Curious about Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy? Here's MBCT in a nutshell.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a version of cognitive behavioural therapy which includes mindfulness practices like meditation and controlled breathing. Your MBCT therapist will teach you how to free yourself from negative habits of thought that are often the cause of downward mood spirals. (Like bad behavioural habits, bad habits of thought can be really hard to kick on your own.) MBCT is a powerful tool for those who battle with depression and anxiety disorders. If you’re thinking of seeking out a new therapist, these points will help you decide if MBCT is for you.

Curious about Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy? Here's MBCT in a nutshell.

What is MBCT used for?

MBCT grew out of a need for an effective method to help people who suffer recurring bouts of depression avoid relapse. Even in its short life, MBCT has been highly effective in treating people who have several depressive episodes in their mental health history. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention techniques went on to prove helpful for people who are suffering a range of anxiety disorders and addictions. It has also been effective in helping people who suffer from depression related to health conditions. For example, it is often used in tinnitus therapy, or alongside the treatment of vascular diseases and traumatic brain injuries, which can leave the sufferer feeling depressed and hopeless.

What is MBCT used for?

What Will My Sessions Be Like?

Unlike many therapy types, MBCT is usually conducted as group therapy, meeting for two therapist-guided hours every week. In a typical treatment plan, you would attend your weekly sessions for eight weeks, learning techniques of meditation alongside the fundamentals of cognition, like how the way you think relates to how you feel. You’ll also get the opportunity to discover more about your depression. In between sessions, you will usually be assigned homework, which can be anything from meditation sittings to breath work.

Why Does it Work?

If you have already suffered from major depression and have recovered to a normal state, you are particularly vulnerable to another onset of the condition, sparked or triggered by a bout of regular sadness. Instead of trying to avoid or get rid of the sadness and other unpleasant emotions that arise, you will learn to change your relationship with these feelings through your meditation practice and the variety of other mindfulness techniques you acquire through MBCT. The skills you practice will rebalance your neuron networks, helping you reprogram your automatic responses to unpleasant thoughts and events. Once you understand that a whole host of other responses to live events available to you, it becomes easier to control how you feel and react. If you can develop a routine that includes mindfulness meditation, those techniques are a ready toolbox for you whenever you begin to feel negative emotions piling up. Rather than feeling overwhelmed when you start to feel sad—a response that might usually set off your depression—you have the power switch out those negative thought habits for more positive patterns of thought.

Whether you’re just testing the waters of the therapy world, or are in desperate need of the right cure, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy can offer powerful tools for reforming your relationship to negative emotions. It is a growing field of therapy, with many new devotees emerging year on year.



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