Monday, April 17, 2017


Mindfulness group therapy has an equally positive effect as individual cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric symptoms in patients with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders, according to new research from the Center for Primary Healthcare Research in Malmö, Sweden, which is a collaboration between Lund University and Region Skåne.

‘Our new research shows that mindfulness group therapy has the equivalent effect as individual CBT for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms that are common among this patient group,’ says Professor Jan Sundquist [pictured left], who led the research group in the study which has been published in European Psychiatry.

Professor Sundquist adds, ‘We have shown in a previous study that mindfulness group therapy is just as effective as individual CBT for the treatment of typical depression and anxiety symptoms; something we also observed in the new study.’

A study released by the University of Oxford in 2015 found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy could also be just as helpful as the use of antidepressants when it came to depression relapse prevention. 

Journal reference:
J Sundquist, K Palmér, L M Johansson, K Sundquist. ‘The effect of mindfulness group therapy on a broad range of psychiatric symptoms: A randomised controlled trial in primary health care.’ European Psychiatry, 2017; 43: 19 DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.01.328



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Monday, April 3, 2017


‘See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and
riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ Zechariah 9:9.

These days everyone is a star—or so they think.

One of the negative things about social media is that every nonentity around can have their moment of glory—their 15 minutes (usually 15 seconds or less) of fame—many times a day. Here’s a photo of the meal I’m about to eat. Yummy. (Really? It looks disgusting.) This is the view from my kitchen. Magnificent, isn’t it? (Hmm. It's so-so.) Here’s my latest hat. (Does she really think that’s nice? It's awful!) Here’s a photo of me on the airplane, about to head off on my trip to London—first class, no less. Aren’t I doing well? Hashtag this, hashtag that. (Sure, you're a legend in your own lunchbox, as we Aussies like to say.) And, yes, I am also guilty of this.

One of my favourite Bible verses is this: ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’ (Mt 23:12). That’s one of the Zen-like sayings of Jesus. The multi-talented musician, bandleader, singer, actor, producer, director, writer and university lecturer Desi Arnaz, pictured above, once said that it was his favourite Bible verse. The verse, he said, was ‘one of the greatest quotes from the Bible as applied to show business’.

In a few days time, namely, on Sunday, April 9, it will be Palm Sunday, a day on which Christians recall the triumphal entry of Jesus into the walled city of Jerusalem. The people laid down their cloaks and small branches of trees in front of him. The image of Jesus riding on a donkey is an object lesson in humility—and much, much more. The donkey may be an image of proverbial stubbornness but it is also one of peace as opposed to war, Jesus being the Prince of Peace (cf Is 9:6). The donkey is also an image of meekness, persistency and endurance. There is the intellect, the emotions and the will—plus the physical body. When all of four of those things are ‘tamed’ – the image of Jesus riding on the donkey – they become obedient to the spiritual impulse within, the ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Col 1:27).

There is more to life than so-called fame and worldly success. There is an exalted state of consciousness and inner spiritual richness that those who seek the things of this material world will never know—that is, unless and until they humble themselves. Let go of willfulness and personal exertion of the selfish and superficial kind.

Whether Christian or not, Easter is a time to reflect upon what is truly important in life.