The most frequently asked questions about MBCT
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is suitable for you if you want to enhance your general physical and mental wellbeing. That all sounds positive but we know you’ll have questions or maybe concerns before enrolling on such a programme. So we've listed below the answers to the most-common ones, but if there is something specific you’d like to know, just get in touch.
Q. What exactly is mindfulness?
A. Mindfulness is about increasing your awareness so that, when you are mindful, you pay attention to things as they are, rather than how you wish them to be. Instead of ruminating on the past, which you can't change, or worrying about the future and things that may or may not happen, mindfulness keeps you grounded in what’s happening now rather than being lost in your thoughts.
Q. What does it involve?
A. At its’ heart, mindfulness training teaches you to pay attention to the present moment through simple breathing and meditation practices. This increases your awareness of thoughts and feelings and boosts your levels of attention and concentration.
Q. How might a course help?
A. Everyone is mindful some of the time. Lots of people do meditation, quiet contemplation or times of stillness. Yet many of these people also say that even though they find these times beneficial to their wellbeing, they wish they could do it more often. The 8-week MBCT course is a well-established and scientifically-proven way of training your ‘meditation muscles’ by offering a programme which helps you understand and develop the wellbeing benefits of mindfulness. It provides a structured process with a group of people supported by regular practice. Just like training your physical muscles, your meditation muscles need to be trained at home too to get the most from the course.
Q. Can I benefit from mindfulness if I have not been clinically depressed?
A. Yes. You can benefit from mindfulness whether you have a specific problem or not. We all have times in our lives when we experience difficulty, stress and struggle - for some of us this is our daily experience. Mindfulness helps us see with greater clarity how we may approach our moment-by-moment experience skilfully. It helps us take more pleasure in the good things that often go unnoticed or unappreciated, and deal more effectively with the difficulties we encounter, both real and imagined.
Q. Do I have to discuss my personal life?
A. No. People are encouraged in the group just to share their experience of the mindfulness practices, if they are comfortable to do so, but no more than that.
Q. What if I fall asleep?
A. No need to worry if that happens, and we do offer tips and ideas for doing the practices in a way that helps you ‘fall awake!’
Q. Do I have to be a very spiritual person?
A. No. The course is a secular course so it’s open to anyone whether they have a faith or consider themselves a spiritual person or not.