‘To me, it's like a little box of tricks’: Breaking the depressive interlock as a programme participant in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Article


Murphy, H. and Lahtinen, Marika 2014. ‘To me, it's like a little box of tricks’: Breaking the depressive interlock as a programme participant in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. 88 (2), pp. 210-226.
AuthorsMurphy, H. and Lahtinen, Marika
Abstract

Objectives. Mindfulness meditation practices have become increasingly popular in clinical therapies, changing patterns of depressogenic thinking for individuals who experience consecutive episodes of depression. We were interested in finding out how Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) worked for programme participants by focussing on how meditative practices changed their relationships to their thoughts.

Design. Data for the study came from six semi-structured research interviews carried out with individuals who had taken part in an 8 week MBCT programme

Methods. We used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to analyse the experiential accounts.

Results. We report on two superordinate themes – Engaging the Neutral Mind (with subordinate themes ‘breaking the paralysis of worry’ and ‘choosing to think differently’) and Experiencing the Neutral Mind (with subordinate themes of ‘reflection on previous thinking styles’ and ‘becoming psychologically self-reliant’).

Conclusions. Themes from the present study offer support to the assertion that mindfulness meditation helps facilitate a different mode of meta-cognitive processing with which to handle depression-related cognitions.

Practitioner Points
Participants reported that they experienced an enhanced capacity to differentiate between their thought processes, experiencing an ability to tolerate some more uncomfortable thoughts and experiencing a/more choice in how to respond to thoughts

Participants recognised that ruminating over negative thoughts was related to depressive states and experienced a shift in meta-cognitive processes that actively challenged depressogenic cognitions

Participants became more psychologically self-reliant and therapeutically independent following MBCT

Integrating mindfulness based practices in therapy may be a mediating factor in sustaining psychological wellbeing and may help clients develop self-compassion

Future research looks to examining exit cases to understand elements of MBCT which are experienced as less successful by clients

JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Journal citation88 (2), pp. 210-226
ISSN14760835
Year2014
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/papt.12041
Publication dates
Print02 Sep 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jun 2015
Accepted02 Sep 2014
Copyright information© 2014 The British Psychological Society. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: ‘To me, it's like a little box of tricks’: Breaking the depressive interlock as a programme participant in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/papt.12041. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving
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