MBCT – Mindfulness Training

‘Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy’

Aptly named to reflect two very different but equally effective traditions:

MEDITATION

‘Mindfulness’ is a growing catchphrase which simply means: developing awareness. We all experience moments when we’re suddenly aware; the vividness of details and the potential richness of our lives comes right into focus. Unfortunately, we spend an extraordinary amount of time ‘mindlessly’ planning for the future or dwelling in the past. Meditation – a 2600-year old practice, cultivated all over the world – fosters a sense of balance and emotional stability, and restores the present moment, regardless of what may be happening in our lives.

COGNITIVE THERAPY

‘Cognitive therapy,’ in a nutshell, is traditional psychotherapy. It takes a skill-building approach whereby you and a therapist work together to question your daily assumptions, and explore more flexible ways to think and respond. Modifying distorted beliefs can create drastic changes in your relationship with yourself and others, eventually giving you greater agency so that you can adapt a new way of being.

Meditation and traditional therapy, when combined together, can produce profound transformation and open a world of possibility.

MBCT can be applied to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive worry, irritability
  • Addiction, and stress-related physical issues
  • Those who experience mood spirals, getting stuck, and tend to put immense pressure on themselves to achieve perfectionism
  • People in career transition, either starting or ending a career.
  • Those suffering from Chronic Pain.
  • Those searching for ways to be kinder & more accepting of themselves.
  • Those who want peace in their minds and hearts.
  • Parents who want to be more present for their families and let go of judgments and criticism of themselves as parents.

Perhaps Zindel Segal, a pioneer in the use of mindfulness meditation in the area of psychiatry, explains it best:

As you increase your awareness about thinking itself, you can develop an entirely different
relationship with your thoughts. You don’t need to fight your thoughts, you don’t need to
struggle, and you don’t need to dispute your thinking.
You can develop a more spacious way of holding [your thinking]. And what you’ll find is that it
can really change, in important ways that can reduce suffering.
Developing a practice of mindfulness takes effort, it takes discipline, it takes a certain
commitment, but it has tremendous dividends. People are left with a mosaic of self-care that
involves setting time aside to focus on awareness, on allowing and accepting experience.


MBCT Course Outline  

Week 1:  Awareness and Automatic Pilot:

  • Begin to recognize the tendency to be on automatic pilot
  • Learn how to step out of it and become aware of each moment
  • Learn how to purposefully move attention around the body to show how difficult/easy this can be

Week 2:  Living in Our Heads:

  • Continue to focus on the body to show how the chatter of the mind tends to control our reactions to everyday events
  • Look at how an event/situation + our interpretation leads to our emotion
  • Bring awareness to experience rather than description

Week 3:  Gathering Attention:

  • Bring a closer look at how busy and scattered our minds often are
  • Bring attention intentionally to the breath to practice and experience focus/concentration
  • Mindful Movement, stretching, walking

Week 4:   Recognizing Aversion:

  • Stay with what is; even when it is unpleasant
  • Take a different stance that does not involve avoiding, pushing away, or problem solving; rather fostering a sense of acceptance
  • Use the breath to allow ourselves to see that things do pass or change, often without us having to do anything at all.

Week 5:  Allowing/Letting Be:

  • Relate differently to ‘what is’, without judgement or trying to make it different
  • Look at recurring, unhealthy thoughts, that are the territory of depression and anxiety
  • Cultivate an attitude of acceptance to take care of ourselves to see what, if anything, needs to change

Week 6:  Thoughts Are Not Facts:

  • Investigate negative moods and the thoughts that accompany them
  • Use this awareness to liberate us from believing thoughts are concrete facts
  • Choose to work with an attitude of investigation, curiosity, and kindness for thoughts that have a strong emotion pull on us

Week 7: “How Can I Best Take Care of Myself”:

  • Investigate our unique warning signs of depression and anxiety to recognize and interrupt their usual process of taking over
  •  Continue to use breathing space first to decide what action, if any, to take

Week 8:  Maintaining and Extending New Learning:

  • Create a toolbox for the future
  • How to continue the practice on your own

 

NOTE: Each call will include a sitting, lying down, or movement meditation and/or a written exercise.  Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a notebook and pen.


Our facilitator is a seasoned meditation practitioner with over 15 years of experience in mindfulness/contemplative studies.  She trained at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto founded by Dr. Zindel Segal.  Cindy has also mentored with Dr. Valerie Thompson of the Cambridge Mind Body Institute.

Program Details:

  • 8 week program running once per week
  • 2.5 hour session each week
  • full day mindfulness practice between weeks 5 and 6
  • $575 which includes all course materials. 
  • Some insurance companies now cover MBCT.  Please check with your insurance provider.
  • Follow-up full day mindfulness practice for graduates of the program at no extra cost.

Payment Policy:

  • $100 deposit is required to hold our spot.  We accept cash, e-transfer, or cheque.
  • Payment is due at the start of the first session.
  • Full refund of deposit if cancellation occurs 7 days prior to start of group.
  • No refund available once group has started and full payment is made.

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