The world of mindfulness and mental health is constantly growing. New ways and techniques are being discovered every day to help cater to individual mental health needs. Among the umpteen psychological concepts, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is relatively new.
Some of the world’s most well-known therapists, Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, integrated Cognitive Therapy with mindfulness-based stress reduction and coined the term Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in the year 2022.
To understand what this practice includes we must first understand the individual aspects of Mindfulness and Cognitive Therapy.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a spiritual and mental health practice that is used to purposefully bring ones attention to experience the present moment without any evaluation. This skill can be developed by meditation, yoga, and many other types of mindfulness practices discovered over the years.
What is Cognitive Therapy?
American psychiatrist Aaron Beck developed Cognitive Therapy in the 1960s. Cognitive Therapy majorly uses psychotherapy to track thought patterns. It uses to technique to help understand, tap into an rewire the negative thoughts that one has about themselves and their surrounding. This helps to alter unwanted behaviour patterns and helps treat mental disorders like, depression, anxiety, mood swings, etc.
Understanding Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
Bringing together the two individualistic aspects of MBCT forges and helps connect the two practices in a way that can help individuals become more and more in control of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
As Pooja Nidadavolu, TRM Master and Yoga and Mindfulness instructor says, “Mindfulness and cognitive therapy when used collectively can act as a powerful tool to treat a lot of mental health disorders.”
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy was particularly developed for people who have already had multiple episodes of depression or deep unsettlement and unhappiness. It is essentially used to help the individuals from a relapse.
MBCT may also help in treating, Bipolar Disorder, General emotional distress, addictions and also physical ailments such as traumatic brain injury and chronic pain.
What to Expect from MBCT?
MBCT is designed to train an individual to bring awareness in their day-to-day living. It is usually conducted in groups to provide a support system and to instigate a sense of community and togetherness. Once therapy begins, individuals learn more about their conditions and what causes them. They will be taught various mindfulness techniques and basics of cognition to help them understand the relationship between the way they think, feel and behave.
They are encouraged and trained to being their present moment awareness into their everyday lives and routines. Therefore it is useful to any and every individual.
As Supriya Das, Co-Founder at SpEd@home, puts it, “Mindfulness based cognitive therapy though used largely in treatment of anxiety disorders or depression, could also be used by any of us as a method of disciplining the mind to make sense of the chaos around us. It comes with practice just as all other mindfulness techniques and enhances concentration, critical and logical thinking skills especially in times of internal or external conflict.”
Mindfulness has become increasingly popular for its ability to promote mental health, so many mental health professionals may start to incorporate some aspects of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy into their mindfulness practices in their therapy sessions.