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Study: Meditation as effective as psychotherapy for depression

By Ocean Malandra     Nov 28, 2014 in Health
Stockholm - Group meditation classes improve depression and anxiety just as well as expensive private therapy sessions, according to a brand new study.
For the first time ever, a study conducted at Lund University in Sweden tested the effects of mindfulness based group meditation classes head-to-head against traditional psychotherapy on a group of clinically depressed patients.
The results are remarkable.
Meditation has been found in many studies to have positive effects on psychological stress and well being, including being able to improve both anxiety and depression, but never has it been compared directly to individual psychological therapy.
Until now, that is.
The researchers at Lund University divided a group of clinically depressed patients into two groups and gave one private cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the other group mindfulness-based group therapy on a daily basis for eight weeks.
There was no statistical difference between the two treatments.
“The study’s results indicate that group mindfulness treatment, conducted by certified instructors in primary health care, is as effective a treatment method as individual CBT for treating depression and anxiety”, said Jan Sundquist, the professor that ran the study.
“This means that group mindfulness treatment should be considered as an alternative to individual psychotherapy." He continued.
A global crisis of epidemic proportions, depression is the leading cause of disability in the world.
Private counseling and psychotherapy is often expensive, however, placing such therapies out of reach for many of those that suffer. The USA spends over $100 billion a year on mental health treatment, for example.
Meditation, on the other hand, is entirely cost-free and can be practiced on one's own time. This places its curative power to reverse depression and anxiety right in an individual's own hands.
More about Meditation, Depression, Anxiety, psychotherapy, Buddhism