Zindel Segal, the co-founder of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and author of The Mindful Way Through Depression, worked in the field of mood disorders for over 30 years.
He recounts how he has seen many different anti-depression treatments be developed over the course of his career—but meditation was never one of them.
There’s a reason for that, he points out: while traditional treatments help alleviate depression and allow patients to get their lives back on track, they often don’t address keeping patients from relapsing once their lives are on track.
“What we now understand about depression is that it is an episodic and recurrent disorder,” he says. “Getting well is half of the problem, staying well is the other half.”
He describes mindfulness as a way to allow patients “more room and more space” to handle their depression in this Tedx Talk.
Understanding the Impact of Mindfulness on Depression
Segal partnered with two other researchers, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, to find a way to modify existing treatment to prevent relapse. They decided to focus on a specific trigger, such as sadness.
“But how do you work with a trigger of…