Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy affects self-criticism and self-assurance in individuals with depression

Lifestyle

Findings from a recent study of individuals with depression suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can improve how patients feel about themselves in difficult situations in ways that may help protect against relapse of depressive symptoms. The findings are published in Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.

For the study, 68 individuals were randomized the MBCT or a waiting list. Patients who received MBCT were more likely to experience reductions in feelings of self-inadequacy and improvements in self-reassurance. Also, individuals with improvements in self-reassurance were less likely to experience depressive relapse within 2 years after the MBCT intervention.

“Self-criticism makes people vulnerable to depression. This study shows that MBCT can influence how people relate to themselves, and that being supportive towards oneself protects against depressive relapse,” said corresponding author Elisabeth Schanche, Ph.D., of the University of Bergen, in Norway.