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What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy?
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique that was developed around the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) treatment program, developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Significant research supports the use of MBSR in significantly helping patients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems. Research suggests that individuals who have had clinical depression three times or more, and some for as long as several decades, see significant reduction in the likelihood of depression returning after a course of MBCT. The evidence from two randomized clinical trials indicates that MBCT reduces rates of relapse by 50% among chronically depressed patients. Compare that to the 10% reduction traditional talk-therapy provides.
Mindfulness practice and meditation can help you clearly see the thinking patterns that result in depression, and recognize early-on when you are vulnerable to becoming depressed. Such an awareness allows you to avoid the depressive episode altogether, rather than having to claw your way out once depression has already set in.
Mindfulness practice aids this process by teaching you to reconnect with the present moment, and those parts of your life that bring vitality and meaning. In turn, mindfulness helps you to turn your mind from the negative thought patterns wrapped up in the past, or anxieties about the future. Through mindfulness, you can learn to experience the world fully, without it being filtered through your old negative thought patterns and judgments.