Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety and offered a choice between individual cognitive-behavioral therapy or a group mindfulness treatment program, which would be the better choice?
Some curious people at Lund University in Sweden decided to look into this and discovered that people get equal symptom relief using either treatment option.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people examine how they think about their self and the world, and the impact those thoughts have on their lives. People are also taught more effective ways to think about and cope with life’s events.
Mindfulness is the practice of putting your full attention on whatever is occurring in the present moment—thoughts, physical and emotional sensations, tasks, events, tastes, sounds, or other people. The art of mindfulness is to observe these things without passing judgment.
“The study’s results indicate that group mindfulness treatment, conducted by certified instructors in primary health care, is as effective a treatment method as individual CBT for treating depression and anxiety,” said researcher leader Jan Sundquist.
There were 215 participants in the Lund study, each diagnosed as depressed or anxious. Before and after treatment they answered self-assessment questionnaires concerning the frequency and severity of their symptoms.
Participants were randomly assigned to either individual therapy with a professional counselor, or to a structured mindfulness group, for eight weeks of treatment. Each mindfulness instructor had completed a six-day training course for instructors; there were about ten participants in each mindfulness group.
This study is the first randomized one to compare CBT and mindfulness as mental health treatment options. During the study, self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression decreased in both the CBT and mindfulness therapies; there were no statistical differences to report.
“This means that group mindfulness treatment should be considered as an alternative to individual psychotherapy, especially at primary health care centers that can’t offer everyone individual therapy,” said Sundquist.
Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: Sheila Sund / flickr creative commons
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.