top of page

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to things as they are,” (Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn, 2007, p. 47). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale is a psycho-educational 8-week group program with Eastern philosophical roots. It is proven to be a very successful treatment modality for individuals suffering from depression including treatment resistant depression, anxiety and a variety of other mental health issues. (Marchand 2012) MBCT derives from John Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and combines the theoretical principles of cognitive therapy with those of mindfulness to prevent relapse of depression. (Marchand 2012) Mindfulness practice in MBCT is built on seven attitudinal factors derived from MBSR. The seven attitudinal factors include: non-judging, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance and letting go. (Kabat-Zinn 1990) Mindfulness as seen in MBCT uses these attitudinal pillars along with the techniques of sitting meditation, a body scan and hatha yoga (Marchand 2012) MBSR tends to teach general coping skills to reduce stress and manage difficulties whereas MBCT narrows in on educating individuals on how to recognize the downward spiral of mood as it relates to depression with the goal of unhooking from patterns of thinking that lead to depressive relapse. (Marchand 2012)

Somatic-Based Therapy

Somatic-Based Therapy is a form of therapy that uses body centred awareness or the felt sense to address the psychological, emotional and physical symptoms of stress and trauma. Somatic-based therapies like Somatic Experiencing and Relational Somatic Therapy tend to be very effective therapeutic modalities for post-traumatic stress disorder and where traditional talk therapy has not proven successful. Somatic-based therapy begins with psycho-education on the neurobiology of trauma and stress and its impact on the nervous system, brain and body and moves to body-focused practices designed to access and discharge (or resolve) stress and trauma responses. This form of therapy is very effective for clients who have experienced trauma and abuse and is a helpful approach to any mental and emotional health concern, particular anxiety or mood disorders. 

Trauma & Abuse

Many people see trauma as looking like the post-traumatic stress disorder in war veterans and although this is certainly a good example of trauma it is only one form. There are many forms of trauma. The most important piece to remember about trauma is that it isn't what has happened that makes an event traumatic but how the individual's nervous system responds to the event. This means that although there are certain events that to most individuals will be experienced as traumatic there are also events that may be experienced as traumatic to some and not to others. This does not mean the experience is invalid. Part of working with trauma is understanding that there are numerous factors that contribute to whether or not an individual's nervous system will experience an event as traumatic. At Aspen Winds we specialize in trauma and its various impacts on individuals, relationships, family, work and overall quality of life. 


Abuse for example is a form of trauma. Again many people see abuse as physical abuse, being hit or beat up. But some of the more detrimental forms of abuse are actually emotional and psychological. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, verbal, physical, sexual and/or financial. Abuse can occur to people of all ages, all genders, all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, it knows no boundaries. Learning to recognize the signs of abuse and the cycle of abuse is key to finding a way out. At Aspen Winds we specialize in working with the impacts of relational abuse. 

bottom of page