The MBCT Program
The practice of mindfulness meditation allows you to pay close attention to the present moment, noting your thoughts, feelings and body sensations with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment. This non-reactive stance on your experience creates the possibility of working more wisely with sadness, fear and worry, emotions that are central to preventing depression.
In the MBCT program, participants meet together as a class (with an instructor) for 8 weekly, 2 hour classes plus one all day session between weeks 5 and 7. The main ‘work’ of the program is done at home between classes, using CDs with guided meditations that support participants’ developing practice outside of class. In each class, you have an opportunity to talk about your experiences with the home practices, the obstacles that inevitably arise, and how to deal with them skilfully. Each class is organized around a theme that is explored through both group inquiry and mindfulness practice.
The specific themes addressed in the program are:
Class 1: Automatic Pilot, Class 2: Dealing with Barriers, Class 3: Mindfulness of the Breath, Class 4: Staying Present, Class 5: Allowing and Letting Be, Class 6: Thoughts are Not Facts, Class 7: How Can I Best Take Care of Myself, Class 8: Using What’s Been Learned to Deal with Future Moods.
Over the eight weeks of the program, the practices help you:
- to become familiar with the workings of your mind.
- to notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in old habits of mind that re-activate downward mood spirals.
- to explore ways of releasing yourself from those old habits and, if you choose, enter a different way of being.
- to put you in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world
- to notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head.
- to be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals.
- to find a way so you don’t have to battle with yourself all the time.
- to accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time.