Mindfulness for health: background

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

The Stress Reduction Clinic was founded in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to reach those patients whom the healthcare system was failing. Since then over 16,000 people have completed The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme, coming with conditions as diverse as coronary artery disease, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, sleep problems, life stress and many more. The programme has also been extended to teach staff and medical students and other programmes have been developed in prisons, schools and for specific problems such as eating disorders.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

In the last 15 years Professor Mark Williams, Dr John Teasdale and Professor Zindel Segal have further developed the programme specifically for the treatment of depression. MBCT is now recommended as a treatment of choice by The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2004, p76) for people who have suffered 3 or more episodes of depression. This programme has also been taught to groups with other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and cancer patients and their carers.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

A programme developed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff in the USA, who have both written books on Self-Compassion. Kristin Neff also developed the widely used Self-Compassion Scale. This course focuses mainly on developing the resources of kindness and self-compassion, upon a foundation of mindfulness training and practice. It is taught as an eight-week program and also offered as a five-day intensive. It is not necessary to have taken a mindfulness course before training in MSC. Its three bases are: recognising: when we suffer; understanding that suffering is part of human life; and learning how we can best bring kindness to ourselves. It gives information about the different elements that are taught, and fosters resource-building through reflective exercises as well as short formal and many informal practices.

You can take the Self-Compassion test for yourself
www.centerformsc.org/learn-msc/take-the-self-compassion-test

For more information, please visit the Center for Mindful Self Compassion website at www.centerformsc.org.

Research

There is an impressive body of research that proves mindfulness-based approaches to be highly effective for a wide range of physical and psychological problems.

Links:

Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness
Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, Massachusetts www.umassmed.edu/cfm
Mood Disorders Centre, University of Exeter www.centres.ex.ac.uk/mood
Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Oxford University www.mbct.co.uk
The Center for Mindful Self Compassion www.self-compassion.org/the-research