MBCT is short for Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and was originally developed in the 1990s as a group-based relapse prevention programme for people at risk of depressive relapse who wish to learn long-term skills for staying well.
MBCT combines systematic training in mindfulness with elements of cognitive-behavioural therapy. MBCT has been recommended by NICE since 2004. The evidence-base for MBCT is expanding at a rapid rate and research suggests it’s a helpful approach across a wide range of contexts (e.g. organisations including businesses and schools), and can be helpful across a broad range of physical and psychological problems.
Evidence also suggests that regular mindful awareness practice of being in the moment, changes how our body and brain respond to stress, possibly strengthening connections in the prefrontal cortex and reducing reactivity in our limbic system, supporting self-reflection and self-regulation. These functions also play a critical role in our overall health and wellbeing.
The goal with CBT is to develop a consistent awareness of thoughts and reactions that may lead to anxiety and depression and uses cognition to help you notice when you are becoming triggered into negativity. MBCT is not analytical but it does require that you complete an MBCT Daily Journal on thoughts and emotions after carrying out practical exercises.
MBCT sessions are quite different to CBT in that you will integrate things like focusing on your breath, the body scan where you observe sensations in your body and sitting meditation. In this way, it can be a ‘feeling’ process. It can be seen as experiential, not just analytical, and although it still involves a lot of work with recognising thought patterns it is much more ‘body-based’ than CBT. The focus is on accepting thoughts as they arise. Instead of trying too hard to understand the thought, would it be OK to just accept the thought without judgement and letting it drift from your mind without attaching too much meaning to it.
One of the important aspects of MBCT is that it teaches the best way to notice these triggers and to manage stress and anxiety is to develop ongoing awareness and acceptance of the present moment.
The greater and more consistent your awareness of the present moment, the more likely it is you will catch the negative thought spirals and choose to disengage from distressing moods or worries.
Further information and access to research material can be found from the www.eftandmindfulness.com website.
Its a fact that people don't breath as nature intended. Research shows that up to a third of us do not breathe efficiently enough to safeguard our health and maximize our mental and physical potential. Watch the way a baby breathes and how its abdomen rises and falls with each breath. Now notice how you breathe in and out naturally and notice whether it's your chest that rises or your abdomen.
According to Jon Kabat-Zin.....
"...MBCT and cognitive therapy are paradoxical models of acceptance and change. MBCT integrates successful elements of CBT into a complementary mindfulness-based paradign. In many ways these models work very well together. In other ways they are paradoxical because CBT is focused on change while MF is focused on acceptance.
As we cultivate greater awareness of our experiences, we can also cultivate compassionate acceptance of those experiences. In short, as acceptance grows, profound changes may occur in thought and behaviour. With MBCT we don’t seek to change thoughts but how we relate to thoughts. It set out a radically different approach for therapists who have a desire for their clients to change. With MBCT, Western psychotherapists incorporate Eastern approaches in what may be termed ‘third wave’ practices.
MBCT is evidence based and is the modern day self medication tool. MBCT is a lifestyle change – it doesn't start and end with the 6 week programme. If you’re prepared to include Mindfulness as a way of life you will certainly enjoy the rewards."
Applying EFT and practising mindfulness has been shown to make changes to our brainwave activity. Meditation and EFT have an effect on the brain that can be broken up into two categories: state changes (brainwave patterns) and trait changes (habits, behaviours etc). With regular practice, long term changes can be made......
Why am I writing this? Well my parents separated when I was 5yrs of age when my father left me and my 2 sisters to live with another woman. My mother forced ‘parental alienation’ onto me so I didn’t see my father again until I was 15yrs by which time I had built up a lot of hatred and loathing towards him and my stepmother. I did come around to my own way of thinking fortunately but I still recall the feelings of guilt; not fitting in; confusion and abandonment. No child should ever have to endure that.
I hope you find this article useful if you're looking for another 'tool' for your 'toolbox'. Wish I had the time to add more suggestions on how to integrate both modalities but I’m sure this will give you a head start!
As therapists or mindfulness practitioners, we rely on using our intuition. One of the strongest ways to develop intuition is through mindfulness but what is intuition and what other ways can we develop it?
There is formal meditation/mindfulness practice and there is informal practice. Here are ten examples of informal mindfulness meditation:
Meditation in its many forms has been in existence for thousands of years, mainly in the East. I have over 40 years experience of meditation and have observed and joined Buddhist monks and Masters of Meditation in Vietnam and India. I am a trained hypnotherapist and formal teacher of mindfulness so I hope I can help you understand the differences.
Feelings and thoughts are natural and to be expected. During Mindfulness meditation you begin to spend more time being quiet and have access to that state of peace and tranquility which allows for the cultivation of your natural potential. Accepting these feelings is part of mindfulness and is preferable than trying to fight with them. The four common experiences you may have are:
HI and welcome! I'm Helena and whether your'e a beginner or expert, I'm here to help you enrich your life through finding your own inner peace and happiness.