Developing acceptance with the help of sensors-"Embracing the me that I can see"
How can patients be better facilitated in their efforts to transition towards a mindful, nonjudgmental attitude? While much research suggests that this is a crucial milestone on the road to recovery, clinical experience has shown that clients often resist embracing this new attitude toward their symptoms, thus making mindfulness-based interventions difficult or even impossible to implement for certain client groups. This article proposes that the adoption of mindfulness skills can be greatly expedited by using psychophysiological sensors. David Barlow's Unified Protocol is used as a model for illustrating that a mindfulness-based intervention can serve as the basis for a further integrative approach, combining the Unified Protocol, psychophysiological sensors, and acceptance training, ultimately providing the best of all three worlds. It is proposed that psychophysiological sensors are a natural teaching and demonstration tool for mindfulness skills, both quickening the learning process and providing the therapist and client with instrumental measures that enrich the pool of information available to them. The way in which sensor enhanced mindfulness training can be construed as a form of "exposure to the other," thus leading to emotional self-regulation, is discussed. This paper is presented as part of an ongoing project to advance the more general therapeutic approach termed sensor-enhanced therapy, which aims to enhance various existing therapies with psychophysiological sensors.
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