Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Learn more about how we can help

The art of ‘mindfulness’ refers to focusing on the present, without making judgement or revisiting the past. There are lots of different reasons why people practise mindfulness, including to reduce stress, get a better night’s sleep and improve overall concentration and focus in everyday life. Our Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course is an online group run by TALKWORKS therapists. It contains 8 sessions, plus an initial group orientation session. The aim of the course is to improve your wellbeing and help you to form a great sense of connection; both with yourself and those around you.

What is MBCT?

MBCT involves a combination of meditation and cognitive therapy to support people who are keen to find ways of preventing recurrence of depression. Our course teaches participants how to respond to their feelings and emotions in a different way, to enhance the quality of their day-to-day life. MBCT is a form of therapy that can help people who have had depression in the past to stay well. It is also something that we offer as a treatment option for less severe depression, because it looks at how we can be more aware of the unhelpful patterns of negative thoughts and self-defeating behaviour, and what changes we can make to overcome these difficulties. 

What does the MBCT course consist of?

Our MBCT course consists of a combination of regular meditation, gentle movement and other practices which will help you to learn more about how to be in the present and have a non-judgemental stance. As well as the practices, participants will learn how they can bring mindfulness and awareness into their day-to-day lives. This will be supported both by dialogue in the sessions and by practising at home with the help of audio meditation practices and written hand-outs. Prior to joining the course, you will be able to meet with one of our mindfulness practitioners to hear more about what is involved and ask any questions that you may have.

How can the MBCT course help me?

The classes and the homework assignments that we set teach you to be more fully aware and present in each moment of your life. During the course, you’ll learn more about how to manage current difficulties in your life through practising mindfulness. This will help to reduce low mood and help prevent future episodes of depression, leaving you with a greater sense of calm. You’ll not only be supported by our therapists during the course, but you’ll also receive support from others who are participating in the group with you.

What do previous participants have to say about the course?

People who have joined our MBCT course have said that it has helped to halt the downward spiral into depression, because of the range of tools and techniques that they can apply when they feel themselves struggling. They’ve spoken about how they have found value in meeting others in the group who have can relate to, and they also described how the course has helped them to develop a more accepting relationship to bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts.

How do I join?

If you would like to find out more about this course, please email dpt.talkworks@nhs.net and a member of the team will be in touch.

In order to join our MBCT course, you must complete an initial assessment with a TALKWORKS practitioner. You can arrange an assessment by referring yourself for support by calling 0300 555 3344 (our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am – 4:45pm) or by completing an online self-referral form

When you request to join our MBCT course, you’ll be referred for a mindfulness-assessment session with one of the course facilitators. In this appointment, the practitioner will ask you some questions to understand your difficulties so that they can ensure that the course is well suited to your needs. If you then continue with the course, the sessions will take place each week for 2¼ hours at a time. The group sizes of each session are deliberately kept small, with a maximum of 12 participants at one time. Participants will also be required to practise in their own home each day for around 40 minutes at a time.

What if MBCT isn’t quite right for me?

All of the therapies offered within TALKWORKS are designed to help with mild-to-moderate, common mental health problems. MBCT is a NICE recommended treatment for mild depression and for helping people who have recovered from depression to stay well. Individuals currently experiencing more severe depression or an additional anxiety disorder are likely to find other forms of one-to-one therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, more helpful. Our MBCT groups may also be less suitable where individuals experience difficulties in keeping themselves safe, in maintaining daily functioning, or with the home practice commitment to practicing mindfulness between sessions. TALKWORKS is also a signposting service. If you self-refer to TALKWORKS and the help we offer isn’t quite right for, you will be able to talk with us, and we will be able to help you and find a service that is best placed to meet your needs.