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What problems can MBCT help with?

Many people find that worrying about the future or ruminating over past events can leave them feeling more anxious, stressed or low. Often this worry and rumination can feel very difficult to control. It may continue despite our best efforts to stop it.

MBCT can help us learn ways to reduce worry and rumination, which can increase our mental wellbeing. MBCT works by strengthening our ability:

  1. to notice unhelpful thoughts
  2. to let these thoughts go
  3. to relate to ourselves with greater gentleness and kindness.

The strongest evidence is that MBCT can help people who are currently well but who have suffered from three or more previous episodes of depression in the past. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend MBCT for this group of people as a way to stay well and prevent relapse. 

There is also growing evidence that mindfulness courses can help other problems too, including chronic pain, stress and where people are currently experiencing depression.

Our NHS Trust offers a range of other therapies and courses. Sometimes one of these may be more helpful than MBCT. Also, for some people, now may not be the right time to start MBCT. For example, if you have a current drug/alcohol problem or have experienced a recent bereavement or trauma then it is probably best not to start MBCT at the moment.