Zindel Segal PhD. is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto – Scarborough. His study of mindfulness meditation and antidepressant medication has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Health Online and the New York Times. An author of over 10 books and 100 scientific publications, Dr. Segal’s latest publication The Mindful Way Through Depression, is a patient guide for dealing with stress and achieving mood balance in everyday life.
Zindel Segal studied psychology as an undergraduate at McGill University. After receiving his PhD. from Queen’s University in 1983, Dr. Segal’s worked at the Toronto Western Hospital from 1984–1986. He began teaching at the University of Toronto in 1986, where he is currently a distinguished professor of psychology. Dr. Segal has also served as head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Clinic of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) incorporates elements of conventional cognitive behavioural therapy with mindfulness meditation and was inspired by Jon Kabat-Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR).
Rather than encouraging people to change their thoughts, MBCT attempts to teach people to think differently about their thoughts. Like other contemplative approaches, MBCT helps people learn to focus on their thoughts without judgment and to consider how some habitual thoughts can trigger a downturn in mood. Rather than attempting to eliminate negative thoughts altogether, people are encouraged to learn how to move from negative thoughts to positive ones without dwelling on unpleasant emotions.
Dr. Segal originally developed MBCT to prevent relapse in patients experiencing depression but has expanded the approach to include a wide variety of psychiatric symptoms. MBCT is an empirically validated approach to therapy and the treatment of depression, and several studies have found it to be effective.
Books by Zindel Segal:
Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression (1999)
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (2002)
Depression and the Self (1997)
The Self in Emotional Distress (1993)
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (2007)