There have been three generations of evidence-based psychotherapies within clinical and health psychology, this article focuses on Mindfulness-based therapies.
The first generation was the Behavioural Therapies, the second generation was the Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies, and the third generation is the Mindfulness-based Therapies.
Anthony Bevan draws upon all three generations of therapies in his treatment of people suffering from disorders or dysfunction of any of the sensory systems.
There is a requirement for health care practitioners who use Mindfulness-based Therapies such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to be regularly practising mindfulness-based meditation and continually developing their personal skills in the application of mindfulness. In keeping with this requirement, Anthony regularly attends mindfulness or yoga retreats and engages in daily mindfulness practices.
There are many definitions of mindfulness.
In the context of Anthony Bevan’s specialised area of practice within clinical-health psychology and as Director of All Senses Health Care he defines mindfulness as:
Attending on purpose to whatever is present in the mind-body/body-mind at the moment and from moment to moment without judgement, expectation or reaction; that is, simply observing whatever is present in the here and now with openness and curiosity”. (Anthony Bevan © 2014)
Activity in our mind-body/body-mind arises through all of our senses. The mind is included as one of our senses within Buddhist psychology from which the concept of mindfulness originated in the Pali Canon approximately 2500 years ago. Although derived from the origins of Buddhism, mindfulness practices are entirely secular and non-sectarian; as such they are available to everyone.
Mindfulness can be practised at any time, including when washing the dishes and driving in busy traffic. Spending time in natural environments offers valuable opportunities to deepen one’s practice. The photos in the accompanying gallery were taken by Anthony Bevan when practicing mindfulness on visits to wilderness areas and while on bush walks, snorkelling trips, or yoga and meditation retreats. When mindfulness is lacking there is so much that we miss out on, a richness that comes to us every moment through all of our senses.