Eight-week Mindfulness MBCT course
The Bath, Bristol and Wells eight-week Mindfulness Meditation-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course for the prevention of low mood, depression, anxiety stress and related conditions.
Available to groups, individuals and distance learners - this is a course that everyone can benefit from. It has the potential to enhance most peoples' quality of life. Courses take place in winter, autumn and spring.
The eight-week mindfulness course, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, has been running successfully in American hospitals since the 1970s for the treatment of psoriasis, pain, anxiety and stress. It was then termed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course.
In the late 1990s the course was integrated with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression and became known as the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course. The course comprises of about 20% CBT and 80% mindfulness meditation in its undiluted form.
The courses I run in Bath and Bristolare the full MBCT courses; delivered in the same way as the course in the MBCT trials (see below). The MBCT course is an experiential, educational course and differs from individual or group psychotherapy.
MBCT courses help participants learn new ways to handle moods and emotions to help prevent depression and the often accompanying problems of anxiety, stress, insomnia and low self-esteem. By following the course, and with some persistence and patience, participants often find significant changes take place in how they experience themselves, others and the world.
A lot of what is learned from the course and one's own practice can be passed on to help one's children, partner, family or friends who may be experiencing difficulties in their lives. The techniques and approaches developed can be applied to a range of issues or problems to gain relief. What is learned can also help to bring about insight and understanding for the problems of others.
Results from trials have shown that the MBCT course reduces relapse in depression by 50% in those who have had three or more previous episodes of depression. The course has the approval of NICE (National Institute of Care Excellence) as an efficacious treatment for the prevention of depression.
The majority of people completing a MBCT course report lasting physical and psychological benefits including:
- An increased ability to relax and experience calm.
- Greater energy, enthusiasm and appreciation for life.
- Heightened self-confidence and more acceptance for life as it is.
- An increase ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.
What does the MBCT course entail?
Mindfulness meditation is learnt in eight weekly 2hr 15 minute sessions and by practicing with instruction CDs each day for approximately 45 minutes through out the week. Breathing meditations and yoga practices help us become more aware of the present moment, and of subtle changes in our bodies and minds. We learn a basic understanding of what causes and maintains our low moods, depression, stress and anxiety and how to spot the warning signals and what to do to look after ourselves before distress take's hold.
Through enhanced awareness we begin to see the signs of potential crisis, upset and onset of low mood much sooner than we normally would. This enables us to respond in a calm, clear headed way to regain balance and perspective.
During the sessions we spend half the time doing guided meditation and the other half on reflection, questions, discussion and some theme related exercises.
You get out of the course what you put in. The benefits of meditation are cumulative and therefore regular practice is needed to get the best out of the course. Very early on you may feel some important benefits but there may be times when it doesn't feel like anything is happening, times when it becomes a bit stressful (which is ironic and paradoxical of course) and demanding of your time. There are times when we feel it's just not working and at this point we need to continue with the correct attitude till the end of the programme. By the end, the benefits will have started to accrue and become apparent and the process will have started to make sense. Recommended reading is an important part of the course though not as important as doing the practices.
During the course I can be emailed with concerns or questions about the practice that can't wait till the next session. Personal psychological issues can't be dealt with in this way. I recommend having a friend, counsellor or psychotherapist who can be contacted for personal support during the course.
Should the need arise I can recommend a therapist who is a mindfulness practitioner or if my schedule permits, I can be available for one to one therapy/instruction/missed sessions. This is paid for separately from the course fee (at a much reduced session rate during the course).
Joining the course
To join the course please contact me by email or telephone. If you are interested in joining I will then send you further details and information for your reference. You are requested to fill in an attached booking application form (it's very brief and short) and send it back to me by email. I will then make contact with you for further discussion (10 to 20 minutes) before you commit to the course. There is no charge for this discussion.
The total cost of the programme is £225 this includes:
- Initial, individual session with me to orientate you to the course.
- 8 x 2 hour 15minute weekly sessions.
- Teacher support between sessions.
- A day retreat at the end or towards the end of the course.
- Recently extended course notes now amounting to 70 pages.
- Three CDs with seven meditation practices developed to guide you in your daily practice.
- Networking information for follow up events and local group.
- Very nice and comfortable venue.
- At times some levity.
One-to-one session during the course
During the course I'm usually able to offer one to one 50 minute sessions to help course participants with their mindfulness practice or individual issues. The one to one sessions cost £27.50.
Distance learning option
A distance learning option is available for those who can't find a course local to them. Participants are guided throughout the eight-week course by a workbook and nine 45-minute, individual telephone sessions. They then undertake about 45 minutes of home practice six days a week which entails listening to accompanying CDs which guide various sitting, walking and movement meditations. There are also some simple homework tasks and recommended reading. Due to the one-on-one nature of the distance learning option the costs are £ 450. Please contact me for more information on this option.