Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy

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What is Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy?

Mindfulness-based Cognitive TherapyMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a method of applying mindfulness skills to overcome negative thought patterns and unhelpful habits of mind. The core of this approach lies in learning to calm the mind to the point where people begin to see how their negative thoughts impact on their mood, their body and their life in general. As they recognise this habitual process, they are able to change how they relate to their thoughts and to stressful events. 

We could say that all psychological pain comes from our inability to see thoughts for what they truly are – just thoughts. It is true that some thoughts are very powerful and have such a strong emotional charge that it is very challenging to see them as just thoughts, but it is definitely possible to learn how to intentionally ‘step back’ from a distressing thought and find an inner sense of stability and composure.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy BristolMBCT was developed by a group of cognitive-behaviour therapists who asked themselves the following questions: ‘What causes people to relapse into depression and how can people cultivate a healthy mind that is more robust when challenged by negativity or sadness?’ They discovered that mindfulness meditation provided exactly what they were looking for – a tool for examining the mechanisms of getting trapped in a cycle of unhelpful stress reactivity, and a method of grounding ourselves in the present moment. MBCT helps people to ‘nip depression in the bud’, before it develops into a full-blown emotional roller coaster.

Our courses are a combination of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and MBCT. We teach participants how to ‘dis-identify’ from their depressive or anxious thoughts, and, through increasing their awareness, how to acquire a new skill of observing the ‘waterfall’ of mind without being pulled into it. Our One-to-One sessions can be offered either in the MBSR or MBCT style, depending on the needs of each individual.

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