Much of what we do in therapy is intended to change our perception of life events so that we experience them in a better or more comfortable way. MBCT functions differently. It operates with the understanding that our experiences themselves don’t need to be altered–our approaches to those experiences do.
People often stumble over the concept of acceptance when they learn about it as an approach for dealing with difficult emotions and mind states. These reactions reflect an underlying calculation that even though trying to avoid or push away negative thoughts and feelings can be exhausting, the strategy has worked in the past, so… why risk using a different and unfamiliar strategy?
It is not unusual for clients to come to MBCT with preconceived notions that being mindful means being peaceful, silent, and still. It can be very confusing, therefore, when these expectations rub up against the real demands of practicing mindfulness in everyday life.
Learning and delivering MBCT offers many gifts for your clients who are struggling or vulnerable in myriad ways, but the therapist also stands to gain.
While benefits of mindfulness practices in the clinical sphere are now more widely accepted, for clients to have access to these programs, clinicians must have access to training.
Among women who are pregnant or postpartum, approximately 12-15% will experience depression, and among those who have been depressed in the past, 30-40% will be depressed again. This is concerning not only for moms, but also for their children, who are more likely to develop cognitive, emotional, and social problems as late as adolescence and early adulthood.
What are the elements that account for the positive effects that MBCT has on your clients’ lives? The truth is that we don’t know the answer to this question, and, in fact, the evidence that is accumulating suggests that the question itself belies some of the complexity.
It was kind of outrageous. There is no other way to describe my initial reaction to being told that teaching MBCT would require that I begin practicing meditation myself. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way either.
Our guiding philosophy is that good training and dedicated personal practice are necessary to deliver the highest quality MBCT. What’s less obvious are which types of training, how much practice, and which competence thresholds best support MBCT and the larger field of mindfulness-based interventions.