Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Overview of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is derived from CBT (link) and similarly assumes our thought processes (cognitions) influence our feelings and, in turn, our behaviour. CBT suggests that problematic behaviours or conditions result when thoughts become distorted, often producing uncomfortable feelings, for example, fear, shame or anger. This leads to unusual, repetitive or obsessive behaviours as an attempt to alleviate or control the distorted thoughts and feelings.
MBCT differs from CBT (link) emphasises mindfulness, that is, paying attention, purposefully, without judgement and in the present moment. This technique is used to change problem behaviour. CBT challenges negative or distorted thoughts by examining whether there is any real evidence for them, for example, "No-one likes me". MBCT, on the other hand, trains a person to observe rather than react to thoughts, as they flow in and out of the mind. This reduces the struggle against distorted thoughts and encourages acceptance, rather than resistance.
Who uses it?
MBCT is used by MBCT-trained psychotherapists and counsellors.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our team please call us on 0203 326 9160.
Why would someone use it?
MBCT, ACT and DBT and are sometimes referred to as 'third wave' behaviour therapies which are all based on CBT, but incorporate acceptance and mindfulness in their treatment techniques. Third wave treatments focus on specific behaviour changes and achievement of specific goals. Like CBT, they use a more directive approach than some other therapies, such as person-centred therapy, or psychodynamic psychotherapy. This means the therapist or counsellor, rather than the client, leads the treatment. This may suit some individual personalities and preferences more than others.
MBCT is used to treat a range of conditions, including depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, PTSD, anorexia, and chronic pain.
Strengths of the approach:
MBCT is a short-term treatment, typically delivered in 8 group sessions, each lasting two hours.
This treatment focuses on specific behaviour change and provides practical strategies for coping with current issues.