Research: ALLEN and co-authors,

Listed in Issue 140

Abstract

ALLEN and co-authors, ORYGEN Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, nba@unimelb.edu.au, have reviewed (67 references) mindfulness-based psychotherapies.

Background

This paper, composed by an interest group of clinicians and researchers based in Melbourne, presents some background to the practice of mindfulness-based therapies. The empirical evidence for these therapies is addressed and the principles through which they might operate. The review attempts to answer some practical questions facing those wishing to commence practise in this area or to refer patients into mindfulness-based therapies.

Methodology

Relevant databases were searched for literature on the impact of mindfulness interventions, and the psychological and biological mechanisms that underpin the effects of mindfulness practice. This paper also draws upon the clinical experience of the author group

Results

Mindfulness practice and principles have their origins in many contemplative and philosophical traditions but individuals can effectively adopt the training and practice of mindfulness in the absence of such traditions or vocabulary. A recent surge of interest regarding mindfulness in therapeutic techniques can be attributed to the publication of some well-designed empirical evaluations of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Arising from this, a growing number of clinicians have interest and enthusiasm to learn the techniques of mindfulness and to integrate them into their therapeutic work. This review highlights the importance of accurate professional awareness and understanding of mindfulness and its therapeutic applications.

Conclusion

Mindfulness-based approaches may become helpful strategies to offer in the care of patients with a wide range of mental and physical health problems.

References

Allen NB et al. Mindfulness-based psychotherapies: a review of conceptual foundations, empirical evidence and practical considerations. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 40 (4): 285-294, Apr 2006.

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