Hill Tower

First Generation Mindfulness-Based Approaches: MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy)

Mindfulness is generally defined to include focusing one’s attention in a nonjudgmental or accepting way on the experience occurring in the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 1994; Brown and Ryan, 2003; Linehan, 1993). It is an open and receptive awareness and attention, which may be reflected, in a more regular or sustained consciousness of ongoing events and experiences (Brown & Ryan, 2003). MBSR stands for mindfulness-based stress reduction program. It is an 8-week program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.It was originally developed for patients in chronic pain, undergoing intensive treatments for cancer, AIDS and other serious illness, but has since expanded and been incorporated into the daily lives of ten of thousands of people whether they are dealing with the serious stress of illness or simply the day to day stress which at times seems like it can be too much to handle. MBCT stands for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. It is an 8-week program specifically designed to help you deal with persistent unwanted mood states. MBCT has been tested in research and proven effective for relapse of depression, as well as anxiety and a wide range of other problems.

Learning Objectives: To confirm understanding and provide information and introductory practice in MBSR and to support participants with practical strategies to embrace mindfulness practice on a daily basis. To introduce the core components of the MBSR and MBCT programs, while offering attendees the opportunity to engage in an experiential exercises and meditation. Offering an experiential learning environment, with a focus on developing the capacity for attention, communication and self-awareness in stressful and demanding situations.

Teaching Methods: Through short talks, experiential activities, videos, and group discussions we will explore ways in which we react to stressful or difficult challenges in our lives.

Brief Background Description of Workshop Leader: Currently Associate Professor and chair person of the Counseling Psychology Department, Faculty of Education at MEF University-Istanbul, Turkey. She is an international faculty member of IMA (  and graduate of the IMA’s MBSR-MBCT teacher-training program and has established the Mindfulness Institute of Turkey. She maintains a mindfulness practice and is the author of two books titled “Mindfulness and Self-Compassion“ (2011) and "Mindfulness: Now and Here" (2018).  She teaches mindfulness at undergraduate and graduate levels and gives MBSR and MBCT courses as well as trainings sessions, workshops and talks. She has two TUBITAK (Turkish government granted) projects on mindfulness and her fields of study include mindfulness, compassion, personality, social skills, depression, stress and stress management, and anxiety., 

Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT. The heart of MBCT is gentle, systematic training in mindfulness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness.

Relevant background readings about the topic:

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2013). Full catastrophe living: How to Cope with Stress, Pain and Illness Using Mindfulness Meditation. London: Piatkus.Segal,

Z. V., Williams, J. M., & Teasdale, J. D. (2013). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. New York: Guilford Press.