Developing a Mindfulness Based Congnitive Therapy Service for Young People

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology


Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown to be effective in
preventing relapse of depression in adults who have experienced multiple episodes of depression and is recommended in the NICE guidelines (2009). More recent evidence has also indicated its efficacy in helping adults who are actively depressed.Increasing numbers of young people are diagnosed with depression. Depression is a disorder characterised by a recurrent course and there is notable continuity of depression into adulthood. Depression in children and young people is associated with significant impairment.This is of concern in terms of individual well-being and the future burden of a recurring mental health problem on the health and economic systems of the country. MBCT has been adapted for use with children and adolescents and has been shown to be feasible and acceptable in community and clinical settings.The research reported here examines the feasibility of establishing MBCT group therapy provision in National and Specialist CAMHS Mood Disorder Clinic for adolescents with depression. It also provides a pilot analysis of the efficacy of an MBCT group for young people who have received a course of psychological therapy but who present with residual symptoms and are at high risk of relapse. Treatment completers (n=3) report satisfaction with the therapy and qualitative analysis of feedback interviews with them provides areas for future development of this service. Pilot analysis
revealed reduction in levels of depressive symptoms between pre and post treatment, alongside positive change in measures of mindfulness skills and cognitive processes such as rumination. Group MBCT was seen to be feasible and acceptable within this setting using quantitative and qualitative methodology. Information for the service on potential areas for future development is provided.
Date of AwardSept 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorElizabeth Kuipers (Supervisor) & Suzanne Jolley (Supervisor)

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