Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
MBCT was specifically developed to help people who struggle with constant or recurring depression. It is a relatively new treatment modality, with its first clinical trial taking place in 2000. Since then there have been numerous studies showing its ability to alleviate depression. MBCT combines elements from cognitive-behavioral therapy and meditation practices.. MBCT teaches skills such as non-judgemental observation, increased body awareness, and distress tolerance. There is a strong focus on noticing and disrupting automatic thoughts and rumination to allow us to be present alongside our disruptive feelings, instead of being controlled by them.
Depression is associated with low mood, negative thoughts, weariness, and feelings of helplessness. Even when we are no longer depressed, our brain may still make connections between each of these symptoms. In other words, simply thinking negative thoughts may trigger the brain into creating or enhancing other symptoms of depression. That makes a depression relapse significantly more likely. MBCT seeks to reduce or change these problematic connections and help us become more aware of our thoughts and experiences. The treatment style increases insight and improves our understanding of our different emotions while also teaching tangible tools to cope with them.