MBCT was developed as a treatment for the prevention of recurring depression as has been found to be one of the most successful treatments in research conducted so far. There are now lots of new forms of MBCT for conditions like anxiety or addition.
The research on MBCT was carried out in a group setting with about 15 participants and comprised of an 8 week course, with a session every week. Each session was about 2 hours long with weekly assignments to be done outside of session.
MBCT was founded by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, who based MBCT on a program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). The aim of MBCT is not directly to relaxation or happiness in themselves, but rather, a “freedom from the tendency to get drawn into automatic reactions to thoughts, feelings, and events”. MBCT programs usually consist of eight-weekly two hour classes.
The aim of the program is to enhance awareness so clients are able to respond to things instead of react to them.
- become familiar with the workings of your own mind.
- notice the times when you are at risk of getting into old habits of mind that re-activate downward mood spirals.
- explore ways of releasing from old habits and enter a different way of being.
- put you in touch with your senses to offer a different way of knowing yourself and the world.
- notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of overly living in your mind.
- be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals.
- find a different way of living so you don’t have to battle with yourself all the time.
- accept and acknowledge yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time.