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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) 

A Cognitive Therapy Approach

MBCT is one of the newer psychotherapy treatments to have emerged in the past two decades for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety and transdiagnostic conditions. It is designed to help by cultivating cognitive therapy along with mindfulness and meditative practices. 

In treatment, individuals learn how to shift mental gears, from critical thinking (likely to provoke and accelerate downward mood spirals) to an alternative mode of mind that experiences the world directly, non-conceptually and non-judgmentally. 


In two separate studies, research confirms learning MBCT skills:

    • Considerably reduces the chances depression will return in individuals who have been clinically depressed 3 or more times
    • Reduces rates of relapse by 50% among patients with recurrent depression

Depression & MBCT

Depression’s tunnel vision can prevent individuals with MDD from noticing when they are losing touch with things around them or what makes them vulnerable to downward mood spirals. In fact, “losing touch” can interfere with aspects of life that might provide pleasure or meaning; or call up painful memories and thoughts that diminish hope for the future. 

Individuals who try to think their way out of their troubling emotions or suppress or push away depressive thoughts often find themselves over-thinking, brooding and living in their head. 

Mindfulness practice can help by:

Observing “patterns of the mind” more clearly and recognizing when low moods begin to spiral downward—to catch them much earlier than before 

Learning how to prevent negative thoughts from escalating; or how to focus on the present moment, rather than reliving the past or “pre-living” the future

Developing the willingness and courage to experience distressing moods, thoughts or sensations—without battling them

Forming a new or different perspective, while bringing self-compassion and love to depressive thoughts and feelings

Read more on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).


Learn more about Cognitive Therapies offered at CFI…



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