Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a cognitive behavioural approach that integrates the practice of mindfulness meditation with the more traditional techniques used in cognitive therapy.

What is MBCT?

The word mindfulness can be defined as ‘being in the present moment with intention’ or ‘the state of being conscious or aware of something’.


Mindfulness has become increasingly part of western therapies as a desirable skill to cultivate in order to facilitate mental wellbeing. As a therapeutic technique, mindfulness attempts to bring about a mental state that is achieved by focusing one’s awareness in the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.


As a therapeutic approach, MBCT is designed to help people who suffer from repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. The focus of this therapy is to help the client understand the modes of the mind that often underpin mood disorders and develop a new relationship to them.


This therapy is often delivered in a group format though it can also be a model utilised in individual therapy.

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What can I expect in MBCT?

  • MBCT will help you understand what depression is
  • It will help you understand what makes you vulnerable to negative mood spirals
  • It will help you make sense of the connection between negative spirals and the ways we might put ourselves under pressure, lose touch with what is meaningful in our lives or become dominated by high standards and are left feeling as though we are ‘not good enough’
  • Mindfulness will help you see these patterns in the mind more clearly and learn how to spot your mood changing so that you ‘nip them in the bud’ at a much earlier stage
  • Mindfulness will teach you how to refocus your mind on being in the present moment rather than become overly focused on either regrets of the past or worries about the future
  • Mindfulness will help you cultivate a non-judgemental approach to your life and greater self-compassion

Mindfulness can be an incredibly valuable skill to cultivate even for individuals who might not be suffering from depression but might wish to increase their psychological resilience and lead a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Frequently asked questions

You are likely to be offered MBCT if you suffer from recurrent episodes of depression or if you are generally struggling with high levels of stress in your everyday life. A mindfulness-based approach to therapy will help you focus on the present moment and develop a different relationship with your mind and difficult thoughts.

In CBT, the focus is on helping you challenge and change negative thoughts. There is an assumption that through changing your thoughts patterns, your emotions and symptoms will also be alleviated. We would generally offer you MBCT when CBT hasn’t been effective and if you already rationally understand that your thoughts don’t have validity but you’re still having difficulties letting go of them. In these cases, mindfulness can help you develop a different relationship to your thoughts.

MBCT is usually delivered as an 8 week intervention. In some cases, your psychologist might offer a longer term intervention which will depend on the nature of your difficulties.

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Athena Lazaridou

Athena is a Pilates instructor with 8 years’ experience in the field. After completing a Power Pilates Mat Certification in Athens, she went on to complete the Full Comprehensive Classical Pilates Certification with Equinox in Kensington.  She has been teaching Pilates at Equinox for the past 6 years in addition to her own private clients who she trains both face to face and virtually.

Athena has a passion for helping people get stronger and fitter as well as helping those recovering from injury regain their strength and mobility.  Over the years, she has worked with athletes to incorporate Pilates into their training and improve performance. Athena has also worked with prenatal and postnatal women who may be experiencing depression or other mental health difficulties and used Pilates to facilitate a positive impact on their mental health.

Athena is very passionate about improving physical and mental well-being and has recently incorporated Sound Healing into her work, as she believes it to be one of the best ways of ‘letting go’ and releasing stale energy whilst increasing greater self-awareness.