What Is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?
Developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a type of psychotherapy that involves a combination of cognitive therapy, meditation, and the cultivation of a present-oriented, non-judgmental attitude called “mindfulness.”
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies in order to help individuals better understand and manage their thoughts and emotions in order to achieve relief from feelings of distress.
Though originally developed to address recurrent depression, MBCT may be beneficial to people seeking treatment for a wide range of mental health concerns.
How It Works
Sometimes normal sadness is a powerful trigger for someone who has recovered from a depressive state to relapse into another bout of depression.
Rather than try to avoid or eliminate sadness or other negative emotions, one learns to change their relationship with these emotions by practicing meditation and other mindfulness exercises.
These activities rebalance neural networks, allowing the client to move away from automatic negative responses toward an understanding that there are other ways to respond to situations. By developing a routine meditation practice, clients can use the technique whenever they start to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions.
When sadness occurs and starts to bring up the usual negative associations that trigger relapse of depression, the client is equipped with tools that will help them replace negative thought patterns with positive.