Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy combines mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques to help reduce depression. Evidence demonstrates it can be as effective as anti-depressants in preventing relapse.

What is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy?

The eight-week course helps participants develop greater awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and experiences which in turn helps cultivate resilience and reduce depression and anxiety. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was designed specifically to help people who experience repeated episodes of depression to prevent relapse. MBCT is now recognised as an effective treatment for existing mild to moderate depression (not just to prevent relapse). And there is increasing evidence that shows it could be effective for other mental health issues and to improve wellbeing and resilience.

What can I expect?

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy takes the form of eight weekly sessions, with audio recorded guided meditations for participants to practice at home throughout the programme. We include an orientation session at the beginning of the programme, to enable potential participants to decide if mindfulness is for them.

Each weekly class is two hours. Typically, each class starts with a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness practice involves bringing our attention to our present-moment experience, as best we can. For example, we might pay attention to bodily sensations. Each mindfulness practice is followed by a discussion of people’s experiences during the practice. Classes include other relevant exercises to help increase understanding about the way the mind works.

We aim to create a friendly and supportive atmosphere in the classes. No one is asked to do anything they don’t want to. For example, if you prefer not to speak in front of the whole class, it is fine just to listen to the other participants. There is normally some smaller group work, or discussion in pairs. The size of the class can vary and is likely to be between 6 and 12 people. The course is enhanced by 20 to 40 minutes of home practice a day for six out of seven days. It is important to consider how you will make time for the home practice, as benefits are directly linked to the amount of time invested. However, it is completely up to the participant to work out what is possible and adapt as needed.

Feedback from participants

Find out how mindfulness helped one member of staff at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in this video below, ‘Mindfulness – a personal journey’.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy courses

If you are member of staff of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust see courses for you advertised on this page.

Find out how to refer yourself or someone else to Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy in Sussex.  

If you would like to do the eight-week course to improve wellbeing, the next courses for members of the public are advertised below.