MindWell Psychology NYC, PLLC Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Do you worry about depression coming back?
Do you seem to always feel sad? Are you chronically unhappy? Are you getting frustrated with the effort you are putting into feeling better? Have you had the thought that you are broken or that there is something wrong with you? Do you struggle to focus on the present moment? Is it also difficult to focus on and appreciate the positive moments or experiences that are happening around you? If you do feel better, do you worry that it won’t last? You may also feel that no matter what you do, there is nothing that keeps the depression from coming back.
Experiencing sadness or unhappiness is a normal part of the human experience. Emotions, including sadness, give us information and clues about what we are going through and what is happening in the world around us. Emotions can also motivate us to take appropriate next steps. Life can be painful and experiencing sadness or unhappiness is often part of transitions, losing someone you care about, or another painful event. Sometimes, the sadness or unhappiness may not be caused by anything in particular and you might wonder why it is happening. Typical sadness often comes with feeling tired or lethargic, having the urge to withdraw from life’s activities or to spend time alone, or missing out on the positive or pleasant events that you might have enjoyed before you began to feel sad.
Sadness sometimes turns into depression, or longer lasting or more severe symptoms that can be harder to manage. When this occurs or if depression appears on its’ own, the associated symptoms are best treated by a mental health professional trained to provide treatment specific for depression. Depression is the most common mental health disorder and unfortunately, only a small percentage (22%) of people receive adequate treatment (Hasin, Goodwin, Stinson, & Grant, 2005). Whether you are feeling sad or experiencing unhappiness or depression, we encourage you to seek help.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can help you to respond differently to your sadness in a more effective way.
MBCT and mindfulness therapy at MindWell Psychology NYC, PLLC can help if you are currently experiencing sadness, unhappiness, or depression. MindWell Psychology NYC, PLLC offers mindfulness-based individual therapy as well as an evidence-based 8 week group designed for individuals struggling with recurrent sadness or depression. Unlike typical therapies that treat only the symptoms of a current episode of sadness or depression, MBCT also helps to decrease the chances of having a relapse or recurrence of depression in the future.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help you learn to experience your emotions in a new way that includes observing them without judgment, increasing your ability to be self-compassionate, and not getting stuck in worry thoughts about what you are experiencing. This treatment was created to help individuals change their relationship to their thoughts and feelings in a way that will help them to be less likely to get stuck in a negative cycle that leads to continued feelings of sadness or depression. This treatment is also designed to help you increase your awareness of small pleasures around you and reduce focus on the past and future. In the MindWell Psychology NYC, PLLC MBCT program, we work with our clients to change their relationship to their thoughts and feelings in order to experience more full and joyful lives.
It is common that you may be experiencing depression again.
In fact, many individuals who experience one depressive episode will have another in the future. Knowing this, as well as knowing how difficult it can be to manage life’s challenges, it is important that you learn the skills you need to respond differently to your sadness and depression. We can help you to learn more about how your thoughts affect your feelings and then work to change your response to the thoughts that are causing problems.
We often have problematic thoughts about our thoughts.
This is often the part that maintains depression or keep it coming back. For example, you may wake up and feel sad as many people do, but then have thoughts such as “Why am I feeling this way again? I always feel this way. Nothing will ever help. It is hopeless.” MBCT was developed to help you start to notice and manage these types of thoughts. Specifically, it can help you catch and practice sitting with difficult thoughts, and learn to open up or even welcome these thoughts. This can help to free up new options for how to be effective in responding to your thoughts that don’t perpetuate old cycles and continue to get you stuck.
Sometimes, no matter what we do, we just can’t fix difficult problems.
It can be hard to tolerate problems without being driven to find the solution. Many of us have learned that problems are the “enemy” and therefore believe that once they are gone, everything will be fine. Thinking this way can result in worry and rumination that keeps you focused on your problems and feeling stuck instead of moving forward. MBCT will help you to first recognize how fighting against unwanted thoughts, emotions, urges, or physical sensations can actually create more distress. MBCT will then teach you to observe your experiences and create a new way of relating to them, especially those that are difficult or painful.
You may have tried all different types of therapy but nothing has stopped depression from recurring.
MBCT was developed to help you understand your depression and what maintains it. An important part of the skills we teach are to prevent depression from coming back. You will learn how to notice your specific depression signature (your set of depression symptoms and the order in which they tend to occur), including the first symptoms that typically happen so you can catch it early. You will also learn how to respond effectively so that you prevent it from getting worse, and intervene in what used to be a recurring and unhelpful pattern.
You may have questions about participating in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
-How can talking about depression possibly help me to feel better? In MBCT, you will be supported and validated by other group members and will realize that they are going through the same things you are. This can help you to feel less distressed. Through talking and participating, you will acquire skills and strategies to help you manage your sadness and depression more effectively.
-I have tried many treatments for depression and it just hasn’t worked for me. What is different about this type of therapy? MBCT and MindWell Psychology NYC, PLLC don’t just focus on treating your depression in the moment. We also focus on keeping it from coming back and teach you how to live your life differently in the meantime. We are happy to provide you with additional information about what MBCT is and how it is different from other treatments you may have tried.
-I tried mindfulness or meditation before and it did not or does not work for me. Meditation is one way to practice mindfulness, but you do not have to practice meditation to be mindful. In MBCT, we focus on mindfulness specifically- turning your attention to the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. Mindfulness has a lot of myths associated with it. One is that you have to ‘clear your mind’ in order to do it ‘correctly.’ In reality, mindfulness is about taking the time to think about the present moment. As long as you are paying attention to what your mind is doing, you’re being mindful! There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it.
-I don’t want to focus on my depressive thoughts because I think it might make my depression worse. It makes sense that this is a concern of yours. The problem with not focusing on your depressive thoughts is that over time, they often come back louder and more intensely. MBCT teaches you how to learn to sit with and tolerate them instead of pushing them away, which makes life easier and reduces your suffering. We will teach you the necessary techniques and strategies to learn to do this effectively.
You Can Free Yourself from Sadness and Suffering
MBCT is an evidence-based treatment, meaning that it is supported by research and has been found to help individuals struggling with the things you are dealing with. At MindWell Psychology NYC, PLLC, we will learn more about what you have been experiencing and come up with a psychotherapy treatment plan that meets your needs. Our clinicians have training and expertise in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and utilize their knowledge in an effective way that can help you to reach your goals.
If you are having a difficult time managing sadness, unhappiness, or depression or are understandably frustrated with the experience of having recurring depression, please contact us via phone 646-809-5440 or by clicking the link below. You can ask questions, schedule an initial appointment, or schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our clinicians. We are happy to answer questions you have about MBCT, the therapy process, or any other concerns you may have.