MBCT is a therapy which helps to prevent multiple relapses into depression. It is, therefore, particularly useful for individuals with major depressive episodes. Based on CBT, it makes use of mindfulness, which teaches the individual to be aware of incoming thoughts which might trigger a depressive episode; but instead of engaging with these thoughts, to accept them, stand back from them without reacting to them.
Individuals who have multiple depressive episodes may fall back on automatic reactions – reactions which have led in the past to another episode. MBCT helps the client to see when these automatic reactions are clicking in – to stand back without judgement – and to accept what is happening rather than concentrate on the feelings which have historically led to depression.