Combining mindfulness and cognitive therapy, MBCT gives you the skills to break unhelpful thinking and behaviour patterns
What is it?
MBCT is based on the earlier therapy of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and was originally created as a relapse prevention treatment for individuals with major depressive disorders.
It combines mindfulness techniques like meditation, breathing exercises and stretching, with elements from cognitive therapy to help break the negative thought patterns that are characteristic of recurrent depression.
What conditions is it helpful for?
MBCT is particularly helpful for those at risk of recurrent depression. It teaches people to pay attention to the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or the future, and to let go of the negative thoughts that can tip them over into depression. It also gives people a greater awareness of their own body, helping them to identify the signs of oncoming depression and ward off the episode before it starts.
MBCT is also beneficial for the following conditions:
- Relieving symptoms of stress
- Managing emotional distress
- Managing physical pain
People can benefit from MBCT whether they have a specific problem or not. We all have times in our lives when we experience difficulty, stress and struggle, and for some of us this is our daily experience.
Does it work?
MBCT is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for people who suffer from recurrent episodes of depression. Evidence shows that MBCT can, on average, reduce the risk of relapse of recurrent depression by 43%.
Research also suggests that it’s particularly effective for groups who are more likely to relapse, as well as being a cost-effective and accessible treatment for individuals and providers, due to its psycho-social approach to staying well.