MINDFULNESS BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY (MBCT)
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an approach that connects the
concept of awareness with the ideas of cognitive psychology to solve the psychological problems of patients.
Its main goal is to free patients from addiction to automatically respond to thoughts, emotions and life events.
When we practice awareness, our thoughts are synchronized with what we feel at the moment,
and not with what we pull to the surface from the past or with what we imagine about the future.
It would seem that everything is simple – become aware of yourself at every moment of your life and everything will be the fine.
But our consciousness is wired in such a way that all the time it strives to get carried away either to the future with the
construction of plans, or to the past with regrets about what has been done or about lost opportunities.
However, when a person, or rather their consciousness is not “here and now”, the autopilot takes over.
The concept of “autopilot” is the ability of the mind to perform part of everyday
tasks unconsciously (motor tasks, emotional reactions, mental patterns).
This ability brings, on the one hand, a lot of evolutionary advantages, but, on the other hand,
sometimes creates a significant gap between reality and one’s perception of it, as their mind is not
consciously focused on the present. Identification of those moments when the “autopilot” is inadequate and the
use of awareness in these cases – are the tasks solved by MBCT.
The core of the program is the mastery of the mindfulness meditation skill. Essentially,
it is the training in the regulation of attention. Since one’s attention is an aiming of their energy,
whatever one chooses to direct their attention towards is what one chooses to give power to. When meditating,
one focuses inward. One becomes more in tune with their entire being – Mind, Body and Spirit.
The transfer of attention to sensations in the body, the dispassionate contemplation of thoughts and emotions
should help to recognize the approaching signs of inadequate emotional states and reactions and find an adequate response.
Direct awareness of the processes taking place in the body is considered to be the “door to the present moment” and the
first step to observing thoughts and emotions. Moreover, when attention is inward, the energy is directed away from the
continuous flow of thoughts. Without the power of attention these thoughts are just mental events that come and go. With regular
practice of attention regulation, the electrical charge that has previously used to fire and wire the problematic neural
connections in the brain ceases to exist, and these neural pathways become inactive. As the brain has the ability to
reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life, the practice of mindfulness meditation rewires the
neural pathways in a way that is beneficial to the psychological and physiological health.
Another important concept in MBCT is the difference between the two states of the mind: the state
of “being” and the state of “doing (reacting).” In the “reactive state” the mind focuses on the
difference between the current and desired state of affairs and seeks to reduce this gap by
all means (by striving to master the desired or escape from the unwanted). In the predominance
of this state in everyday life are the roots of our problems. In contrast, the “being” state of the mind is characterized
by attention to the present moment, an inestimable acceptance of what is happening and conscious responses to the
challenges of life (in contrast to the automatic response).
Mastering the meditation of awareness equips one with skills that, if necessary,
can help a person move from the state of “doing” to the state of “being”. Since
we spend most of our time in the “doing” mode, as we continuously analyze the past and plan for the future –
we mostly engage the left – brain hemisphere. Therefore, without practicing mindfulness, the right –
brain hemisphere is hardly stimulated at all, which causes biological imbalance and disharmony in life.
The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation:
- Increased sense of inner peace and emotional stability
- Deep relaxation
- Improved memory
- Heightened intuition and inspiration
- Reduction of the mind chatter
- Increased psychic abilities and sense of spiritual connection
- Speed healing
- More restful sleep
- Release of beneficial hormones related to health and longevity
- Reduction of mental fatigue
- Increase of vibrational frequency