Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was an adaptation of the original Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) by Professor Mark Williams, Dr John Teasdale and Professor Zindel Segal as a treatment for depression with a specific focus on relapse prevention.
According to cognitive psychologists, rumination is the thought pattern which increases one’s susceptibility to depression. Rumination is the biased attention towards negative thoughts and the repetitive nature of the mind focusing and personalising negative experiences. It is often marked by the ‘freeze’ element of the Fight, Freeze, Flight response.
MBCT presents the practitioner with alternative means of understanding and relating to their thoughts and experiences. Mindfulness therefore helps to inhibit the constant rumination of negative thought patterns which may have otherwise escalate into depressive relapse.
MBCT is now recommended in guidelines set by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as the treatment of choice for people who have suffered three or more episodes of Major Depressive Disorder.
Mindfulness serves as a non-toxic treatment for depression with positive side effects of potentially increasing quality of life, breaking the constant cycle of depression rather than its drug treatment alternatives.