Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2009 International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy. Background: Increasingly, bipolar disorder is being treated with maintenance combinations of medication and psychotherapy. We examined the feasibility and benefits associated with an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) class for bipolar patients who were between episodes. Participants (N = 22; mean age, 40.6 yrs; 14 bipolar I, 8 bipolar II) were existing patients in outpatient clinics at Oxford University (n = 14) or the University of Colorado, Boulder (n = 8), most undergoing pharmacotherapy with mood stabilizers and/or atypical antipsychotic agents. Patients underwent a pretreatment assessment of symptoms and then received the 8-week MBCT in four separate groups, two at each site. MBCT consisted of mindfulness meditation strategies and traditional cognitive-behavioral techniques to address the mode in which negative thoughts and feelings and emerging manic symptoms are processed. We examined within-group changes from pre-to posttreatment in the four aggregated groups. Of the 22 patients, 16 (72.7%) completed the groups. Reductions were observed in depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, and to a lesser extent, manic symptoms and anxiety. A case study illustrating the effects of MBCT is given. In conclusion, MBCT is a promising treatment alternative for bipolar disorder, particularly for managing subsyndromal depressive symptoms. There is a need for larger-scale randomized trials that examine the cost-effectiveness and relapse-prevention potential of this modality.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Cognitive Therapy

Publication Date





373 - 382