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PhD defence

How does Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy work in the Treatment of Recurrent Depression?

PhD Defence, Anne Maj van der Velden

Info about event

Time

Friday 13 August 2021,  at 13:00 - 16:00

Location

Aarhus University, Tåsingegade 3, 1441-112 (Aud. 2)

Introduction
A new PhD project from Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine investigates how Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy works in the treatment of recurrent depression. The project was carried out by Anne Maj van der Velden.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most prevalent and debilitating affective disorders and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Much of the burden of depression is a consequence of MDD tending to take a recurrent course. Hence optimizing preventative treatments for recurrence of depression is a high priority within the field of mental field. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for prevention of relapse risk amongst individuals with a history of recurrent MDD, recommended in the Danish National Health guidelines and by the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) as preventative treatment for recurrent depression. However, only about half experience sustained recovery or remission following MBCT. To improve clinical outcomes, we need to identify key therapeutic mechanisms of change. This PhD project investigated putative mechanisms of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in the treatment of recurrent depression by conducting an interdisciplinary multi-modal randomized controlled trial with an embedded experimental paradigm examining neural, cardiophysiological and psychological change processes following MBCT treatment. We found that MBCT is an effective treatment for reducing depression symptoms post treatment and at 12 month follow up amongst individuals with recurrent depression, and that neural and cardiophysiological changes following MBCT treatment were connected to changes in psychological processes such as decentering, non-reactivity, and the ability to attend and listen to body sensations, which may be a core skills underlying clinical improvement in MBCT for recurrent depression. The project was carried out by Anne Maj van der Velden, who is defending her dissertation on 'How does Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy work in the Treatment of Recurrent Depression?

Main supervisors 
Professor Andreas Roepstorff, Aarhus University 

Professor Willem Kuyken, Oxford University

Committee
Professor Gregers Wegener
Chairman of the committee and moderator of the defence
Translational Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark 

Professor Anne Speckens
Donders Center of Medical Neurosciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Associate Professor Norman Farb
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Missisauga, Canada