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Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
What is it? MBCT is a widely scientifically researched secular psychological intervention that melds Cognitive Therapy principles and draws on specific meditation practices in order to enable us to firstly notice, and then relate differently to, our experiences with more ease and understanding. Whilst these meditation practices have been most notably preserved and refined over several millenia within the Buddhist traditions, they are enjoyed in every spiritual and humanist convention, are universal in nature and have no belief system attached.
Background: Professor Mark Williams, Dr John Teasdale and Professor Zindel Segal developed Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for the treatment of depression, as an adaptation to Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme. The original inspiration of their programme was to help people who are prone to depression to stay well, and as testament to the success of MBCT, it is now recommended in the guidelines of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a treatment of choice for people who have suffered three or more episodes of depression.
However, all of us can enhance our lives and sense of well-being by participating on a course, as mindfulness skills learnt in MBCT offer insight and a different way of relating to our experiences, enriching the pleasant and allowing the unpleasant... Given that we can all be susceptible to strong emotions and to our thoughts getting carried away with themselves, mindfulness training is not only for the benefit of clinically depressed and anxious people amongst us!