I think meditation helps to make that apparent and then we come back to he moment, with our breath. 

“After behavioral therapy, the pre-frontal cortex, the seed of analogical thinking, was more engaged in controlling reaction in the brain region from which emotions arise (amygdala).  Meditation stimulates the brain network in the posterior cortical region, that which helps us pay attention.

(As recorded on Aug 14th, 2011 9:22 pm)



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