I have been leading these groups now for about 7 years, and the results have been amazing. People have contacted me years after taking the class to tell me that it changed their lives. Here is a message I received recently:
If you experience anxiety, ongoing depression or sadness, low mood that comes back over and over, fearfulness or worry, this short-term program can help you.
Combining Mindfulness practices and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, MBCT has been clinically-tested in replicated studies and has been shown to be effective in helping to prevent the return of depression.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me: marycordelia(at)gmail(dot)com
– a former MBCT student
Here are some the common questions we get about our MBCT classes
Who is this for?
This course is effective for people who are experiencing a lot of anxiety, stress, who have difficult to control fears, and even repeated episodes of major depression. It is for people who want to get back in touch with their aliveness, their feelings and their capacity for joy.
It was originally designed to address the difficult issue of depression relapse and proved so effective at helping people change the way they think and respond to feelings that groups have sprung up around the world to address almost every area of human challenge.
It’s worth noting that I have had both clients and therapists in the class. For therapists, working through this week to week program of carefully organized steps in developing awareness, and most importantly, personally experiencing the shifts in thinking and feeling, will give you valuable tools to bring to your work. You can read what other therapists have written about it here.
Is it effective?
In my own experience, participants find it an enormously valuable way to change their relationship to their thoughts and feelings, strengthen their resilience, decrease stress and increase their happiness. Graduates of past groups said, “This is a life changer,” and “I know now I have a way into my depression feelings that leads me right out the other side,” calling MBCT “extraordinary” and “extremely important.”
The therapeutic community has also expressed an interest in it. As an article in Psychotherapy Networker put it: “The first results of their work, published in 2000, were dramatic: for patients who’d suffered three or more major depressive episodes, attending an MBCT group cut their relapse rate by 50 percent over the next year. Since not many interventions in our field cut anything in half, this caught the attention of the CBT community and piqued interest in mindfulness practices.”
To learn more about how MBCT has been clinically-tested and shown to be effective, please see the links below.
How does it work?
The course is presented in eight two-hour sessions plus a day of mindfulness.
In carefully designed steps, you learn to observe the activities of mind that lead to depression, and how to develop effective intervention techniques. Each week includes specific homework assignments which help participants develop the skills to deal with difficult life situations.
About halfway through the course there is a day of mindfulness, which gives a deeper experience of mindfulness and solidifies participants’ ability to implement the practices. People find that this really deepens their understanding and is also an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Here is one participant’s comment about the Day of Mindfulness:
“It was one of those really special days that I’m sure I’ll remember for years to come. I came into the day feeling tired and wanting to be in bed, but I actually exited it feeling refreshed and very present. I’ve been able to carry that presence into the next few days, too. I feel like the day of mindfulness helped to cement some of the concepts we’ve been learning in class. Practicing the mindful eating and walking with the group helped me to understand those activities more fully, and I’m confident that I can now do them all by myself (where as before I was still a little unsure of whether I was doing them “right”). After Sunday, I’m really wishing I could have a day of mindfulness once a month! I think that day was the most illuminating session of the series for me.”
Following the eight week course, graduates are welcome to attend ongoing classes, either on a regular or a drop-in basis. These are offered to support you in continuing to implement these practices in your life, and especially to support you when difficult life situations arise.
Class sizes are 6-20 participants to allow for both individualized attention as well as the immeasurable benefit of learning from one another.
Can I take it if I’m already in therapy?
The MBCT course is a very effective supplement to regular therapy. By increasing your ability to be aware of your own thoughts and feelings as well as strengthening your capacity to handle difficult feelings, the course can make current therapy even more effective.
It’s worth noting, this course can be difficult for people currently experiencing major depression. Because depression can leave you feeling extremely tired, unmotivated and hopeless, it can be difficult to do the practice. However, I have worked with a number of people who were currently experiencing depression, and sometimes they have found that simply seeing others in the group working through their challenges, and being affirmed over and over that they have the capacity to heal, can nudge them in the direction of wellness. In some cases, they later felt that MBCT was an important piece of what helped them reach the tipping point to begin recovery. If you are currently taking medication for depression that is working, it is actually a good time to take MBCT to prepare for continued well-being. If you have questions about this, please discuss them with your therapist, and you can both feel free to call me to discuss it further.
How much does it cost?
Because of the workshop format and the emphasis on teaching and empowering participants to take control of their own process, this is one of the most cost-effective treatments available for depression.
The overall cost depends on the size of the group. For groups between 6 and 10 people, the price is $695. For larger groups, the price can be reduced. This includes an initial private screening interview, the 8 two-hour sessions, the day of mindfulness, as well as a workbook and recordings for home practice. Follow up sessions are offered on an ongoing basis. Many participants find these extremely valuable in maintaining stability and peace in their lives, and in helping to deal with the challenges life continues to present.
Payment plans are available, and in an attempt to bring this to more people, I also offer partial scholarships. If money is the primary obstacle to your taking this course, please contact me to explore the possibilities.
How can I learn more?
You can find lots of information at the links below. Please also free to contact me by email or phone with your personal inquiries.
I feel honored to be able to offer this life changing work and look forward to hearing from you,
MBCT.com This is the home site of the founders of MBCT. It contains lots of useful information, including links to clinical trials, bios of the developers, articles and more.
Science Daily A good article with lots of information as well as a comparison with the use of maintenance anti-depressants.
West Meets East A very long but fascinating article about how our understanding is broadening to combine eastern and western teachings for ever more effective healing work.