Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Recurrent Depression

What is MBCT?

So often we are on automatic pilot, reacting to life. Mindfulness involves intentionally stepping out of automatic pilot to be present, aware and responsive. The attention has a quality of curiosity, patience, spaciousness and care.

The 8 week course includes information about depression as well as cognitive therapy-based exercises linking thinking and its resulting impact on feeling. The group-based course is suitable for people with a history of recurrent depression (usually 3 or more previous episodes of depression), who are currently well, wishing to learn tools and techniques focusing on prevention and learning how to take care of themselves. People who have gone through an MBCT course say it can halt the downward spiral into depression. They also describe how the course helped them to develop a more accepting relationship to bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts. Finally, people say they value meeting other people in the group with whom they have a lot in common.

What does the therapy involve?

The course consists of an individual orientation session followed by eight weekly two and a ¼ hour sessions and reunion sessions. Reunions are available to past and current participants of MBCT and MBSR classes. They are an opportunity to engage with other participants and a great refresher to help encourage practice.

Participating in the mindfulness courses requires an on-going commitment. Participants will be asked to attend all sessions, and to practice daily home assignments for approximately 40 minutes per day.

Each group lasts for 8 weeks with weekly attendance for a 2 hours and 15 minute session.

Who is the therapy for?

MBCT is for people who have a history of recurrent depression but are currently well and wanting to find ways of preventing relapse and relating differently to thoughts.

To take part you must;

  • have experience of several episodes of depression
  • not be currently depressed (you may still experience possible residual symptoms)
  • be 18 and over
  • motivated and able to engage in MBCT

How often, when and where do the groups run?

We now offer groups in four locations; Exeter and Barnstaple, Honiton and Tavistock. The Exeter groups are based on the University of Exeter campus within the Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research, and the Barnstaple groups are held at the Barnstaple Library.  Currently the Honiton group runs at the Beehive Centre and the Tavistock group will be held at the Counsellors Southwest CIC premises.

We aim to run at least 8 groups throughout the year across each of these locations.  Patients will be offered a place in the group nearest to their address or where there is availability.

The following groups will run in 2017:

ExeterBarnstableHonitonTavistock
January 2017 January 2017 January 2017 September 2017
March 2017 May 2017 May 2017  
June 2017 January 2018    
September 2017      
January 2018      

This page will be updated with future groups as and when they are arranged, however, our groups run on a regular basis so referrals are always open and we encourage them to be sent continuously throughout the year.

How can I find out more about MBCT?

You can find out more about MBCT and mindfulness approaches via these websites and resources: