Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a combination of cognitive therapy and mindfulness, and is a relatively new technique. Initial research into the effectiveness of MBCT has been most encouraging. So it is not surprising that the combination of a process that addresses negative thoughts with one that focuses on being in the present, manages emotions effectively.
Your troubled emotional state and moods can trigger negative thinking, making your mood or emotional state much worse. During the course of each day we experience a range of emotions, some are at the positive end of the emotional continuum, and others are at the negative: some mild, some moderate, some strong, and the rest intense.
This interplay of emotions is what makes us human. They are essential to the essence and quality of our lives. Those of us who allow our emotions to come and go, accepting them as something that is happening now, can cope well with them without falling apart.
For those individuals who are prone to depression, chronic unhappiness, anxiety or low self-esteem, however, the ordinary day to day upsets, disappointments, and life issues become the impetus for a barrage of negative self-talk. This can lead to feeling more depressed, anxious and self-defeated. It’s like you can’t tolerate your feelings- your feelings become an enemy like an external threat based on fear.
This is when the therapeutic technique Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is not sufficient. CBT alone does not adequately address what one does with changes in mood, except to challenge the thoughts that arise. Although challenging is effective on some levels,you are still left with aspects of the emotional charge and its effects. Also, subtle changes in mood can often go undetected by the person experiencing them as their automatic nature makes challenging difficult.
So, with MBCT, clients are instructed in mindfulness so as to allow them to step back and observe their emotions rather than being lost, trying to think their way out of how they are feeling, and what they or someone else should do about it, all making the situation a whole lot worse.
You will also be taught the various skills of cognitive-behavioural therapy, enabling you to challenge the barrage of negative thoughts that underpin your emotional concerns.
Initial research on these new treatments for emotional concerns are showing some very promising outcomes. This is particularly the case with people suffering from both depression, as well as anxiety disorders. They seem to provide clients with the necessary life and coping skills to make life-long changes.