A 9-week program for coping with anxiety, depression and emotional distress. In this program, you will learn to access and cultivate your natural capacity to actively engage in caring for yourself and find greater balance, ease and peace of mind.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is an evidence based treatment approach developed by Drs. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale that has been proven effective for reducing stress and anxiety and preventing relapse in those who suffer from depression. It combines the practice of mindfulness with the skills of cognitive therapy. Mindfulness is about paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment without judgement. The core principles and skills of mindfulness facilitate greater awareness and acceptance of thoughts, emotions and sensations which help us break free from automatic, habitual responses that are often unhelpful to our well-being. Mindfulness also cultivates compassion towards ourselves and others. Cognitive therapy is designed to interrupt negative and unhealthy thought patterns that lead to depressive and anxious spirals.
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What to expect
The first week is devoted to a group orientation where an overview of the program will be provided. During this session, we will also meet briefly with you (10-15 minutes) individually to help make sure that the program will be beneficial for you. The duration of this orientation session is approximately 3 hours with participation being a requirement for enrollment in the program.
After the orientation session of the MBCT program, participants will then meet as a group with a facilitator(s) once a week for 8 weeks. Each session is 2.5 hours long. In addition to these sessions there will be one all-day mindfulness retreat held on a weekend between weeks 5 and 7. Each session is organized around a theme that is explored through short talks, experiential exercises, group inquiry and mindfulness meditation practices. Participants will be provided materials (handouts and audio) to support what they are learning in the classes and for use during home practice. Commitment to home practice is an essential component for participation in and effectiveness of the program. This home practice will take approximately an hour a day, six days a week, for eight weeks and involves such tasks as listening to audios, meditation and performing brief exercises.
The MBCT program will teach you specific techniques aimed at reducing anxiety and depression as well as how to cope with emotional distress as it arises.
In addition, the program is aimed at helping you:
- become familiar with the workings of your mind
- notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in old habits of mind that re-activate anxious and downward mood spirals
- explore ways of releasing yourself from those old habits and, if you choose, enter a different way of being
- get in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world
- notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head
- be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different all the time, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals
- find a way so you don’t have to battle with yourself all the time
- accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself all the time
Our therapeutic groups are small (about 12-13 people).
Who should attend
This program is for anyone who is experiencing moderate depression or anxiety or has a history of depression. It is also for those who are interested in learning a set of strategies designed to help manage mood and promote long term wellness. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this program.
This program is not recommended for individuals currently suffering from severe depression or psychosis.
All participants must be free of substance misuse.
Participants can use our meditation Zafu cushions and yoga mats during the sessions or are welcome to bring their own. Chairs will also be available. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable causal clothing. Handouts and audio materials will be provided and are included in the program fee.
Fee: $560* (HST included).
*The MBCT program is not covered under MSI. However, those with extended healthcare benefits (i.e., private health insurance) may be eligible for reimbursement. Please contact your health insurance provider for details as to whether therapeutic group sessions offered by a Registered Psychologist are covered.
Note that any fees not paid by medical insurance may be tax deductible as a medical expense.
In order to make our therapeutic groups more accessible to everyone, payment plans are available for those who require it. A valid credit card is required for this option.
Please be aware of our payment, cancellation and refund policies.
Completed registrations indicate understanding and acceptance of our Payment, Cancellation and Refund Policy.
Enrollment is limited as our groups are small (about 12-13 people). Pre-registration is required.