Mindfulness based cognitive therapy
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is quite a new form of therapy combining ancient wisdom and modern science. In addition to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a powerful tool suitable for treating anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and after experiencing a traumatic event.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a form of therapy that takes components from both cognitive therapy and mindfulness techniques. The meaning of Mindfulness is compassion and conscious awareness. It is a state of being aware of what it is occuring in the outside and inside world as it is happening so that we can assess and make wise decisions on how to deal with any given situation. It blends mindfulness techniques like meditation, and yoga-style exercises, with aspects of cognitive therapy to help break the negative thought patterns that are characteristic of repeated depression.
MBCT gives you the awareness that comes as a result of focusing on three related skills
- paying attention to things that happen as they happen in the inside and outside worlds
- noticing your usual reactions to these events, often characterised by opposition or attachment (generally resulting in thinking too much about it)
- developing the ability to react to things that happen, and the reactions to them, with an attitude of open interest and sympathy.
The mindfulness aspect of the therapy can increase your concentration, and can also help with both mental and physical conditions, including anxiety, OCD and can act as a preventative measure to slipping back into depression or drug addiction.The cognitive aspect of the therapy intends to help you identify your unwanted and maladjusted thinking patterns and emotional reactions and subsequently the behaviours you undertake, and then adjust them to conquer any difficulties.
Therapists will help you develop the know-how to identify the distortions in your thinking, adapt your beliefs and modify your behaviours and the manner in which you relate to people. You will identify the negative thoughts and beliefs with the goal of disproving these thoughts and subsequently diminish their hold over you.
People who are taught and practice meditation for a period of time will see quite a few of qualities of their experiences change. It helps with their concentration, they feel more at peace and will find it easier to see clearly and be free of their own negative emotional patterns and habits. They feel they are more compassionate in their experiences with others.
Traditionally, mindfulness is cultivated by the practice of meditation where people learn to pay attention in each moment with the intention of being interested. Meditation is not about clearing the mind, but rather coming to see the mind’s pattern. The ultimate goal is to let negative moods, feelings and thoughts float in without fighting against them.
If you decide to go with Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, it is important to know that the therapist may give you homework and ask you to carry out practise exercises outside of your session times. You will need to be committed to doing these to get the most out of the therapy..
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