Breathing Space London

mindfulness for health

Mindfulness Based Relapse PreventionPicture of someone after meditating

Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) is one of several Mindfulness Based Approaches (MBAs) that can help you look after your mental health. If you have struggled with addiction - to alcohol, drugs, or any other substances or behaviours - MBRP can help you stay stopped long term. MBRP was pioneered at Breathing Space by Dr Paramabandhu Groves, a consultant NHS psychiatrist specialising in addiction. He adapted it from Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a treatment for preventing relapse into depression.

How MBRP works - a summary

How MBRP was developed

Dr Paramabandhu Groves

How MBRP works - a summary

MBRP is suitable for people who are currently abstinent and want additional help to prevent relapsing into addictive behaviour. Meditation is used to help people become aware of high risk situations, especially emotional triggers, and learn to deal with them more effectively. MBRP is one of several Mindfulness Based Approaches (MBAs) that can help people break the link between negative thinking and the negative moods and the behaviours this can lead to. Here's the ABC of MBAs:

A. We start by developing awareness of what is happening in our experience. We do this through mindful exercises, meditation,  and being mindful of other activities during the day such as walking or eating.

B. Next, we learn to be with our experience. Instead of pushing away unwanted thoughts, emotions or other experience, we try to cultivate an attitude of acceptance. Pushing away our experience can often make it worse. Acceptance gives us an opportunity to really find out what's going on and choose how best to respond. It also allows us to savour pleasant experiences.

C. Finally, we can choose how best to respond to our experience. Sometimes the most helpful thing is to be with our experience as best as we can, perhaps noting thoughts as just thoughts (not facts) or noting familiar unhelpful thinking patterns. Sometimes it can be best to take some practical action by dealing with the issue or engaging in some pleasurable or satisfying activity.

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How MBRP was developed

MBRP was adapted from Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which can be used to prevent relapse into depression. The six-week course was developed by Dr Paramabandhu Groves, an NHS consultant psychiatrist specialising in addiction at Camden & Islington Foundation Trust.

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Dr Paramabandhu Groves

Dr Paramabandhu Groves BA MB BS MRCPsych is a consultant psychiatrist working in the NHS and specialising in addiction. He has trained in Core Process Psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats since 1990 at the London Buddhist Centre, where he currently functions as the clinical director of Breathing Space. He has led courses of MBCT since 2004 and adapted it for preventing relapse into addiction (Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention). His work with MBRP was featured in a full-page article in The Times in 2007. He trains and supervises teachers of mindfulness-based therapies at the London Buddhist Centre, and has taught and presented at conferences for health professionals in the NHS. Dr Groves provides training in mindfulness withing the NHS, and most recently ran a MBA training day for health proffesionals at Breathing Space in September 2011.

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