What is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT?)

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) draws upon mindfulness techniques such as meditation, mindful stretching and breathing exercises, with aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy, to support those with reoccurring depression. 

The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for the relapse prevention of depression, however, it can be useful in supporting those with a wide range of mental health conditions. 

According to the Mental Health Foundation, evidence shows that MBCT can, on average, reduce the risk of relapse for people who experience recurrent depression by 43%. 

What happens in MBCT?

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a therapeutic approach that combines the idea of cognitive behavioural therapy with mindfulness practices.

The practise of mindfulness allows you to pay close attention to the present moment, noting your thoughts, feelings and body sensations with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgement. MBCT encourages people to become more aware of their internal thoughts in order to find stability, grounding and focus on present-moment awareness.

There are a variety of activities that are designed to promote mindfulness.

Some of these can include:

  • Body scan: Participants lay on the floor, and starting from the toes of the feet, mentally work their way up their bodies, paying special attention to how each area feels
  • Stretching: Regular stretching can improve flexibility, improve circulation, and is generally a natural and instinctive movement for humans. Yoga is a brilliant form of mindfulness stretching. 
  • Daily Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness through daily activities such as showering, brushing your teeth, making the bed, and eating food. This involves taking time to focus on each sensation, such as the feel of the water on your skin, rather than letting your mind get distracted by other thoughts or sights. 

Benefits of MBCT can include:

  • Increased self-awareness and self-confidence
  • Raised ability to handle stressful situations
  • Learning how to handle your thoughts, moods and emotions more effectively
  • Improved cognitive effectiveness and capacity for decision making
  • Enhanced focus and attention

MBCT at Nightingale Hospital London

At Nightingale Hospital, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can be accessed in an individual or group setting as part of an outpatientday patient or inpatient programme.

We have several professionals with a breadth of experience in all mental health conditions to match your individual situation.

We establish successful patient/therapist partnerships and achieve the most effective therapeutic relationship due to this extensive expertise. We will take the time to understand your problem and individual needs.

Useful resources

Interested in working at Nightingale Hospital?

Are you an accredited MBCT therapist and interested in working at Nightingale Hospital?

Visit our careers page to see if we have any vacancies, or get in touch with our HR team to submit an expression of interest.  


Enquire about this treatment

Please contact us to find out more.

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