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Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Generalized Anxiety

10 Nov

In a small pilot study, researchers from the Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, examined the efficacy of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Cognitive behavioral therapy alone rr5has been found effective for GAD, but can leave residual symptoms.  This MBCT intervention added a mindfulness component, based on the methods of Jon Kabat-Zin, along with more standard cognitive strategies, in a group context, to see if this combination might yield greater efficacy.

Eligible subjects were recruited to participate in the group MBCT course, completing measures of anxiety, worry, depressive symptoms, mood states and mindful awareness in everyday life, at baseline and at the end of treatment.

Eleven subjects (six female and five male) with a mean age of 49 (range=36-72) met the criteria and completed the study. Significant reductions were found in measures of anxiety and depressive symptoms, from baseline to the end of treatment.

The authors conclude that MBCT may be an acceptable and potentially effective treatment for reducing anxiety and mood symptoms, and for increasing awareness in patients with GAD.  The authors look toward developing a larger, randomized clinical trial testing MBCT for GAD.

Citation:  Evans S, Ferrando S, Findler M, Stowell C, Smart C, Haglin D.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Anxiety Disord. 2008 May;22 (4): pages 716-21. Epub 2007 Jul 22. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award