There is increasing awareness of the costs of stress and burnout to business and more and more people are talking about the benefits of mindfulness. With mindfulness being mentioned in the media, it seems almost every other day, you might expect the business of providing mindfulness therapy for angst patients at work to be booming.
The explosion of interest in mindfulness followed the development of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is designed to prevent relapse in depression. Mindfulness courses have now been developed for all kinds of psychological conditions. The majority of these courses (including MBCT) have been developed from Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction.
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The Google-sponsored Search Inside Yourself program may work well in Silicon valley but get out your meditation bells and you won't get in the front door of most businesses. Mindfulness has to be positioned as evidence-based and that is where the work on MBCT has made a big difference.
In the UK MBCT was approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in 2004 and this means that National Health Service Managers can provide it knowing that it is a cost-effective treatment to prevent the recurrence of depression.
However, it's not just new-age or Buddhist affectations that put people off in the workplace, there's a problem with the way mindfulness as therapy is taught. People don't feel comfortable sitting in a circle being asked to explore their feelings by a softly spoken therapist disguised as a trainer in a workplace context.