About Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
MBCT was designed to help individuals who experience repeated bouts of depressed mood and chronic unhappiness. It integrates ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices toward the cultivation of mindfulness. MBCT uses mindfulness to help participants understand their depression and anxiety. The core of the work is creating increased awareness of the modes of mind that characterize negative mood states while ultimately learning to relate to them in ways that are more helpful than hurtful. Mindfulness helps increase awareness of habitual patterns that increase vulnerability to downward spirals and getting stuck. You will develop the skills to see the connection between downward spirals and certain habits of responding (impossibly high standards, thoughts about being “not good enough,” and ways we make ourselves miserable with overwork). Practice helps us see how these habits lead us to lose touch with what we value most in our lives. This new way of relating involves greater acceptance and kindness towards whatever arises.
The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence has recently endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for the prevention of depressive relapse. Research from several large research trials has shown that for people who have been clinically depressed three or more times, completing the program and learning these new skills significantly reduces the chances that their depression will return. Two large randomized clinical trials of MBCT showed that it reduces rates of relapse by 50% among those who suffer from recurrent depression.