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Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Updated: Mar 28

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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, abbreviated as MBCT is an amended version of cognitive therapy that combines mindfulness measures that includes meditation and breathing practices. MBCT therapists actively incorporate the said tools to educate their clients on how to get rid of negative thought patterns which might result in a degeneration into a depressive state of the mind. The process enables the clients to handle depression before it snares them.


MBCT was designed specifically targeting individuals with repeated episodes of depressive states or sadness, with the main goal being the prevention of a relapse. MBCT tools have, over time, been shown to be effective measures especially in people with progressive depressive disorders with at least three prior episodes of depression. Measures in MBCT that include mindful-based relapse prevention are also effective in handling conditions like generalized anxiety disorders that may be prominent in persons with depression and other known addictions. Generally, MBCT has also proven effective in helping improve symptoms in individuals suffering from depressive symptoms with other co-existing physical conditions like traumatic brain injury and vascular disease of different forms.

Goals of MBCT

Several expectations come with MBCT. The approach in MBCT is usually group-based, with the therapist leading once-a-week two-hour programs carried out for up to eight weeks. The focus is enabling the clients to have a grasp of meditation techniques in conjunction with other cognitive basic principles that include a linkage on an individuals thought process and feelings. The learner will also gain knowledge of the depressive condition in general. When the learning process is not in session, the learner is required to carry out assigned tasks to be done at home that encompasses practicing mindful meditation and performing breathing exercises.

How does MBCT function?

Sadness is arguably a powerful trigger that results in relapses in individuals who recovering or already recovered from depression. Instead of entirely focusing on getting rid of the sad episodes or emotive instances, MBCT learning process equips the learner with the ability to change their connection to such emotions. The tools used to achieve the freedom from such emotions in MBCT include practicing meditation and mindfulness exercises. The measures are essential in rebalancing the neural networks of the affected, enabling them to get rid of the automatic negative response to issues and focus on ways of responding to such instances. When the individuals develop a routine meditation practice, they can actively use the techniques whenever they feel overwhelmed by negative emotions. Whenever they experience sadness that results in associated negative instances that may result in relapse to depressive states, the client can effectively use the learned tools in overcoming the situation and preventing a relapse back to the depressive state.

Expectations with an MBCT Therapist

An MBCT therapist is a professional mental health specialist who have undergone extra training in mindfulness-based practices and techniques. The therapist also has skills at sharing the knowledge professionally with other entities. MBCT therapies training centers include institutions like UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness which trains and certifies MBCT teachers in the United States. In practice, there are no formal referral services linked to MBCT programs or the respective therapists. While looking for an MBCT therapist, you must find one that you are confident working with and ensure you ascertain their credentials.

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