(For individuals who experience recurrent depressive episodes)
Mindfulness means to pay attention, deliberately and non-judgementally, in the present moment. This enables people to make informed and helpful choices about their physical and psychological well being. In essence, it is about how the person can begin to learn to choose to respond differently rather than react habitually, and sometimes destructively, to events, thoughts and feelings. It is the habitual reaction that tends to perpetuate difficulties.
The core aim in MBCT is a focus on relapse prevention. Mindfulness for depression combines both experiential exercises and psycho-educational components. These exercises help us to gradually develop a deeper awareness of our bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts and how they interact, uniquely, in each of us, in the present moment. The psycho-educational component helps to explain depression and anxiety and to tackle the spirals of negative automatic thoughts. Mindfulness enables individuals to begin to choose the most skilful response to any unpleasant thoughts, feelings or situations that they meet.
The benefits of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy depend entirely on your willingness to commit to the daily homework, between sessions, which is an essential part of this psychotherapeutic approach.