Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies in order to help individuals better understand and manage their thoughts and emotions in order to achieve relief from feelings of distress.
Though originally developed to address recurrent depression, MBCT may be beneficial topeople seeking treatment for a wide range of mental health concerns.
DEVELOPMENT OF MBCT
MBCT, which was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, is primarily derived from the earlier work of Teasdale, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Phillip Barnard.
The approach, which is still relatively new—the first clinical trial was published in 2000—incorporates principles from Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction modality, an 8-week program designed to help people cope with the mental and physical effects of health concerns, and Bernard and Teasdale’s ICS (interactive cognitive subsystems) model. ICS is based on the premise that the human mind possesses different modes for receiving and processing data, the two primary modes of which are the “being” mode and the “doing” mode. The model also suggests mental health may be dependent on a person’s ability to detach from one mode and move between other modes, based on what is present in the environment. The MBCT program emphasizes the “being” mode, as this mode is believed to promote lasting emotional change, specifically for individuals experiencing recurrent depressive episodes.