Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy MBCT Marina Caroli

In the UK, this Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is increasingly recognised as one of the most successful approaches to enhance resilience, improve wellbeing and live life to the full.

This 8-week is a self-directed skills development preventative programme guided by a trained teacher rather than counseling or a psychotherapy group or a drop-in relaxation class.

This programme is intended as a way to teach people self-awareness and practical skills required to meet on-going life-challenges and disengage from repetitive thoughts and emotional patterns of reactivity, which over time may lead to mood and anxiety disorders.

It involves using guided mindfulness practices akin to meditation and other simple exercises from cognitive behavioural therapy. It also includes easy movement-based exercises akin to yoga stretches.

During the course, participants will explore how to:

  • steady the attention through sensing body and breathing
  • recognise patterns of reactivity
  • relate to thoughts, feelings and events differently
  • integrate mindfulness into movement and daily life
  • enhance mood and well-being through different life-style choices

This evidence-based programme is effective in preventing recurring depression and it is now recommended by NICE guidelines (CG90).

MBCT was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. It was originally used to prevent people from suffering repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It is now one of the main programmes used to teach mindfulness worldwide and offered to the general public.

Watch Professor Mark Williams talking about how the programme originally developed and the research evidence linked to this programme.


Other mindfulness-based programmes that are very similar to MBCT are:

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Breathworks Mindfulness® for Stress
  • Breathworks Mindfulness® for Pain and Illness
  • Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC)
  • Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP)
  • Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP)
%d bloggers like this: