Effects of mindfulness training on brain mechanisms in unipolar depression

Photo of two researchers talking together

Depression treatments that are available today are the result of decades of research.

Are you depressed, sad or blue?

Interested in trying mindfulness meditation or relaxation methods?

The Massachusetts General Hospital is conducting a clinical research study evaluating the effects on the brain of two different 8-week programs for people suffering from depression.

The MBCT training program consists in weekly classes that combine cognitive therapy with mindfulness

meditation. Mindfulness meditation cultivates present moment awareness to approach thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental, self-compassionate, and overall accepting way.

The PRT-PsyEd training program includes two components: Progressive Relaxation Training (PRT) and psychoeducation (PsyEd), two methods widely used in psychotherapy to better manage stress and learn how it relates to depression.

If you are aged 21-65, and have no (or limited) previous experience with meditation, you may be eligible for this study.

If eligible, you will receive either the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy program or the 8- week PRT-PsyEd program, including all course materials, at no cost to you.

This study requires that you participate in a 2.5-hour class once a week for 8 weeks. In addition, you will be asked to practice at home the exercises taught in class, on a daily basis, for the full duration of the course (8 weeks). This study also involves up to 7 visits to the Massachusetts General Hospital, including two brain scans using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

For more information and to check your eligibility, please email MGHMindfulnessStudy@partners.org or call us at 617-643-5078.

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