MBCT helpful for anxiety? Draft questions

I plan to ask the grads of my 35 Mindfulness/MBCT workshops how their practice is going. Here’s a draft of the questions. I am interested in your ideas and feedback on this.

My goal is to get feedback on effectiveness, and to relate this to whether they took the workshop primarily for anxiety or depression.


Please send your comments by using the Contact tab.

Draft questions:

  1. What was your reason for taking the Mindfulness Workshop (MBCT)?

(For example: depression, anxiety, panic, stress, etc.)



2. To what extent did the Mindfulness Workshop help you?

(For example: a lot, a little, varies, etc.)



3. What is your current mindfulness practice like?

(For example: extent of formal practice, extent of mindful awareness, extent of short practices, attendance at meditation events, etc.)



4. Has the Mindfulness Workshop or mindfulness helped you cope better?



5. Comments about mindfulness and the Mindfulness Worksop and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.)





Group Code: ______ (I will fill this in prior to sending the questionnaire, so I can relate answers to the amount of time passed since taking the workshop.)

Working the Present, Mindfully Based

Available on Amazon:

Click here to go to Amazon, read inside the book, or to buy.

The Amazon eBook price is $15.

The print price is $21.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download Kindle to your Pad or smart phone, for free. Find it where you get apps.

Book Cover

 Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., author of

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression,

has endorsed this book:

In Working the Present, Mindfully Based, Donald Fleck succeeds in staying true to the intentions of MBCT while adapting it for use in individual therapy.  The book can be used with clients who have serious mindfulness meditation practices as well as those just getting started, as Fleck has taken many of the core elements of MBCT — the 3-Minute Breathing Space, Kindness and Self-Compassion, Working with Difficulty, Allowing/Letting Be, Thoughts are not Facts, Kindness in Action — and found ways to use them effectively within the basic dyadic encounter.

Packed with clinical vignettes and a user friendly narrative structure, Working the Present, Mindfully Based, provides a clear path towards offering this novel delivery format for MBCT’s key concepts and practices.
Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., Author of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression 

Read the beginning of this book, or order it, on Amazon.


If you want to be kept up-to-date on this book, with occasional bonuses, please click here to provide your name and email.


Pressed for time? Here’s the executive summary…

  1. Aware – We increase our awareness of the present. When we are present, we perceive more, we perceive differently. When our clients are aware, they have stepped out of automatic pilot.
  1. Allow – When we practice allowing our experience to continue, without chasing after it, or running away from it, we find we have more strength to work with it. Same thing for our clients.
  1. Accept – When we accept our experience as it is, just for now, or go a step further and accept ourselves, our energy can move from resistance to relief and finding solutions. Same for our clients.
  1. Act – When ready, we act. Our actions propel us forward in life. Getting the next action right is really important. This is how change starts. This is how change continues. With awareness, allowing, and acceptance we are grounded and better able to choose helpful actions. Clients, too.

© Donald Fleck 2015

Why this book?

Mindfulness-Based therapies are getting a lot of attention these days, to say the least, and they are very effective in a group format. But clients meeting one-on-one expect sessions geared to their unique needs.

So, over the years I have sought out new ways to use the powerful elements of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy within the individual session. They are explained in this book.

Read the beginning of this book, or order it, on Amazon.

Mindfulness Meditation Therapy Researched

Psychologists research Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and variations for alcohol relapse prevention, social anxiety, panic, PTDS, OCD, Bi-Polar and other conditions.

We’re far beyond the oooohs and ahhhhs of tv celebrity shows announcing that mindfulness offers miracles of personal growth.

There is now a vast amount of research on the importance of learning mindfulness, and a lot of clinical experience supporting that. Personally, I have been teaching mindfulness in a mental health context for 5 years. Continue reading

Mindfulness of life with Louis Schwartzberg

Eating a slice from a loaf of fresh baked french bread, this morning…. pure bliss. Reminding me of my youth, when as an 8-year old I pedaled my bike to the boulangerie for a fresh loaf, still warm from the oven, and biked it home to my parents. Half eaten by the time I got there!

But, with this loaf today, I listened to another person as I tasted, and the taste was lost. I took another bite and savored it. Thanks for second chances…. always, available, really, because moments of opportunity present themselves continuously. That’s the nature of mindfulness, there’s always a second chance.

Just saw a video talk from TED that illustrates this beautifully. Enjoy.

The mind focused, and the mind wandering… both are valuable.

Dis-Identification with Thoughts 

A lot of what we’re doing with mindfulness is changing how we relate to our thoughts.

We’re not actively trying to stop or change the thoughts. That’s often the content of  classical cognitive therapy. In Mindfulness-Based work we’re learning to observe the thoughts rather than change them. We’re leaning how to observe ourselves having the thoughts. Then they’re less ‘us’ and more something that is happening in us. It’s less “I’m a failure,”  and more “A failure thought is in me,” or “A failure thought is here.”  When we dis-identify with the thought we can look at it, and have some more freedom in how we respond to it.

In the third week of MBCT we enter a new phase of this dis-identification. We start practicing the three minute breathing space, the first step of which is to note what thoughts are currently present in our mind. In this, we are practicing noticing thoughts.  Also in the third week, we start daily formal practice of meditating on the breath, then body and breath.

In the meditating instructions, we follow a very different practice than some other meditators. We are not practicing concentration, as it is usually taught. Usually the idea in meditation would be that the times I am noticing the breath are good, and the times my mind has wandered are like something I want to change, a work in progress. For us, by contrast, both the focus on breath and the wandering mind are of equal value and interest. When I notice the breath, that’s fine, it’s my intention. When I notice the mind has wandered I take the attitude of friendly interest in the thought. I note it as “thinking” or I get a little deeper and categorize it as “planning” or “worrying” or “remembering” or “ regretting” or any of a bunch of labels which you can make up for yourself. When we are noting the thought we are not trying to remember it, but rather just to give it a name. Things named are often less fearsome, after all. Once named, things are beginning to be understood. We just note the thought and return to the breath.

This practice in noticing, and noting, is also very helpful in the process of learning to dis-identify from thoughts.  Every time we notice we have been thinking,  and note it, we are practicing dis-identification. So both the breath and the thoughts are useful! They are little trainings in dis-identification.