Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a powerful blending of meditative practises and modern Cognitive Therapy techniques. Developed in the UK in recent years from an American stress management technique known as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), the methodology has produced excellent results in trials conducted in the prevention of recurrence of depression and is now becoming an established therapeutic practise.
Depression manifests itself as negative thinking which leads to negative moods plus physical symptoms such as fatigue. When the episode of depression passes the sufferer returns to normal but unconsciously they have learned to associate those three things together - negative thoughts, negative moods and adverse physical symptoms. Consequently when one of those three elements recur, for whatever reason, it automatically triggers the others which then leads to another full blown depressive episode. It only takes a little to generate a lot, quite out of proportion to the triggering event. MBCT seeks to break the linkage between the three elements by allowing the sufferer to experience them in different ways.
Mindfulness is a method of meditation which does not require the emptying of the mind of thought as with many others but rather allows the mind to simply accept thoughts for what they are, just thoughts. They are not instructions, they are not facts, they are not you, they are simply thoughts and as such are not necessarily true, they are not instructions or orders, they are just thoughts. By accepting the thought stream in this manner it allows the individual to see them, and then react to them, in an entirely different way thereby breaking repetitive cycles of negativity, for example.
Elements of Cognitive Therapy are introduced to facilitate this different view. MBCT requires a commitment to a series of therapy sessions and practise between sessions to establish habitual new ways of dealing with troublesome thought patterns. MBCT requires discipline initially in the setting aside of time each day for practise. It is of course a practise which will have many uses in day to day life outside of the specific application in therapy, a lifetime’s skill.
At The Paloma Centre we use elements from MBCT blended with other therapies to produce effective, directed therapy for a range of issues.