How to Combine Meditation & Psychotherapy Techniques
By:Frankie Smith

Integrating meditation with psychotherapy can be beneficial. According to Maryann Tore in her article "Meditation and Psychotherapy: An Effective Combination," originally published in "Perspectives in Psychiatric Care," integration of the two approaches is gaining significant support in research. Increased emotional awareness can have a significant positive impact on the physiology and perception of an individual. Clinicians can include meditation during a session in order to provide a more integrated approach to psychotherapy. You can practice meditation on your own by learning a few simple techniques.

Discuss your desire to incorporate meditation with your psychotherapist if you are currently receiving therapy from a trained professional. Practice the techniques as suggested by your therapist.

Seek out a therapist who has training in integrating meditation techniques. You can do this by searching the Internet, looking under therapists in the phone book, requesting a referral from your family doctor or by contacting a recognized organization such as the Institute on Mediation and Psychotherapy.

Practice simple techniques to get started on your own. If you are new to meditation, start by practicing deep breathing, focusing on your breathing while relaxing. Practice diaphragmatic breathing by using slow and deep breaths, focusing on breathing from your diaphragm. This will help you to calm your breathing and mind. Deep focused breaths are simple to practice at home on your own.

Tense your muscles and then begin to relax them one muscle group at a time for two 15-minute sessions per day. This technique is called progressive muscle relaxation.