What Is New About MBPT?


So what is truly new and "different" about mindfulness-based pain therapy?


 1.    For the first time, a disorder-specific (related to pain patients) psychotherapeutic treatment concept is available through mindfulness-based pain therapy (MBPT).




 2.    MBPT enables an expanded perspective of the pain disorder by introducing the concept of a Rectangle of Suffering and the construct of an “autonomous mental regulation system” (as the counterpart to the autonomous nervous system).


3.    Mindfulness is sometimes defined in a vague and contradictory manner. This is an obstacle to a specific therapeutic application. What does mindfulness include and what concrete steps should we take in order to benefit from it? By dividing it into seven successive individual steps in the mindfulness cascade, mindfulness in MBPT is clearly defined and the steps can be trained individually. In addition, this means that concrete help is available for making the diagnosis and in determining what the focus of the meditation should be.


4.    The treatment concept is based upon actual experience. This means that the person who learns will ultimately benefit not from an intellectual understanding or theoretical comprehension but through having experienced its effects.


5.    The three pillars of the therapy are psychoeducation, the acquisition of skills (abilities), and the practicing and reinforcement of these two contents in special mindfulness exercises.


6.    The authors’ fundamental conviction is that only the pain patients can decide and determine whether they have benefited from a therapy. Neither the therapists nor the institutions nor the scientific methods decide the success of a method – only the affected individuals can do this.


7.    For therapists who decide to use the MBPT application in pain therapy and rehab centers, no specialized psychotherapeutic qualifications are required. The decisive factor is completed training as a physician and/or psychotherapist and several years of professional experience in treating chronic pain patients for whom they are independently responsible.






8.    In addition to the applicationof MBPT as a form of therapy, it is possible to offer MBPT as a trainer. This is also conceivable as a form of cooperation between therapists and trainers. The work of a MBPT trainer should not be restricted to any one professional group. However, the fact that MBPT is  a psychotherapeutic method that uses mindfulnessand meditation techniques, and that mindfulness training is a teaching activity, makes it seem especially appropriate for interested people from the area of medical assistance, long-term meditators and mindfulness practitioners, and those involved in the teaching profession to train the affected individuals. It is only natural that the path for these trainers does not lead from the medical/psychological side to mindfulness. Instead, it arises from the need to also want to help other people because of their own positive experience with mindfulness and/or meditation.


9.    There are no expensive instructional courses and certification procedures that primarily serve those who offer them.


10.  The method can be applied in individual and group settings. It can also be learned in home study through the book. However, this should always be combined with qualified medical or psychotherapeutic support.


11.  Before and after the six-week course quality control is offered through validated psychometric tests.



Copyright Dr. Peter Tamme and Dr. Iris Tamme

Last update: September 21, 2012