Mindfulness is about learning to train the mind to focus on the present moment, without judgement. A task which is easier said than done! Mindfulness is not a new concept and originates from the teachings of eastern Buddhist philosophy.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a programme of classes designed to help people ‘move toward greater balance, control and participation’ in life. It was developed at Cambridge University by Professors Mark Williams, Zindel Segal and John Teasdale, to bridge the gap between mindfulness based approaches to healthcare and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which has been scientifically proven extremely effective for a wide range of physical and psychological problems.
MBCT evolved from a programme called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the USA for people suffering from chronic pain and psychological difficulties.
Over the years the appeal of mindfulness has grown. It is now offered throughout the UK in both the NHS and private sectors to people looking for support with life’s varied and many challenges. Including for example: physical disturbance such as illness, fatigue, headaches and high blood pressure; sleep disturbance; emotional disturbance such as stress, anxiety, panic and emotional dysregulation; and life stressors such as academic pressure, workplace demands or life events.
MBCT is an 8 week programme of 2 hour classes, consisting of mindfulness meditation and cognitive exercises. There are also opportunities during the classes to discuss and reflect on your experiences with the programme’ facilitators and fellow participants.
Participants are also invited to carry out a daily mindfulness meditation practice of approximately 45 minutes in duration in between classes guided by professionally recorded CD’s.