People with severe and recurrent depression could benefit from a new form of therapy that combines ancient forms of meditation with modern cognitive behaviour therapy, early-stage research by Oxford University psychologists suggests.
The results of a small-scale randomised trial of the approach, called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), in currently depressed patients are published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy.
In an experiment, 28 people currently suffering from depression, having also had previous episodes of depression and thoughts of suicide, were randomly assigned into two groups.
One group received MBCT in addition to treatment as usual, while the other just received treatment as usual. The result indicated that the number of patients with major depression reduced in the group which received treatment with MBCT while it remained the same in the other group.
The therapy included special classes of meditation learning and advice on how best participants can look after themselves when their feelings threaten to overwhelm them.
Professor Mark Williams, who along with his colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, developed the treatment said, “We are on the brink of discovering really important things about how people can learn to stay well after depression.”
Sources: The Times Of India