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BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a promising approach to help people who suffer recurrent depression prevent depressive relapse. However, little is known about how MBCT works. Moreover, participants' subjective experiences of MBCT as a relapse prevention treatment remain largely unstudied. AIM: This study examines participants' representations of their experience of MBCT and its value as a relapse-prevention program for recurrent depression. METHOD: Twenty people who had participated in MBCT classes for recurrent depression within a primary care setting were interviewed 12 months after treatment. The focus of the interview was on participants' reflections on what they found helpful, meaningful and difficult about MBCT as a relapse prevention program. Thematic analysis was used to identify the key patterns and elements in participants' accounts. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Four overarching themes were extracted: control, acceptance, relationships and struggle. The theoretical, clinical and research implications are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Cogn Psychother

Publication Date





413 - 430


Cognitive Therapy, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Depressive Disorder, Major, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Female, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Learning, Male, Middle Aged, Primary Health Care, Program Development, Rural Population, Secondary Prevention, Self Efficacy, Semantics, Severity of Illness Index, Treatment Outcome, Urban Population