NICE-recommended Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course for 10 mornings usually from 930am to 12pm, optional extra meditation from 12-1pm,
Mission ‘Give a man pills and you mask his symptoms for a day.
Teach him meditation and he can heal himself for life.’
Principles of SECTCo’s meditation courses
a) Meditation relieves stress and improves health and wellbeing.
b) We are ‘mindbody’, (psychosomatic) as our body and mind are like two sides of the same coin watched by our consciousness, as shown in the diagram.
c) Sickness is disharmony between them, and can be a war zone. We can heal ourselves by harmonising them. We need to enter from the door on our mind side (called mindfulness), and the door on our body side, which we call ‘bodyfulness’, like two wings to fly through life.
d) What the mind suppresses (emotions), the body expresses as symptoms. We can eliminate our symptoms (heal, cure) by expressing our repressed emotions in meditative catharsis. We teach this ‘bodyfulness’ in the Emotion Based Cognitive Therapy (EBCT) course.
What is the MBCT course? The MBCT course is 2.5 hours per week for 8 weeks, usually from 930am-12pm, with a taster day before, and a reunion afterwards (total 25 hours). It is half experiential, when we experience different meditation techniques which are beneficial to health by quietening our nervous system; and half explanations about what is going on, and how meditation works.
NICE-recommendation The MBCT course was first recommended for depression by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in 2004 because studies found that it halved the 5 year relapse rate at for people who had previously had 3 bouts of depression (see clinical guideline CG23 Dec 04, and CG 123 2011). Since then the course has also been recommended by NICE for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) after hypnotherapy under CG61 (Feb08) has failed, and for low back pain under CG 88 (May 09) and CG90 (Oct 09) after spinal manipulation has failed. It may therefore be clinically appropriate for most patients in primary care. Under the NHS constitution, which became law on 21.1.10, patients have the statutory right to NICE recommended treatments (such as the MBCT course) if their doctor says it is clinically appropriate. SECTCo believes that these treatments should be mass-provided free on the NHS, and has offered to provide them in exchange for vouchers from GPs in Brighton and Hove. We also offer them to companies for sick staff (see www.sectco.org) and www.reginaldkapp.org .
Enhanced sandwich MBCT courseAs an optional extra, you can sandwich the MBCT course between the ‘bread’ of dynamic meditation (1 hour, from 730-830 am) at Revitalise, (opposite Hove town hall) and kundalini meditation (1 hour, from 12-1pm) as shown diagrammatically below.
THE MBCT SANDWICH COURSE
Bread 1: Dynamic meditation from path of love (1 hour to music) musicmusic)
Meat: The MBCT course from path of awareness
Bread 2: Kundalini meditation from path of love (1 hour to music)
Class We meet together as a class of between 5 and 20 participants with a qualified facilitator and at least 1 assistant facilitator. A taster session is provided one week before the course starts for you to meet the facilitators, and to check that the course is appropriate for you. One or more reunions are held after the course.
For whom is the MBCT course? Anybody who wants to improve their health and wellbing.
The cause of sickness is lack of awareness of how our lifestyle is harming our health. This course teaches meditation, which increases our awareness, and gives us the information and understanding by which we can improve our own health. This MBCT course teaches mindfulness – a meditation technique in which we watch our breath while paying attention to what is going on in our mind and body in the present moment without judgement.
Contra-indications. There are no specific contra-indications for this course, but you should be fit enough to be able to receive the course content. We will be discussing emotional issues which we usually avoid because we fear that they may be painful (skeletons in our cupboard). Some strength and courage is needed to open the cupboard and look squarely at what is inside. If we do, we find that our fears were groundless, and we are healed of that issue as a result.
Are you ready for a meditation course? To decide whether this course is appropriate for you, please ask yourself: ‘Do I really want to heal my symptoms? If so, am I ready to look squarely at their cause? If your answers to both questions are: ‘yes’, come along. If you have doubts, please write them down on a piece of paper, and discuss it with the facilitator.
What will be expected of me? No pressure will be put on you to perform to any standard, and you will not be marked or judged in any way. However, you will be expected to:
> Attend each session, or phone the facilitator beforehand to say why you are not coming.
> Share with one other in the class how you are feeling, and how you are getting on
with the homework and classwork.
- Ø Do homework for half an hour per day between sessions by reading the text of the
session in the course book provided, and practicing meditation to the CD and
recording your experience in your course book.
Outcome You will be taught how to:
> Watch what is going on in your mind and body.
> Notice your habits of being judgemental, driving yourself to meet impossible goals,
and beating yourself up.
> Release yourself from those habits if you want to.
> Change your attitude of wishing things were different.
> Accept yourself as you are, rather than judging yourself inadequate.
> Appreciate yourself, others and your environment more.
> Be present and centred so that you go more with the flow of life.
> Find more contentment, peace, harmony and love in your life.
Testimonial to meditation. In a recently published book about meditation, titled: ‘Teach Us to Sit Still – A Sceptics Search for Health and Healing’‘, Tim Parks says: ‘Just when I seemed to be walled up in a life sentence of chronic pain, someone proposed a bizarre way out; sit still, they said, and breathe. I sat still, I breathed. It seemed a tedious exercise at first, rather painful, not immediately effective. Eventually it proved so exciting, so transforming, mentally and physically, that I began to think my illness had been a stroke of luck. If I wasn’t the greatest of sceptics, I’d be saying that it had been sent from above to invite me to change my ways.’
Price – donations
You have the statutory right under the NHS constitution to this course free on the NHS, if your doctor says that is clinically appropriate, because it is NICE-recommended. However, the waiting time is very long (about 20 years in Sussex) because few courses were commissioned by the old Primary Care Trust (PCT) which was abolished on 1.4.13. SECTCo has been campaigning since 2010 to reduce this NHS waiting time. It calls on the new Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to open up the market to private providers (such as SECTCo) which they have to do by 2015 under the NHS mandate, adopted Nov 2012. SECTCo bid (July 2012) to run this course at a tariff price of £400 per participant, so that we can pay our facilitators £50 per hour. Meanwhile, until we get a contract SECTCo is offering the course for donations, preferably in kind, by helping to advertise our campaign, and becoming a director.
By whom is the MBCT course run? By the Social Enterprise Complementary Therapy Company (SECTCo) of 22, Saxon Rd Hove BN3 4LE 01273 417997. It was compiled to the syllabus in the book: ‘The mindful way through depression’ by Dr Mark Williams et al, by John Kapp, with help from course participants. His credentials are shown in the company website. He also runs other courses, such as the EBCT course, and family constellation courses, details on request.