All about mindfulness (MBCT) and depression

Professor Mark Wiliiams

Professor Mark Williams

Following a discussion at the Practice about some of the ways that depression can be addressed it was surprising how little mindfulness was mentioned. Bearing in mind that it is so very effective and bearing in mind that it can be ‘pharma-free’ and that it’s been around for so long – a few thousand years in its traditional form and about 20 years in its modern form wedded to CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) –  and that it’s effective against some relapse, it should have been at the forefront of the discussion. It’s certainly one of the most prominent treatments and has even been called ‘fashionable’ (in which case it is a very classic fashion) which rather ignores the unusually convincing and solid evidence base.

A really good introduction to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and one that can be listened to, rather than read, is provided in a series of podcasts by Prof Mark Williams of Oxford Uni’s Mindfulness Research Centre. He and Dr Danny Penman explore what depression is, what mindfulness and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is, and its effectiveness as a treatment, backed up with research and evidence.

If you have access to an mp3 player the series is really worth a listen and, of course, you don’t have to be depressed to benefit from being mindful; listen to this series and you’ll see what we mean.

The New Psychology of Depression: