Pilot study of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for trainee clinical psychologists

Katharine A Rimes, J Wingrove

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Background: It is recommended that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) instructors should undertake MBCT themselves before teaching others.

Aim: To investigate the impact of MBCT (modified for stress not depression) on trainee clinical psychologists.

Method: Twenty trainees completed questionnaires pre- and post-MBCT.

Results: There was a significant decrease in rumination, and increases in self-compassion and mindfulness. More frequent home practice was associated with larger decreases in stress, anxiety and rumination, and larger increases in empathic concern. Only first-year trainees showed a significant decrease in stress. Content analysis of written responses indicated that the most commonly reported effects were increased acceptance of thoughts/feelings (70%), increased understanding of what it is like to be a client (60%), greater awareness of thoughts/feelings/behaviours/bodily sensations (55%) and increased understanding of oneself and one's patterns of responding (55%). Participants reported increased metacognitive awareness and decentring in relation to negative thoughts. Eighty-five percent reported an impact on their clinical work by the end of the course.

Conclusions: Trainee psychologists undergoing MBCT experienced many of the psychological processes/effects that they may eventually be helping to cultivate in clients using mindfulness interventions, and also benefits in their general clinical work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • rumination
  • clinical psychology
  • psychotherapy training
  • acceptance
  • mindfulness


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