DIAGNOSIS: Depression

TREATMENT: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Group Therapy for Depression


  • Basic premise: Depression is associated with a network of negative modes of thinking and feeling. These modes can be reactivated during periods of remission leading to relapse.
  • Essence of therapy: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) combines core concepts of cognitive therapy with training in mindfulness meditation as a means of decreasing cognitive reactivity. MBCT aims to cultivate mindfulness, encouraging patients to both become acquainted with depressive modes of thinking and feeling while at once developing a new (and less reactive) relationship with these experiences. This process involves meeting distressing internal experiences (i.e., thoughts, feelings) with patience, kindness, curiosity, and empathy. MBCT was originally designed to prevent relapse for patients in remission from depression, with an emphasis on detecting early signs of relapse through enhanced decentering. More recent work has investigated MBCT for reducing residual depressive symptoms and comorbid anxiety. A small body of evidence suggests MBCT may be effective for reducing current depressive symptoms.


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