Mindfulness is a non-judgmental way of paying attention in the present moment. It increases our awareness of how we habitually react to situations, so we can choose to respond in more effective ways.
Cognitive therapy teaches skills to identify and challenge the underlying beliefs that contribute to depression and anxiety. Mindfulness complements cognitive therapy through the development of an accepting attitude towards oneself and one’s life.
This course will help you:
- learn to step out of automatic pilot and become aware of each moment
- be mindful of how thoughts and feelings lead to depression and anxiety
- learn to respond to negative feelings with acceptance
- learn to challenge distorted thinking to feel less anxious and depressed
- engage in healthy behaviors that are consistent with your values
MBCT is an eight-week course that includes psychoeducation, formal meditation and movement practices. It is a teacher-led discussion and inquiry, with home practices and exercises.
Participants are taught to recognize habitual, unhelpful reactions to difficulty and bring an interested, accepting and non-judgmental attitude to all experience, including difficult sensations, emotions, thoughts and behavior.
MBCT expands beyond our basic mindfulness courses to focus more on specific patterns of negative thinking that people with depression and anxiety are vulnerable to, but which we bring to all experience from time to time.
MBCT was developed to treat depression and research has shown it to be effective in preventing relapse in people who have recovered. from depression. MBCT has an explicit focus on turning toward low mood and negative thoughts early in the program so that participants gain experience with recognizing these symptoms and confidence in their ability to respond skillfully.
Techniques from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) are incorporated into the program to promote greater awareness of these patterns and mindfulness practices are used to disengage from them. The focus is on changing one’s relationship to unwanted thoughts, feelings and body sensations so that participants no longer try to avoid them or react to them automatically, but rather respond to them in an intentional and skillful manner.