Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Compassion in Biofeedback Practice
By Inna Khazan, PhD, BCB, BCB-HRV, and Donald Moss, PhD, BCB, BCN, BCB-HRV
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Mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion are words heard with ever greater frequency in healthcare and behavioral health circles. Originally inspired by Vipassana meditation in Buddhist traditions, mindfulness encourages the practitioner to cultivate a moment-to-moment awareness of present events, characterized by non-judging, non-striving, acceptance, trust, nonattachment, patience, and beginner's mind (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, 2013). This book proposes a fruitful integration of the mindfulness approach with clinical biofeedback practice. The authors follow the integrative approach initially introduced by Khazan (2013) and believe when patient and therapist together cultivate an open attitude of acceptance and compassion, during the therapeutic encounter, this facilitates a more successful pursuit of both physiological and psychological self-regulation. It has long been recognized that striving and effort block relaxation and reinforce physiological tensions. In the early days of biofeedback, Herbert Benson (1975) recommended cultivating an attitude of passive attention or passive volition as one of the four components of the relaxation response. Mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion-based approaches take this cultivation of an open and accepting awareness to a new level.