Mindfulness-Based Therapy Groups
“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Do you suffer from repeated episodes of depression? Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy may be able to help you
Many of us spend a lot of time going over the past, worrying about the future, and being judgmental and self-critical. These habits of mind are difficult to control and often leave us feeling stressed and low – mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help us to see things differently.
What do we offer?
We offer 8-week courses of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy groups for people aged over 18 years, who:
- Have repeated episodes of depression
- Are stressed (e.g. by parenting or caring for someone with physical/mental health problems)
What is mindfulness based cognitive therapy?
Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention to the present moment. This helps us to bring awareness and acceptance to things as they are, a practice of stepping back from automatic judgments that may lower our mood. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps us to notice and understand the links between our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. MBCT combines these two powerful approaches and is a great way to get to know the patterns of the mind and learn to work with these patterns in a new way. MBCT is different from standard CBT, as rather than challenging thoughts we learn how to observe thoughts and habitual thinking processes, stepping towards the present moment.
MBCT is particularly good at preventing relapse, for those of us who are currently well or have received prior therapy. MBCT is more recently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for people with mild-moderate and recurrent depression, and can also be very helpful for people who want to manage the stress more effectively.
During the mindfulness course you will learn and practise simple meditations and other activities that can help you to:
- Become aware of your thoughts and feelings
- Learn how to step back from self-criticisms and worry
- Learn how to be kinder to yourself
- Become more accepting of how things are
- Respond more wisely to difficulties and stress
- Become more embodied, present and open
What is the course like?
Much like gardening whereby we need to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, nourish the seedlings, and patiently wait for growth, the mindfulness course demands effort and commitment. The course includes eight sessions (each two hours long). Regular attendance is necessary (at least 6 out of 8 weeks). Your will need to practice the approach at home on a daily basis for between 20 – 40mins.
The course will be run by an experienced mental health professional who is trained to deliver courses of MBCT and there will be about 10-15 participants. This may be daunting for some, but you will not be required to share your history with other participants, as the course focuses upon developing skills and reflection upon mindfulness practices.
You need not be familiar with mindfulness, although you will need an individual assessment by the mindfulness group facilitator prior to acceptance on the course, who will give you a taster of mindfulness in a 1:1 setting. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and promoting a culture that actively values and celebrates difference, and we welcome all participants from all backgrounds. We provide groups across the city in both daytime and evening, in person and via video conference.
If you are interested in the mindfulness group, you can self-refer or you can ask your GP to refer you via self-help services. They will talk to you, and arrange an assessment with you, to see how best we can help.