CBT meditation as effective as drugs in treating depression

Tuesday 2nd December, 2008

A form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) that uses Buddhist meditation methods is just as effective as medications when treating people who are suffering with depression, according to a new study.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) concentrates on a person’s ability to focus on the present rather than making plans for the future or dwelling on past events.

The trial carried out over an eight week period involved over 120 people suffering with chronic depression. 60% of those taking anti-depressant drugs relapsed after 15 months while only 47% relapsed having undergone the therapy.

Researchers stated that people taking anti-depressants may reduce their symptoms of depression but are vulnerable to suffering relapses. They also believe this form of CBT could shorten the waiting time for psychological therapies in the NHS.

With over 3 million people suffering the condition in the UK, MBCT is a cost-effective approach to treating depression as therapists can treat more than one person at a time.

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