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Teaching Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to students: The effects of MBCT on the levels of Mindfulness and Subjective Well-Being

DOI: 10.1080/09515070802602112
Title: Teaching Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to students: The effects of MBCT on the levels of Mindfulness and Subjective Well-Being
Journal Title: Counselling Psychology Quarterly
Volume: Volume 21
Issue: Issue 4
Publication Date: December 2008
Start Page: 323
End Page: 336
Published online: 9 Jan 2009
ISSN: 0951-5070
Author: Patrizia Collarda, Nadav Avnya* & Ilona Boniwella
a School of Psychology, University of East London , London, UK
Abstract: This study aimed to address the gap in the literature considering empirical evidence in support of the assumption that Mindfulness is the mediating factor in the positive outcomes of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programmes, and to further examine the link between Mindfulness and Subjective Well Being. The research question was whether MBCT would increase participants’ levels of Mindfulness and Satisfaction with Life and decrease participants’ level of Negative Affect. A Repeated Measures (Test–Retest) within participants design was employed and fifteen Counselling students at the University of East London provided data anonymously at the beginning and end of MBCT programme by completing the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) (Walach, Buchheld, Buttenmuller, Kleinknecht, & Schmidt, 2006), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin, 1985) and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) (Watson, Clark & Tellegen, 1988). The results indicated that by the end of the MBCT programme: participants’ level of Mindfulness significantly increased; Positive Affect remained unchanged; Negative Affect significantly decreased; a strong trend in the data indicated an increase in participants’ Satisfaction With Life but failed to reach a statistically significant level; Mindfulness and Negative Affect were significantly negatively correlated, while Mindfulness and Satisfaction With Life were not found to be associated. A longer practice time of Mindfulness during the programme was found to be significantly correlated with a higher level of Mindfulness at the end of the programme. The results were interpreted in support of the assumption that Mindfulness has an important role as a mediating factor in symptoms relief and positive outcomes following participation on Mindfulness programmes. The results also support of Brown and Ryan's (2003) conclusion regarding the role of Mindfulness in enhancing Well Being. A Positive Psychology framework was applied in interpreting the data and it was suggested that there was ground to believe that Mindfulness can be integrated well, as a concept and as a therapeutic intervention, into the field of Positive Psychology.
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