Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, or MBCT combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. While the idea of mindfulness is relatively new to Westerners, these practices have been used in Eastern cultures for centuries. MBCT helps people separate themselves from their thoughts and moods, and teaches them how to recognize their sense of being without judgement. This leads to a reduction in stress responses and an increase in ability to regulate your emotions. It also aims to give you the necessary tools to combat depressive symptoms as they arise. Evidence indicates that mindfulness-based therapy may reduce the rate of depressive relapse by 50%.
What does MBCT help treat?
- Anxiety & stress
- Bipolar disorder
- Low mood and negative thoughts
- Trauma (with appropriate screening)
- Depression relapse prevention
- Symptoms of chronic pain
Sitting still and meditating is just one of the many forms of mindfulness and does not have to be the only way one practices the skill. Other ways I like to incorporate mindfulness include:
- Movement like stretching, yoga, walking
- Body scan exercises – noticing different sensations throughout your body moving from head to toe
- Mindful eating – eating slowly and without distraction
- Grounding exercises – using your 5 senses in the present moment
- Guided meditation- a trained professional guides you through meditation to reach a heightened meditative state
Give me a call if you’d like to learn more about how mindfulness-based therapy can support your mental health recovery.