'It's alright, let me feel it': regeneration and relating to the self in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
Joanna Cook (UCL)
Paper short abstract:
Through an ethnographic consideration of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), this paper explores the implications of theorizing healing in terms of regeneration and release.
Paper long abstract:
Through an ethnographic consideration of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), this paper explores the implications of theorizing healing in terms of regeneration and release. MBCT was designed to treat recovered recurrent depressive patients. It is based on a cognitive-behavioural model of depressive relapse. Inherent to the treatment model is a focus on learning, on the capacity for change and on the potential development of a healthy relationship with herself on part of the practitioner. At the same time, however, it rests on an Innateist model of development: that, although positive emotional states are often hidden by clinging or aversion, the original or pure nature of mind is one of mindful awareness and wisdom. Is the cultivation of mindfulness in MBCT a return to an idealized state? What changes are required in subjective experience for this to be achieved? And what implications might this hold for how we understand health, illness and healing?