The MBCT programme is an eight week evening course that is beneficial for sufferers of depression, anxiety and stress (see information below*). Through a variety of techniques, the course helps individuals to learn the art and practice of mindfulness and, subsequently, the ability to disengage from difficult thoughts. The programme combines mindfulness meditation with elements of cognitive therapy to aid the participant to foster stability and balance in their daily life. Mr Richard Gilpin is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at the hospital, who has a special interest, both theoretical and practical, in mindfulness and has published research on the origins and applications of MBCT. Richard is the driving force behind the programme.
He said: "Mindfulness is the ability to bring awareness of exactly what is happening in the mind and body as it is occurring, rather than getting caught up in future worries and concerns, or in past regrets and ruminations.
Through engaging with the programme, listening to CDs and practising between sessions, participants can develop this way of being and see mood-lowering patterns of mind more clearly, thus enabling a greater sense of calm and commitment in their lives.
People who undertake this course can gain lasting benefits such as a greater capacity for relaxation, an increased ability to handle difficult situations and a sense of being more present to their moment-to-moment experience. This has a positive impact on everyday life and relationships.
Other psychological benefits include a heightened sense of patience and what psychologists call a 'beginner's mind', which is a willingness to see everything as if for the first time.
Participants on our MBCT programme at the Priory will receive extensive guidance and support as the course is delivered in a structured group environment."
The course at the Priory Hospital Brighton and Hove is running throughout the year.
Places can be booked and enquires made by contacting Chris Lennard on 01273 747464.
*Evidence for the effectiveness of MBCT The National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) now recommends MBCT for all people who have had two or more depressive episodes. Research is ongoing in a wide variety of mental health problems. Evidence from clinical trials currently tells us that (i) MBCT is more effective than maintenance doses of antidepressants in preventing a relapse in depression; (ii) approximately 75% of people taking an MBCT course alongside antidepressants were able to come off their medication within 15 months; (iii) MBCT is able to reduce the severity of symptoms for people currently experiencing an episode of depression; (iv) MBCT can successfully reduce insomnia in people with anxiety disorders; (v) dependence on alcohol, caffeine, illegal drugs and prescription medication can be reduced through engagement with the practices taught on MBCT courses.