Chapter 25. Mindfulness, embodiment, and depression

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During the past decade, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) aiming at relapse prevention in depression has been developed and empirically tested. All exercises taught during MBCT are based on the development of a heightened awareness of one’s body. The important role of the body is also stressed in a recently emerging interdisciplinary field of research termed ‘embodiment’. This research program focuses on the interactions between bodily, cognitive, and emotional processes. Based on the obvious role of the body in MBCT and on the theoretical and empirical evidence highlighting the role of the body in emotional processes, we argue that considering embodied processes might be a useful perspective for research on the etiology of depression and on mechanisms of action in MBCT.


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