Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) eight-week program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR is enormously empowering for patients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety and panic.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy grew from this work. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale adapted the MBSR program so it could be used specifically for people who had suffered repeated bouts of depression in their lives.
The MBCT program:
The practice of mindfulness meditation allows you to pay close attention to the present moment, noting your thoughts, feelings and body sensations with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment. This non-reactive stance on your experience creates the possibility of working more wisely with sadness, fear and worry, emotions that are central to preventing depression.
In the MBCT program, participants meet for 8 weekly 2-hour classes plus one all day session between weeks 5 and 7. The main ‘work’ of the program is done at home between classes, using CDs with guided meditations that support participants’ developing practice outside of class. In each class, you have an opportunity to talk about your experiences with the home practices, the obstacles that inevitably arise, and how to deal with them skillfully. Each class is organized around a theme that is explored through both group inquiry and mindfulness practice.
Over the eight weeks of the program, the MBCT practices help you:
- To become familiar with the workings of your mind.
- To notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in old habits of mind that re-activate downward mood spirals.
- To explore ways of releasing yourself from those old habits and, if you choose, enter a different way of being.
- To put you in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world.
- To notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head.
- To be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals.
- To find a way so you don’t have to battle with yourself all the time.
- To accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time.
- To help you understand what depression is.
- To help you discover what makes you vulnerable to downward mood spirals, and why you get stuck at the bottom of the spiral.
Please note that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is also available as a series of private sessions for individuals.
In order to make sure that everyone who registers is making an informed and appropriate decision, we ask everyone who is interested in the MBCT course have a brief discussion with one of our consultants to determine if this class is appropriate for you at this point in time. Discussion is based on informing the potential registrant about risks and benefits to participation and format of group.