Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a form of therapy that alleviates anxiety by encouraging people to pay attention to their present experiences and physical sensations with a nonjudgmental sense of openness and curiosity. Rumination, or the replaying of intense worries, is a major component of both anxiety and depression.1 Recurrent thoughts, which can be past- or future-oriented, often demand people’s full attention and may negatively affect their quality of life. MBCT uses the techniques and tools of mindfulness to disrupt people’s negative, habitual, and irrational thought processes by decreasing their cognitive reactivity to such thoughts. It also combines cognitive therapy with meditative and mindfulness practices to cultivate aware, calm states. Crucially, MBCT promotes acknowledging negative thoughts and/or circumstances while simultaneously addressing internal mental and emotional distress with kindness and empathy.

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