Relapse prevention is a common concern for those beginning their journey in recovery, and there are innovative programs that aim to reduce relapse rates. According to the Huffington Post, mindfulness is making its way into relapse prevention; research on mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), an 8-week program developed at the University of Washington, offers hope to those with addictions that are most hard to recover from, such as opiate and crack cocaine addiction.

Modeled after mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy, MBRP assists with two major components of addiction recovery: negative emotions and cravings. A 2014 study found that compared to 12-step programs, individuals who participate in MBRP experience a significantly lower rate of relapse. Even individuals who did relapse in the study found that used in fewer days at six-month and one-year follow-ups. What exactly does MBRP incorporate?

Zindel Segal’s work on cognitive therapy and mindfulness provides a compelling insight into the “typical” activities performed by patients in this form of treatment. MBRP is group-based, with 8-15 people in attendance and they all meet weekly for 2 hours. Individuals in this therapy have already been through detox and treatment; they spend their meeting times recognizing problematic thoughts they may have and then they write those down and become more familiar with them. Part of this process is focusing on the negative thought patterns of rumination and learning how those thought patterns and lead towards impulsivity.

Researchers from the University of New York further confirm the effects of rumination by finding that those who scored higher in brooding and lower in reflection scored significantly higher in negative urgency, which is the tendency to act rashly to reduce negative affect. MBRP goes beyond reflection by shifting an individual’s relationship to discomfort. For example, MBRP teaches individuals to recognize feelings of depression, sadness, and anger as triggers that may lead someone to want to take part in addictive behavior. By recognizing this ahead of time, individuals can make more informed choices that will prevent them from relapsing or at worst, help them avoid a significant relapse that last an extended period.

If you are interested in mindfulness-based relapse prevention, speak with us at New Vista Behavior Health today. We believe in full integration of treatment, meaning that we will work with you on recovering your mind, body, and spirit. We offer three main treatment centers: Avalon Malibu, Infinity Malibu, and Simple Recovery. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals will work with you from the time you arrive until the time you leave – ensuring that you are fully taken care of. Take that first step towards your recovery today. You owe it to yourself. Call us at 866-855-4202.

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