Mindfulness based cognitive therapy : a two-part investigation of the benefits and challenges for mental health professionals.

Prof Doc Thesis

de Zoysa, Nicole 2006. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy : a two-part investigation of the benefits and challenges for mental health professionals. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London
Authorsde Zoysa, Nicole
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There has been a growing interest in incorporating mindfulness into clinical
interventions in medicine and psychology (Baer, 2003). One such approach is
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (Segal et aL, 2002). The mindfulness
component of this treatment approach has its roots in Eastern meditative practices,
which has implicationsf or practitioners as well as clients. The focus of this research is
the relationship between MBCT and mental health professionals' personal and
professional development. This was explored in two related studies.
Study 1 used a repeated measures design to assess changes in mindfulness and
psychological well-being in mental health professionals 18 months after attending an
MBCT programme. Results showed that some of the improvements found at 3-month
follow-up (by Ruths et al., 2005) had persisted at 18-month follow-up. The
relationship between these improvements and other variables such as meditation
practice and life events was less straightforward.
Study 2 was a qualitative study which used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
to explore the personal and professional experiences of Clinical Psychologists after
attending the MBCT programme cited above. Participants reported continued use of
meditation techniques in an informal or ad hoc way and this was associated with
improved psychological functioning. In terms of professional development,
participants introduced mindfulness into their clinical work in a tentative way and
spoke about the challenges and benefits of this integration. Separating mindfulness
from its spiritual roots was not viewed as problematic, within the context of a credible
evidence base.
In conclusion, MBCT appears to benefit mental health professionals as well as clients.
The relationship between the development of mindfulness and the need for formal
practice is questioned by the research. The accounts of Clinical Psychologists provide
useful insights into how a spiritual 'technology' is being integrated into the NHS. The
implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

KeywordsMindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy; mental health professionalls; personal and professional development
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1277
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Publication process dates
Deposited11 May 2011
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