Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


MBCT versus Medication

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

We’ve known for some time that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for preventing further episodes of depression for people who have mad multiple episodes of depression. 

The pioneering work of Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale has integrated the best of cognitive behavioral therapy with insights and formats of Jon Kabat -Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to create mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
MBCT-2.jpg

MBCT.jpg

Their work is detailed in readerly fashion in the treatment manual, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression and in the general audience The Mindful Way Through Depression, co-authored with Jon Kabat-Zinn. 
A recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry adds more data to support the efficacy of MBCT. Patients with depression were treated with medication. About half of these patients went into remission. Of these, some were considered to have “unstable” remission, in that they had residual symptoms. For these patients, those maintained on medication had similar rates of remission as those maintained on MBCT. 
This finding is important because not everyone can or is willing to continue medication after their depression improves. MBCT provides important skills with no side effects. 
How does MBCT work? Patients develop the skills to monitor their feelings and thinking and to understand their interrelationship. They learn that normal variations in mood, such as sadness, can activate thought patterns consistent with depression. If those thought are pursued, or identified with, a spiral into depression can occur. So, patients learn to “disidentify” from these thoughts while they also learn mindfulness skills of paying attention to sensations in the body.
Whenever we are paying attention to sensations in the body we aren’t pursuing stories that can get us into trouble. That’s the key for averting all sorts of anguish, including depression. 


Previous Posts

Transitions, Attachments, and Hope
It's been a long winter here in Northern Vermont and elsewhere around the country. The mountain is still frozen and buried in snow. In the valley, the long buried grass, brown and tired, is emerging from under the receding glacier, yet my yard is still buried in snow. The calendar reads April but

posted 3:02:56pm Apr. 07, 2014 | read full post »

A Special Opportunity for Opening Your Heart in Relationship with Tara Brach
I'd like to let you know about a special opportunity with my charma friend Tara Brach who is one of the more authentic and beloved mindfulness teachers. She is author of the bestsellers Radical Acceptance and more recently, True Refuge. Please read about this special program below. It’s often

posted 8:12:05pm Mar. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Equanimity in the Face of Adversity, Controversy, and Memory
The Dalai Lama recently visited with President Obama. Not such an unusual event since they have visited before, but the Chinese Government used this as an opportunity to complain, threaten, and

posted 7:24:11pm Mar. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Sit Still
If you listen carefully to my meditation instructions, you might detect a contradiction. On the one hand, I de-emphasize the posture because I don't want people to get deterred by the physical difficulties of sitting. On the other hand, I encourage everyone to sit still and to resist the reflexive t

posted 7:48:21am Feb. 11, 2014 | read full post »

P is for Perfectionism; M is for Mindfulness
The February Kripalu Compass Newsletter featured an article I wrote on perfectionism and mindfulness. You can read it here. "My basement was a disaster for months, a dumping ground for junk: empty boxes, retired appliances and gadgets, books, old LPs, outdoor gear. Each time I walked through the cl

posted 7:34:32pm Feb. 03, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.