Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
California Baptist University
This paper is being submitted to Dr. Kristen White in partial fulfillment for the requirements for MFT Counseling Techniques, PSY 525, on March 1, 2014.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group therapy approach that utilizes mindfulness techniques and cognitive therapy for depression relapse prevention. This paper will reflect the effectiveness of MBCT from a personal worldview. It will also discuss if MBCT can be utilized in different areas of psychological treatment including: marriage and family therapy, patients with anxiety, ...view middle of the document...
The sessions incorporate different types of formal and informal meditation practices that include: guided body scans, sitting and walking meditations, breathing spaces, mindful movement, and focused awareness (Sipe & Eisendrath, 2011). Through these exercises, participants are taught to recognize and to separate from the “doing” mode and to move into the “being” mode. MBCT is part of the third wave of behavioral therapy and has received empirical support in clinical settings to be an effective treatment for those suffering from recurrent depression (Bihari & Mullan, 2012).
MBCT and Personal Worldview
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy places a great emphasis on mindfulness meditation practices. These mindfulness practices are derived from Buddhism. Buddhism teaches that suffering is an unavoidable part of life that comes as a result of materialism, and unimportant things like entertainment or food (Cockroft, 1999). Buddhists believe that the path to overcoming daily suffering, known as the fourth noble truth, is to cultivate wisdom, morality, and concentration and this is achieved through mindfulness (Gehart & McCollum, 2007). Buddhism is a non-theistic religion that teaches the only way to end suffering is by achieving nirvana, elimination of desire (Cockroft, 1999).
The philosophy behind these mindfulness practices is not congruent to my Christian faith. Most of the literature attempts to distance MBCT from a religious practice and from Buddhism stating that mindfulness practices are ancient yoga practices that predate Buddha and most mindfulness interventions have removed references to Buddhism (Peck, 2014). As a Christian, I have to be vigilant and not buy into something simply because it is popular or because it works for some. As a Christian, my ultimate goal is not nirvana but a closer relationship with Jesus Christ and to live eternally with Him. Suffering is a part of life and in this I agree with Buddhism but the reasons why we suffer is where I disagree with the Buddhist philosophy. The Bible teaches that suffering is a result of the original sin of Adam and Eve. The cognitive aspect of MBCT is down played while the mindfulness aspect takes precedence.
Effective Aspects of MBCT
There are some aspects of MBCT that are very effective. One aspect is helping participants to develop practices outside of therapy. The real world application is what will help an individual to recognize the automatic thoughts that come and to view them as information not as facts (Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2013). Participants learn that avoiding or resisting negative thoughts or feelings can exacerbate and perpetuate depression rather than resolve it. They also learn to identify the warning signs of thoughts or feelings that signal depression and steps to take when they occur (Sipe & Eisendrath, 2012).
Another effective aspect of MBCT is helping the client to shift from the “doing” mode to the “being” mode. MBCT helps individual...