MBCT / MBSR

While mindfulness training can be taught at an individual level. This website focuses on describing the two most researched and well-known mindfulness training programs used in the world at the moment: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

MBSR

The MBSR program was originally developed at the University of Massachussets Medical School back in 1979 by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn (for more information see his book “Full Castrophe Living”) to help people cope with and manage chronic pain. Since then it has been used to help people manage and cope with a broad range of stress related and health disorders. The program runs over 8-weeks, and consists of weekly group practice sessions, about 2.5 hours long, with a one day retreat. Formal meditation is its core feature.

The program includes:

  • Learning about automatic pilot and how to step out of it.
  • Guided instructions in mindfulness meditations.
  • Mindful stretching and gentle yoga.
  • Learning how to use the breath to be more present focused.
  • Greater awareness of mind, body, and emotion.
  • Discussion and feedback about meditation and mindfulness.
  • Learning how to build your own mindfulness practice.
  • Learning how to tolerate and accept discomfort.
  • Daily homework meditation practice using tapes/CDs.

The program involves approximately 45 to 60 minutes of daily home meditation practice, and therefore requires a strong committment to develop your own practice. To learn more about MBSR, visit the offical MBSR site at the Centre for Mindfulness.

MBCT

MBCT was developed in the late 1990’s by Professor’s Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale as a pscyhological approach to prevent recurrent depression (see their book, “The Mindful Way through Depression”, 2007, The Guilford Press). This program was developed in response to the well documented problem of people that have experienced a number of previous episodes of depression are more at risk of experiencing further episodes (see Preventing Depression Relapse page). This fact lead them to investigate the potential benefits of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR program, and how certain types of meditation practice may help prevent future episodes of depression. From his program they developed their own specific mindfulness training program for suffers of recurrent depressive episodes. This program includes mindfulness training and traditional CBT components.

There is now a strong body of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of the MBCT program for recurrent depression. Moreover, it is increasingly being researched in relation to its potential benefits for other types of mental health problems. Like MBSR, MBCT is an 8-week program conducted in a class like setting, that consists of 2 to 2.5 hr weekly sessions, where daily meditation practice using CDs is a large component. It also includes a mindful stretching/yoga practice. The official MBCT website is located at www.mbct.co.uk. Like MBSR, it is best to lean MBCT from a qualified instructor. A thorough clinical assessment prior to commencing by a qualified mental health practitioner and access to psychological support services is recommended. It is not recommended for individuals to embark on this program on their own without access to mental health support and experienced and qualifed instructors.

The program includes:

  • Learning about automatic pilot and how to step out of it.
  • Guided instructions in mindfulness meditations.
  • Using the breath to be more present focused and mindful.
  • Befriending and accepting your feelings.
  • Learing to see thoughts as thougnts, not facts.
  • Bringing mindfulness into daily life.
  • Learning skillful ways to respond to changing mood and negative thoughts.

MBCT for relapse prevention and stress/anxiety management is available at The Marian Centre, Private Hospital, Cambridge Street, Subiaco, Perth.

For  more about MBCT/MBSR programs in Perth go to the Resources menu, Useful Links page.