Saturday, 25 October 2008

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy or MBCT blends two approaches - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness.

In MBCT, the emphasis is on becoming aware of thought processes and their impact in a non-judgemental way. Traditional Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on changing unhelpful thoughts to more helpful, positive ones.

MBCT is based on the eight week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the UMASS Medical Centre in Massachusetts. Research has shown that MBSR is very helpful for people with chronic pain, hypertension, cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders, as well as anxiety, panic and stress.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

I've found a fantastic documentary on YouTube, all about the mindfulness based stress reduction programme as it is run in the United States. The documentary features Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical School. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Since 1979 more than 17,000 people have completed our eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program, an intensive training that asks participants to draw on their inner resources and natural capacity to actively engage in caring for themselves and finding greater balance, ease, and peace of mind.

Two decades of published research indicates that the majority of people who complete the course report:
  • Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem
  • An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.

Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.

In contrast, you’ve probably encountered moments of “mindlessness” — a loss of awareness resulting in forgetfulness, separation from self, and a sense of living mechanically. Restoring within yourself a balanced sense of health and well being requires increased awareness of all aspects of self, including body and mind, heart and soul. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is intended to ignite this inner capacity and infuse your life with awareness.

Fortunately, mindfulness is not something that you have to “get” or acquire. It is already within you — a deep internal resource available and patiently waiting to be released and used in the service of learning, growing, and healing.

People participate for reasons as diverse as...

  • Stress — job, family or financial
  • Chronic pain and illness
  • Anxiety and panic
  • GI distress
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches

The course schedule consists of eight weekly classes. Weekend or evening courses are available. This highly participatory, practical course includes:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
  • Group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
  • Individually tailored instruction
  • Daily home assignments
  • home practice CDs and a home practice manual

The course is challenging and life-affirming. The instructors are accomplished and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging learning environment.

Email for latest dates and costs. One to one classes are available. Concessions/reductions in cost possible.

adapted from the umass medical school website.