Mindfulness Group Therapy MGT is as good as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT

Group Therapy
Group Therapy

Article in PsychCentral

An article by Traci Pedersen in PsychCentral reports that researchers at the Centre for Primary Health Care Research (CPF) in Malmo, Sweden in collaboration with Lund University have found Mindfulness Group Therapy MGT just as effective as individual CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, aggression and paranoid ideation.

How were psychiatric symptoms measured?

Researchers looked at a wide range of psychiatric symptoms (measured by several types of questionnaires) and studied how these symptoms responded to treatment, either with mindfulness in group therapy or individual CBT.

They found that the average score for all 15 different subscales/indexes in the various questionnaires decreased significantly in both scales. The various scales measured, among others, symptoms of depression, general anxiety, stress and somatization, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, aggression, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism.

They found no difference in treatment outcomes between the two groups.

How many patients and which area

The study was an eight-week randomised controlled trial involving 215 patients from 16 different healthcare centres across Scania in southern Sweden. Psychiatric symptoms were measured by several types of questionnaire. The new findings are published in the journal European Psychiatry.

“Our new research shows that mindfulness group therapy has the equivalent effect as individual CBT for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms that are common among this patient group,” says Professor Jan Sundquist, who led the research group in the study which has been published in European Psychiatry.

Meditation better than drugs

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On the back of my recent posting about mindfulness therapy being better than anti-depressants, neuroscience has provided more information.

According to Eric Barker of Barking Up the Wrong Tree there are four actions that can help when you are feeling low;

  1. Ask “what am I grateful for?”
  2. Name the awfulness
  3. Decide what to do next
  4. Reach out to someone (don’t text – touch)

Mindfulness meditation helps you to recognise unhelpful thoughts and helps you change the way you look at things. Once you change the way you look at things the feelings associated change.

Mindfulness Therapy better than anti-depressants.

sunset-129503_1920Clinical trials of psychotherapy using mindfulness with anti-depressants have shown that therapy using mindfulness on its own produces better results.

Larry Davidson Ph.D Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University refers in Mad in America an on-line magazine for Science,Psychiatry and Community to results published in The Journal Psychotherapy and Psychometrics: The Two-Sided Face of Anti-depressants: The Impacts of Their Use on Real-Life Affective Change during Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Researchers from Maastricht University and University of Groningen found that the participants in a randomized control trial for MBCT who showed the greatest improvement were those who had not taken antidepressants.

“Since the generation of positive emotions is crucial in the initiation of a positive spiral towards recovery, long-term outcomes of this contingent inhibiting effect of antidepressants on psychotherapy outcome in terms of positive affect will have to be investigated in more detail in experimental set-ups”

the researchers conclude.

The researchers explain that antidepressants are known to reduce the neural processing of both rewarding and aversive stimuli, causing “emotional blunting,” and that this may prevent the generation of positive emotions that are essential for therapy.

“If our findings are replicated it would implicate that the sequential addition of psychotherapy to antidepressants could be less efficient than discontinuing antidepressants before/during receiving psychotherapy especially for improving long-term outcomes.”

Mindfulness – alternative life style choice or a powerful therapy

Dawn Foster of the Guardian in her piece “Is mindfulness making us ill?” of 23rd January discusses the explosion of interest in mindfulness courses as a technique of choice popular to employers. Mindfulness courses range from smart phone apps to three day mindfulness as part of a training programme. Dawn refers to a number of cases where side-effects have profoundly effected peoples lives leaving them disturbed, open, and vulnerable.

She states that there are dangers in way that mindfulness is marketed as an alternative lifestyle choice rather than a powerful form of therapy. The Karuna Institute a UKCP member led by Maura Sills provides an accredited psychotherapy training using mindfulness. Mindfulness has been taught and used in therapeutic relationship within Core Process Psychotherapy for thirty years.

The Psychotherapist

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Rosswell Gadsden Supervisor Counsellor and Psychotherapist-min
Rosswell Gadsden  Mindfulness based Psychotherapist

Mindfulness based Psychotherapist

Your psychotherapist offers an approach to working through issues using mindfulness based psychotherapy.

Backgound

Training began at Karuna Institute in 1993, and was first accredited as a psychotherapist by the UKCP through its Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College HIPC to practice as a Core Process Psychotherapist in 2003. Karuna has taught and championed the use of mindfulness particularly in the relationship to develop a therapeutic alliance. Maura Sills a Director of The Karuna Institute has taught, and supported using mindfulness in psychotherapy for over 25 years in the United Kingdom.

As a Core Process Psychotherapist training began at the Karuna Institute completing the foundation year then moving onto the Professional Diploma. After accruing sufficient client hours working as a psychotherapist, I accredited through the Karuna Institute with the UKCP, then studied for and completed a Master of Arts in Core Process Psychotherapy in 2002.

I have been a UKCP approved Supervisor, Psychotherapist and Counsellor in Southampton since 2003. I work with couples having completed the ‘Key to Couples Work’ with Jennie Miller which offers a TA approach.

Supervisor, Psychotherapist and Counsellor since 2003

Earlier in life, l studied and worked as an Systems Engineer becoming interested in Spirituality, Buddhism, Personal Development, Social and Ecological Responsibility. Training firstly as a Counsellor, then as a Psychotherapist and finally as a Secondary School Teacher. My abode is in Shirley Southampton, Hampshire with my wife and our two children. I see clients as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist in Private Practice.

I completed a Certificate in Mindfulness Supervision with OPAL (Organisation People and Learning). Presently I offer supervision at a reduced rate. Individual and small group Supervision is offered renting rooms at the Romney Centre Southampton. I have membership of the Hampshire Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy HACP.

Psychotherapy Practice

Currently, I rent rooms at the Romney Centre in Southampton which is in the Avenue. Individual clients are for 50 minute hours weekly, and couples normally for 90 minutes sessions on a fortnightly basis. Please call the Romney Centre to make an appointment or email me for availability.