Mindfulness Based Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an empirically supported treatment for people whose negative thinking patterns make them especially vulnerable to repeated episodes of depression. It was developed by three Psychologists, Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, and is an adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction created by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Since its introduction in 2002, MBCT has been modified and adapted to treat anxiety and other mood regulation problems.

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Rather than focusing on changing the content of thoughts, this approach helps individuals change their relationship to thoughts and experience. The primary vehicle for achieving this change is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of experiencing the present more fully. It is nonjudgmental awareness of present experience, including thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.

Research has shown that trying to avoid negative thoughts and feelings can actually intensify these experiences. Mindfulness practice helps one cultivate the ability to be with the fullness of negative experience, as well as positive experiences. Increased acceptance of experience can improve psychological functioning and decrease emotional distress.