Mindfulness Based Course (MBCT)
Dates: Thursday 20thth October to 15th December (6.30pm to 8.30pm)
Venue: The Art Room, Field Place, Field Place Parade, The Strand, Worthing, BN12 6BS.
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping. Our minds tend to run forward anticipating the future or wander back, dwelling on the past and we are rarely fully aware of what we are experiencing at the time. As a result we can find ourselves carried off by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities; wanting things to be different from how they are right now. This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with difficulties due to illness and pain, work or family pressure, which can confound our attempts to find a solution or to feel better.
Mindfulness can help us to become more aware, centred and balanced as well as supporting us to find more to appreciate in the ordinary experiences of our day. Instead of being hijacked by emotions and reacting by perhaps imagining the worst, mindfulness can help us to learn to find different ways to manage challenging situations and in doing so can really improve the quality of our life. The skills that emerge from mindfulness training are beginning to be recognized as crucial life skills offering new ways to relate to trauma and distress.
Venue: The Art Room, Field Place, Field Place Parade, The Strand, Worthing, BN12 6BS. There is free parking.
Cost: As this will be the first group offered in association with BMI Goring Hall Hospital there is an introductory fee of £90 for the full 9 week course to be paid prior to the first session.
If you are interested in booking onto this course please contact Tamar on [email protected] Mob: 07577749924
For further information on Mindfulness, and the course we are running, please see below:
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness has been defined as paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally (Jon Kabat-Zinn).
It is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It helps us recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. It will not eliminate life's pressures, but it can help us respond rather than unhelpfully react. It provides us with a scientifically researched approach to cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding.
Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however learning to do this in a way that suspends judgment and self-criticism can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make wiser decisions about their health and life in general.
People who practice mindfulness regularly
* experience long-lasting physical and psychological stress reduction;
* discover positive changes in well-being;
* are less likely to get stuck in depression and exhaustion
*are better able to change unhelpful behaviours and thought patterns
How can Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) support people who have experienced cancer?
On an emotional level, individuals have different ways of managing cancer. However, Moorey & Greer 2002 have described the vicious circle of anxious preoccupation which appears to support many people to understand the mechanism which fuels their distress. The vicious circle starts with some general anxiety, often present in the background experience with cancer. This can then trigger tension in the body, which is felt as an ache/pain. Often people will then focus on these feelings and as they are unpleasant and unwanted, negative interpretations start forming. For example: “It’s come back”; “Its getting worse”: “Maybe it will kill me”. These thoughts are then added to the feelings of anxiety, which can then fuel further tension and pain. This in turn increases the negative interpretations making them more apparently convincing and a vicious circle of anxious preoccupation quickly builds.
Through practicing mindfulness, individuals learn to notice and interrupt this unhelpful cycle. Although anxious thoughts may still arise, it is possible to recognize the thoughts, feelings and body sensations for what they are, not necessarily true facts. Developing this mindful awareness provides the opportunity to make an informed decision about what to do next, rather than be at the mercy of overwhelming thoughts and feelings (Bartley 2012).
This course is best suited for people who have recently finished their treatment. Friends and family may assume that the worst is over once treatment has ended but often this is the time when a person is struggling to adjust to the emotional and physical consequences of cancer treatment. To get the most out of the course it is advised that participants are able to attend every week and are well enough to do regular home practice. As cancer treatment is often physically arduous and may involve hospital stays it is therefore recommended that people join once their treatment is complete.
What happens in the course?
The course is 8 weeks and each session is 2 hours long. The sessions focus mainly on teaching skills that develop awareness of body sensations, feelings, and thoughts, which are then applied in relation to particular cognitive therapy-based exercises. In each session there will be a mixture of guided meditation practices, discussion about this practice and cognitive therapy exercises. Everything is ‘invitational’ and there is no expectation that participants will have to share personal histories. Our old familiar patterns of thinking and reacting have often been around for a long time and are habitual and automatic, so putting time and effort in between sessions is an important aspect of the course. Therefore, 30 to 40 minutes a day of home practice is recommended. Hand-outs and guided meditations will be provided.
Tamar Karpas is a mindfulness practitioner and she is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with over 16 years experience. www.counsellingpsychologyservices.com
Laurence Baretto de Souza is a mindfulness practitioner and she is also an experienced psychotherapist.