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During the past decade, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) aiming at relapse prevention in depression has been developed and empirically tested. All exercises taught during MBCT are based on the development of a heightened awareness of one's body. The important role of the body is also stressed in a recently emerging interdisciplinary field of research termed ‘embodiment.’ This research program focuses on the interactions between bodily, cognitive, and emotional processes. Based on the obvious role of the body in MBCT and on the theoretical and empirical evidence highlighting the role of the body in emotional processes, we argue that considering embodied processes might be a useful perspective for research on the etiology of depression and for mechanisms of action in MBCT.
BACKGROUND:Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a very disabling condition with a chronic course, if left untreated. Though cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) with or without selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) is the method of choice, up to one third of individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) do not respond to treatment in terms of at least 35% improvement of symptoms. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an 8-week group program that could help OCD patients with no or only partial response to CBT to reduce OC symptoms and develop a helpful attitude towards obsessions and compulsive urges. METHODS/DESIGN: This study is a prospective, bicentric, assessor-blinded, randomized, actively-controlled clinical trial. 128 patients with primary diagnosis of OCD according to DSM-IV and no or only partial response to CBT will be recruited from in- and outpatient services as well as online forums and the media. Patients will be randomized to either an MBCT intervention group or to a psycho-educative coaching group (OCD-EP) as an active control condition. All participants will undergo eight weekly sessions with a length of 120 minutes each of a structured group program. We hypothesize that MBCT will be superior to OCD-EP in reducing obsessive-compulsive symptoms as measured by the Yale-Brown-Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) following the intervention and at 6- and 12-months-follow-up. Secondary outcome measures include depressive symptoms, quality of life, metacognitive beliefs, self-compassion, mindful awareness and approach-avoidance tendencies as measured by an approach avoidance task. DISCUSSION: The results of this study will elucidate the benefits of MBCT for OCD patients who did not sufficiently benefit from CBT. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled study assessing the effects of MBCT on symptom severity and associated parameters in OCD.
BackgroundCognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the first-line treatment for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, not all of them achieve remission on a longterm basis. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) represents a new 8-week group therapy program whose effectiveness has been demonstrated in various mental disorders, but has not yet been applied to patients with OCD. The present pilot study aimed to qualitatively assess the subjective experiences of patients with OCD who participated in MBCT. Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 patients suffering from OCD directly after 8 sessions of a weekly MBCT group program. Data were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Results Participants valued the treatment as helpful in dealing with their OCD and OCD-related problems. Two thirds of the patients reported a decline in OCD symptoms. Benefits included an increased ability to let unpleasant emotions surface and to live more consciously in the present. However, participants also discussed several problems. Conclusion The data provide preliminary evidence that patients with OCD find aspects of the current MBCT protocol acceptable and beneficial. The authors suggest to further explore MBCT as a complementary treatment strategy for OCD.