Frequently Asked Questions
Who is this for?
This course is valuable for both clients and therapists. For clients who have experienced ongoing depression or sadness, low mood, or anxiety that comes back over and over, or even repeated episodes of major depression, this short-term program will teach you about the processes that lead to depression so that you can develop new ways of dealing with them and change the direction of the process. For therapists, working through this week to week program of carefully organized steps in developing awareness, and most importantly experiencing the shifts in thinking, will give you valuable tools to bring to your work.
Is it effective ?
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 (please see the links below).
The evidence from two randomized clinical trials of MBCT indicates that it reduces rates of relapse by as much as 50% among patients who suffer from recurrent depression, and numerous experts in the field have endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment, including the The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), which recently endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse.
My own experience with participants confirms that they find it an enormously valuable way to change their relationship to their thoughts and feelings and strengthen their resilience and increase their happiness. Graduates of past groups have offered comments like, "It helped me immensely," and "I leave this group a different person," calling MBCT "extraordinary" and "extremely important."
How does it work?
The course is presented in eight two-hour sessions plus a day of mindfulness. The structure of the course was very carefully designed by an impressive group of mental health professionals, Dr. Zindel Segal, Dr. Mark Williams and Dr. John Teasdale, in collaboration with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, based on his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, which has been used effectively now for over twenty years to help thousands of people dealing with chronic pain and illness.
In the MBCT course, you learn to observe the activities of mind that lead to depression, and develop effective intervention techniques. Each week includes carefully designed homework assignments which allow participants to 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.
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 8-16 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 can be taken as a supplement to regular therapy and can be an excellent and effective addition. 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.
However, this course is not for people currently experiencing major depression. It requires a high level of motivation to complete the homework, and because depression can leave you extremely tired, unmotivated and hopeless feeling, it can be too difficult to do the work. However if your depression is less severe or you are currently taking medication for depression that is working, MBCT can be still be useful. In my experience, clients who take the course while struggling with ongoing difficult feelings can still derive some benefit and in some cases opt to take it again at a later date to solidify the experience. 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 for the entire class is $600. This includes an initial private screening interview, the 8 two-hour sessions, and a day of mindfulness halfway through the course, as well as a workbook and CDs for home practice. Group follow up classes are offered on an ongoing basis at a cost of $40 a session. 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 we also offer some partial scholarships. If money is the primary obstacle to your taking this course, please contact us to explore the possibilities.
How can I learn more?
Please free to contact Mary Myers by email or phone with your personal inquiries.
You can also find lots of information at the links below.
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.
A good article with lots of information as well as a comparison with the use of maintenance anti-depressants.
A brief and easy to read article outlining MBCT.