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Unformatted text preview: known to play a significant role in maintaining generalised anxiety disorder
. Unlike CBT, the mindfulness-based approach does
not explicitly aim to challenge beliefs about worry and
instead focuses on changing participants' way of relating
to worry itself. In theory, the repeated application of nonjudgemental attention to the process of worry (watching
thoughts come and go without either blocking or following them) reduces habitual worrying and the distress associated with worrisome thoughts. However this is a rather
subtle process and as this study shows is the easily open to
Although it is possible that the course was simply too
short, and indeed the majority of participants thought
that this was the case, the above examples indicate that for
some patients MBCT may not affect significant change in
key domains that maintain depression and anxiety. Interestingly, while Baer's review  suggest that mindfulness
training has benefits across a wide range of disorders,
Teasdale et al remain cautious about attempts "to apply
mindfulness training indiscriminately, as if it were a simple, general-purpose therapeutic technology" .
Instead they suggest that mindfulness training "is best
conducted by practitioners who have adequately formulated views of the disorders they wish to treat and of the
ways that mindfulness training can be helpful to clients
with those disorders". In the case of relapsing depression
the problem is conceptualised in terms of ruminative
thinking induced by low affect, which can turn brief periods of low mood into prolonged episodes of depression.
It must also be remembered that the authors of the MBCT
manual tailored the mindfulness exercises to nondepressed clients with a history of relapsing depression,
teaching them to recognise and remain 'open' to difficult
emotions without engaging in ruminative thinking.
However, the results from this study suggest that MBCT
may be of benefit to a wider range of patients than nondepressed patients with a history of relapsing depression.
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- Spring '11