Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Parents

Mental Health Supported

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Parents (MBCT-P) aims to help parents with depression symptoms and prevent depressive relapse through mindfulness practices. MBCT-P is designed to teach parents how to become aware of and manage their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations.

 

Instructors educate parents on the basics of mindfulness and guided mindfulness practices such as body scan (i.e., directing attention to each part of the body), meditation, breathing exercises, and mindful movement (e.g., intentional stretching, walking, or yoga). Parents learn how to use mindfulness to manage mood shifts, prevent negative thinking, and develop an action plan to address their unique signs of depression. Instructors teach mindful parenting techniques to help parents manage routine and difficult situations with their child. Parents complete home-based mindfulness practices to reinforce mindfulness and mindful parenting techniques in daily life. Instructors tailor psychoeducation, cognitive exercises, and mindfulness practices to apply to the parenting context.


MBCT-P is rated as a supported practice because at least one study carried out in a usual care or practice setting achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution and demonstrated a sustained favorable effect of at least 6 months beyond the end of treatment on at least one target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: May 2022


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information were informed by the following sources: the program or service manual, the program or service developer’s website, and the studies reviewed.


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

MBCT-P is designed to help parents of children ages 2–12 with parental depression symptoms.

Dosage

MBCT-P is delivered over 8 weeks. Instructors lead 2-hour group sessions once per week. Group sessions typically include fewer than 12 parents. In between group sessions, parents also are encouraged to complete mindfulness practices at home 6 days per week.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

MBCT-P can be delivered in a clinic, hospital, or community-based setting.

Location/Delivery Settings Observed in the Research

  • Mental Health Center, Treatment Center, Therapist Office

Education, Certifications and Training

Instructors should have accredited training in counseling or psychotherapy or should be a mental health professional with experience treating mood disorders. Instructors should also have experience with behavioral or cognitive therapy or an understanding of depression that is grounded in cognitive theory. It is recommended that instructors have at least 1 year of personal experience with formal mindfulness practice and have previously participated in the 8-week MBCT program themselves.

Formal MBCT instructor training is available and recommended, but not required. This training involves a minimum of 5 days of instruction in MBCT principles and how to deliver MBCT. Ongoing supervision with an experienced MBCT instructor is also recommended.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

Mann, J., Kuyken, W., & Evans, A. (2011). MBCT for parents with a history of depression (MBCT-P) manual. Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

Available languages

The MBCT-P manual is available in English.

Contact Information for Developers

Website: https://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/about-us/research/mbct-manuals/

Email: admin@oxfordmindfulness.org

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Parents
Identified in Search 1
Eligible for Review 1
Rated High 1
Rated Moderate 0
Rated Low 0
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning 0.28
11
1 (1) 33 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health 0.48
18
1 (4) 33 Favorable: 2
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group.

Outcome Effect Size Effect Size more info
and Implied Percentile Effect Implied Percentile Effect more info
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Months after treatment when outcome measured more info
Child well-being: Behavioral and emotional functioning 0.28
11
1 (1) 33 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 1
Unfavorable: 0
-
Mann, 2016
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: Total Difficulties 0.28
11
- 33 - 6
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health 0.48
18
1 (4) 33 Favorable: 2
No Effect: 2
Unfavorable: 0
-
Mann, 2016
Beck Depression Inventory – 2 -0.12
-4
- 32 - 1
Beck Depression Inventory – 2 0.83 *
29
- 33 - 6
Parenting Stress Index – Short Form 0.40
15
- 31 - 6
Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire 0.82 *
29
- 33 - 6

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated High

Study 11560

Mann, J., Kuyken, W., O'Mahen, H., Ukoumunne, O. C., Evans, A., & Ford, T. (2016). Manual development and pilot randomised controlled trial of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy versus usual care for parents with a history of depression. Mindfulness, 7(5), 1024-1033. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-016-0543-7