Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Structure of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

SESSION 1: Stepping out of Automatic Pilot

Rationale

· Mindfulness starts when we recognise the tendency to be on automatic pilot

· Commitment to learning how to step out of it and become aware of each moment

· Practice in purposefully moving attention round the body

Structure

· Class Orientation (Welcome, Format, Intentions)

· Ground Rules

· Introductions

· Raisin exercise (Eating Meditation)

· Body scan

Homework

o Body scan

o Mindfulness of routine activity

o ‘Noticing’


SESSION 2: Dealing with Barriers

Rationale

· Further focus on the body begins to show more clearly the chatter of the mind, noticing and letting go

· This chatter tends to control our reactions to everyday events:

Situation + Interpretation _ Emotion, body sensations, behaviour (thoughts are not facts)

Structure

· Body scan practice

· Home practice review

· Thoughts/feelings exercise

· Pleasant experiences diary

· Sitting Meditation introducing posture

· Explanation of homework and handouts

· Closing

Homework

o Body scan

o Sitting meditation with focus on breath (10-15 mins)

o Pleasant experiences diary

o Routine activity

o ‘Noticing’


SESSION 3: Mindfulness of the Breath

Rationale

· Becoming familiar with the behaviour of the mind (often be busy and scattered)

· Awareness of the breath offers a possibility of being more focussed and gathered (an anchor to the present

moment)

· Categorising experiences vs. describing bare sensations

· Mindful movement: Yoga, stretching, walking

Structure

· Mindful movement

· Home practice review

· Breathing space

· Stretch & Breath

· Explanation of homework and handouts

· Closing

Homework

o Stretch & breath/mindful movement

o Unpleasant experiences diary

o 3-minute breathing space

o Walking

o ‘Noticing’


SESSION 4: Staying Present

Rationale

· The mind is most scattered when trying to cling to some things and avoid others, staying present, another way of

relating to experience

· Mindfulness offers a way to stay present by providing another place from which to view things

· To help take a wider perspective/relate differently to experience (including thoughts/feelings)

· Recognizing the territory of depression

Structure

· Hearing/seeing meditation

· Home practice review

· Defining the territory of depression

· Breathing space

· Mindful walking

· Explanation of homework and handouts

· Closing

Homework

o Sitting meditation

o Walking meditation

o 3-minute breathing space (regular)

o 3-minute breathing space (additional)

o ‘Noticing’


SESSION 5: Acceptance, Holding, Allowing, Letting Be

Rationale

· Relating differently, bringing to experience a sense of allowing it to be as it is, without judging it or trying to

make it different, accepting our experience, even if we don’t like it or would rather it was not there

· Such an attitude of acceptance is a major part of taking care of oneself and seeing clearly what, if anything,

needs to change

Structure

· Sitting meditation: sitting with the difficult

· Home practice review

· The territory of despair

· Expanded breathing space

· ‘Vicious flower’ exercise

· Expanded breathing space

· Explanation of homework and handouts

· Closing

Homework

o Sitting meditation: sitting with the difficult

o Expanded breathing space

o ‘Noticing’


SESSION 6: Thoughts Are Not Facts

Rationale

· Negative moods and thoughts that accompany them colour our ability to relate to experience

· It is liberating to realise that our thoughts are merely thoughts – we can choose whether to engage with them

· Thoughts are just thoughts – even the ones that say they are not

· Recognising that the same patterns of thought recur again and again can help us to stand back from our

thoughts, without necessarily having to question them and seek alternatives

Structure

· Sitting Meditation

· Home practice review

· Breathing space

· Identifying relapse signatures

· Breathing space

· Alternative perspectives (the office photocopier)

· Options for working with thoughts

· Explanation of homework and handouts

· Closing

Homework

o Selection of practices

o Regular breathing space

o Additional breathing space

o ‘Noticing’


SESSION 7: How Can I Best Take Care of Myself?

Rationale

· Specific things can be done when depression threatens

· Take a breathing space first, and then decide what action (if any) to take

· Each person has his or her own unique relapse signature

· Participants in the classes can help each other to plan how best to respond to the signs

Structure

· Sitting meditation

· Home practice review

· Activity and mood (nourishing vs. depleting activities)

· Breathing space

· Identifying relapse signatures

· Breathing space

· Explanation of homework and handouts

· Closing

Homework

o Ongoing practice: choosing pattern that you can make part of your life

o Breathing space and action step: what do I need to do right now to take care of myself

o Experimenting with changing patterns of nourishing and depleting activities

o Relapse signatures: concrete action plan


SESSION 8: Using What You Have Learned to Deal with Future Moods

Rationale

· Maintaining balance in life is helped by regular mindfulness practice, preparing for the future, the end of the

beginning, not the beginning of the end

· Good intentions can be strengthened by linking the practice with + reasons for taking care of oneself

Structure

· Body scan

· Homework review

· Reflections on the course

· Preparing for the future

· Explanation of handouts

· Concluding meditation

Subscribe

Sign up to hear from us about new courses, special offers, and events.