As humans, our tendency is often to want to cover up pain and negative emotions. However, new strategies in mental health care focus on bringing awareness to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Mindfulness is a time-honored approach to mental wellness that contemporary medicine is using in new ways. Mindfulness uses meditation-based practices to bring us into the present moment. Combined with other strategies, mindfulness can be a powerful tool in addressing mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression.
What Is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is a fresh approach to psychotherapy that combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with meditative mindfulness practices. CBT is a practice where therapists help patients identify and break negative thought patterns. Mindfulness practices use traditional spiritual philosophies like meditation and breathing to center us in the present moment. MBCT combines elements of talk therapy with meditation, stretching, breathing exercises, and other practices. MBCT is an evidence-based practice with clinically proven results in relieving anxiety and depression symptoms.
Can MBCT Help With Anxiety, Stress, and Depression?
As MBCT becomes more widespread in European and American therapeutic communities, results are overwhelmingly positive. In the UK, evidence from two clinical trials showed that MBCT reduced relapse rates by 50 percent among patients with recurrent depression. MBCT can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression by helping patients:
- Bring awareness of your feelings instead of trying to numb or cover them up.
- Understand patterns in your thoughts and develop more positive thought patterns.
- Develop self-acceptance by identifying and challenging negative thought patterns.
- Reduce anxiety by emphasizing focusing on the present moment through breathing and meditation.
- Add mindfulness to daily activities like showering and eating.
Who Can Benefit From MBCT?
According to the scientists and psychologists who created MBCT, it can help individuals who have experienced repeated bouts of clinical depression and chronic unhappiness. It can also help people with anxiety disorder, stress, and situational anxiety or depression caused by traumatic or stressful life circumstances.
How Can I Make Mindfulness Work For Me?
The most effective approach to MBCT is group therapy with a certified practitioner and out-of-class “homework” practices, including meditation exercises. With guidance from a trained professional, mindfulness can help you:
- Identify thought patterns and what makes us vulnerable to downward spirals.
- Break negative cycles and raise self-awareness.
- Learn to be present in the moment and focus on small joys in everyday life.
Who Should Lead Mindfulness Sessions?
When you choose MBCT, it’s essential to work with a certified professional. MBCT is a relatively new approach to therapy. However, there are many excellent teacher training programs in the UK, Canada, and the US. The University of California at San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness has been a pioneer in MBCT certification. More and more US universities and leading medical schools now offer MBCT-specific teacher training and certification.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at Comprehensive Primary Care
Patients around the world are trying MBCT with life-changing results. Comprehensive Primary Care is a leading provider of this emerging therapy in the DMV. Mindfulness at CPC provides techniques to help participants navigate moments of emotional discomfort through weekly virtual group sessions. Our outstanding CPC Mindfulness Practitioner, Sippora Lehrhaupt, M.S. PA-C, received training from Harvard Medical School for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. And unlike many mindfulness-centered programs, our MBCT program is covered by most insurance policies. If you are experiencing mental health challenges, including anxious or depressive thoughts, please fill out our contact form for a virtual individual intake appointment. Together, we will determine if Mindfulness at CPC is right for you.