Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on Specificity of Life Goals

Catherine Crane, Rosie Winder, Emily Hargus, Myanthi Amarasinghe, Thorsten Barnhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the immediate effects of a course of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for chronically depressed participants with a history of suicidality on the specificity of important goals for the future. Participants were randomly allocated to immediate treatment with MBCT or to a waitlist condition and life goals were assessed both before and after the treatment or waiting period. Results showed that participants receiving MBCT reported significantly more specific goals post- treatment whereas those allocated to the waitlist condition showed no significant change. Similarly, participants allo- cated to MBCT regarded themselves as significantly more likely to achieve their important goals post-treatment, whilst again there was no significant change in the waitlist group. Increases in goal specificity were associated with parallel increases in autobiographical memory specificity whereas increases in goal likelihood were associated with reductions in depressed mood. These results suggest that MBCT may enable participants to clarify their important goals and in doing so increase their confidence in their capacity to move in valued life directions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


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