MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) is based on the MBSR program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The MBCT program is designed specifically for people who suffer from depressed mood and was created to help prevent relapse into depression. In this program, you’ll learn how to use different skills: cognitive therapy can teach you how to be aware of distortions in thinking, and mindfulness can teach you how to ground into the present moment and see your thought and feelings as simply mental events in the mind that come and go. Rather than trying to change or eliminate difficult mental experiences, MBCT teaches you how to develop a whole different understanding of and relationship to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
When you know how to change your relationship to negative thoughts or unpleasant experiences, they become much easier to handle, reducing the negative cycle that too often leads to relapse. You may find you are less stressed, less reactive, and are even enjoying life more!
The MBCT course consists of eight weekly 2.5 hour classes, and an eight-hour meditation retreat. Sessions consist generally of guided mindfulness meditation, in-class exercises, gentle yoga, and discussion. There are also practices and homework assignments that participants complete during the days between sessions. The structure of MBCT requires strong commitment to doing the homework, but the rewards can be lasting.
The latest research proves that MBCT can be as effective as prescription drugs in preventing relapse, and more effective in enhancing your quality of life. The study also showed MBCT to help people with a history of depression stay well in the longer term.