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Sun Nov 30, 2014, 08:43 AM

Lipstick on a pig? Mindfulness "just as effective" as CBT t.a.u. [View all]

Anyone around psych clinics knows Mindfulness is a trending treatment phenomenon. Mindfulness approaches are thinly modified from Buddhist practice of "Right-Mindfulness" made popular by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This newly published study done to test the effectiveness of Mindfulness compared to a CBT "treatment as usual", found no difference in effectiveness for depression and anxiety.

Is this really a good thing that justifies Mindfulness over normal CBT? What does it actually mean when different treatments bring the same results? Is CBT just as good as the now fashionable Mindfulness, or is Mindfulness just as good as the once fashionable CBT?

What does it mean to understanding mental disorders that depression and anxiety have no specific treatment but respond basically to the same degree to different treatments? Well, what does it mean besides the economy of Mindfulness being done in a group setting and CBT being done one-on-one?


Mindfulness treatment as effective as CBT for depression, anxiety


A total of 215 patients were included in the study. Before and after treatment, the patients in the mindfulness and regular treatment groups answered questionnaires that estimated the severity of their depression and anxiety. Self-reported symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased in both groups during the 8-week treatment period. There was no statistical difference between the two treatments.

"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," says Jan Sundquist. "This means that group mindfulness treatment should be considered as an alternative to individual psychotherapy, especially at primary health care centres that can't offer everyone individual therapy."

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