What is MBCT?

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Information about Mindfulness Meditation Based Cognitive Therapy 

MBCT involves learning concentration and relaxation techniques that allow people to enter into current moment non-judgmental awareness. Through meditation, people gain better control over their negative emotions and are able to decrease their negative thought patterns. MBCT interventions also include a cognitive therapy perspective. Specifically, the interventionists will offer education regarding depression and anxiety and will work on automatic mental processes that are believed to be at the root of the recurrence of depressive and anxious states. The main focus is to bring participants to be aware of these mental processes, and to view them from a non-judgmental perspective rather than react to them. Here are the meditation techniques that will be practiced if you are assigned to the meditation group:

  • Body scan: In this meditation exercise, your interventionist will guide you to focus on different parts of your body, you will be invited to observe that part of your body and any physical sensations that arise. If any thoughts, noises, mental images, emotions, or sensations arise in other parts of your body, you will be told to notice this and gently move your attention back to the part of the body.
  • Guided meditation: you will be invited to focus on your breath, trying to observe it and feel it rather than control it. If any thoughts, noises, mental images, emotions, or sensations arise in your body, you will be instructed to notice this and gently move your attention back to the breath. Your interventionist will offer intermittent suggestions, guiding you back to the breath.
  • Silent meditation: you will be given initial guidance for the first 15-30 seconds to focus on your breath, trying to observe it and feel it, rather than control it. If any thoughts, noises, mental images, emotions or sensations arise in your body, you will be instructed to notice this and gently move your attention back to the breath. You will then continue the rest of the meditation in silence.
  • Gentle arm movements (modified seated Tai Chi exercises): you will be asked to slowly move your arms in very soft movements coordinated with slow inhalations and exhalations. This technique, “meditation in movement”, is particularly useful for people who find it difficult to focus in complete stillness.

To see if you are eligible to participate in our MBCT sessions, click here

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