Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XIII: Investigating the Mind: The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation” on November 8-10, 2005.

Session Three – Clinical Research I: Meditation & Mental Health
Helen S. Mayberg, M.D.
Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D.

With the advent of MBSR and more recently, MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy), meditative practices have shown promise in the treat­ment of anxiety and depression.

This session will review the experimental evidence for the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing relapse rates for chronic depression, and how mindfulness might be functioning in the brain to regulate depressive cognitions, affect, and behaviors. The different elements comprising the meditation practices and approaches will be examined from the contemplative perspective, and cross-cultural issues discussed regard­ing content and context and how they may serve to synergistically opti­mize meditation-based interventions in Western and Asian settings.

MODERATOR: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Thupten Jinpa
B. Alan Wallace

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Jan Chozen Bays
Jack Kornfield
Helen S. Mayberg
Zindel V. Segal
John D. Teasdale


Zindel Segal: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and the preven­tion of relapse in recurrent depression

The advent of effective treatments for mood disorders has provided relief for many depressed patients, yet staying well and preventing relapse are enduring challenges. The clinical application of mindfulness in this group acquaints patients with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously inviting them to develop a new relationship to these modes. Thoughts come to be seen as events in the mind, independent of their content and emotional charge. They need not be disputed, fixed or changed but can be held in a more spacious awareness. The growing empirical base for this approach suggests a 50% increase in relapse prophylaxis for previously depressed patients.

Helen Mayberg: Paths to recovery – neural substrates of cognitive and mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of depression

Functional neuroimaging has established that both non-pharmaco­logical and pharmacological treatments for depression both change the brain, though they change the brain in different ways. This pres­entation will present findings from positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of functional brain changes mediating depression remission using cognitive behavioral therapy. Differences between cognitive and pharmaco­logical interventions will be discussed in the context of limbic-cortical network model of depression. Implications of this work for under­standing the impact of mindfulness meditation as an intervention in the treatment of depression will be considered.


Helen S. Mayberg, MD

Emory University School of Medicine

Zindel Segal, PhD

University of Toronto-Scarborough

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Planning Committee Member

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

University of Massachusetts

Fellow, Founding Steward

Thupten Jinpa, PhD

Compassion Institute

Board Chair

Mind & Life Connections