Integrating Buddhist practices and principles into mental health settings: a mixed method investigation

Shonin, E., 2015. Integrating Buddhist practices and principles into mental health settings: a mixed method investigation. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

Edo Shonin PhD Thesis 2015_Dec 2015_Revised.pdf - Published version

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During recent decades there has been growing public and scientific interest into the applications of Buddhist practices and principles for improving psychological wellbeing, and for enhancing psychosocial functioning more generally. Although there is a growing and credible evidence base that supports the utility of Buddhist techniques for treating specific mental health issues, these techniques were originally taught by the Buddha in the context of a spiritual path, and with the complete liberation from suffering as the ultimate goal. Consequently, an increasing number of researchers, scholars, and Buddhist teachers have raised concerns that the manner in which Buddhist meditation techniques are being taught and practised in Western mental health settings bears little or no resemblance to the traditional Buddhist approach. Furthermore, concerns have also been raised over the extent to which the average researcher and teacher of secular Buddhist-derived interventions (BDIs) has an accurate and grounded understanding of the basic principles of Buddhist meditation. The purpose of this doctoral thesis is to make an original contribution to knowledge by: (i) providing robust theoretical foundations to support the effective interpretation, classification, and operationalisation of Buddhist terms, principles, and practices within mental health settings, and (ii) empirically investigating the benefits to mental health of authentic Buddhist practices and principles within currently unexplored population settings. Findings from this thesis demonstrate that BDIs—when correctly taught and administered—may be effective treatments for a range of mental health issues including schizophrenia, pathological gambling, work addiction, and work-related stress. However, perhaps of greater significance, findings demonstrate that if Western research and mental health disciplines truly wish to assimilate and make use of Buddhist practices as part of alleviating human suffering and advancing understanding of the mind, then it is vital that empirical investigations look beyond the superficial attributes of these spiritual practices and seek to identify the cooperating and underlying psycho-spiritual properties that are traditionally assumed to authenticate them.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Shonin, E.
Date: December 2015
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the intellectual property rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 28 Jun 2016 15:16
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2016 15:16

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