MBCT - Is It More Effective Than Antidepressants? | Chris Kresser

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) More Effective Than Antidepressants


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Each week, it seems, more and more evidence pours in demonstrating the effectiveness of non-drug treatments for depression.

In a study, published December 1, 2008 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, MBCT proved as effective as maintenance anti-depressants in preventing a relapse and more effective in enhancing peoples’ quality of life. The study also showed MBCT to be as cost-effective as prescription drugs in helping people with a history of depression stay well in the longer-term.

Over the 15 months after the trial, 47% of the group following the MBCT course experienced a relapse compared with 60% of those continuing their normal treatment, including anti-depressant drugs. In addition, the group on the MBCT programme reported a higher quality of life, in terms of their overall enjoyment of daily living and physical well-being.

MBCT was developed by a team of psychologists from Toronto (Zindel Segal), Oxford (Mark Williams) and Cambridge (John Teasdale) in 2002 to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression. It focuses on targeting negative thinking and aims to help people who are very vulnerable to recurring depression stop depressed moods from spiraling out of control into a full episode of depression.

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  1. I don’t believe in pills. Some people seem to think it can fix anything these days. I have a copy of a book on mindfulness based CBT by my bed that I just started reading, so this is good news.

  2. oh and I should say it addressed anxiety too…it’s completely changed the life of someone I know who was agoraphobic…

    the text books are much better, in my opinion, than the workbooks for anyone who has studied psychology at all.

  3. are you familiar with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? (ACT)

    it too is mindfulness based and I’m finding people respond to it very well.

  4. Hello, This comment is regarding an older post about Vitamin K2. I am curious if there is a particular supplement that you would recommend? Have you tried Natto? Not sure it would work for me. 🙂 Thanks, Liz