Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) - which is closely based on Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-based stress reduction progamme (MBSR) - was developed by Prof. Mark Williams (Oxford), John Teasdale (Oxford/Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto).

MBCT integrates traditional CBT methods with Mindfulness and Mindfulness meditation.

It has been found to be effective in coping with stress, managing anxiety and depression, and improving energy levels.

Usually MBCT involves attending group sessions over the course of eight weeks. But the skills learnt in therapy should be useful, to the person partaking in the treatment, for a lifetime; with MBCT patients actively participating in their treatment.

MBCT has been gaining popularity in the past few years when being used as part of treatment on the NHS for people suffering with chronic physical pain and long-term medical conditions.

72% of GPs think that Mindfulness meditation skills would be helpful in the treatment of those with mental health problems.

68% of GPs think that it would be helpful for patients in general to learn Mindfulness meditation skills.

Over half of GPs think that MBCT is quite effective.


(Source: ICM survey June 2009.)

Ask your GP or CMHT about whether this treatment is available to you.


Mindfulness

Mindfulness is enhanced attention to the world around us and understanding how we allow our circumstances and thinking to affect us.

An increased attention to our surrounding and thoughts can help a person to understand what it is we enjoy about living.

This -in particular- is one of the aspects of MBCT which appeals to me greatly. I'll be starting MBCT soon and it is this aspect of the therapy which has me feeling excited about starting therapy.

I was worried about attending group therapy, due to severe anxiety of being around, and communicating with, other people. However; the prospect of reconnecting with the things which make life worth living excites me, as this seems to be something I've completely forgotten about (allowing my depression to spiral out of control, like a slide in a Turkish water park).

As I will be attempting to get back to blogging regularly; I've no doubt that will include updates on my progress with MBCT.

I'd also be interested to hear of others' experiences with MBCT - so please do feel free to share.

Find out more about MBCT and Mindfulness at bemindful.co.uk.

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