Mindfulness in mental health: a critical reflection

Van Gordon, W. ORCID: 0000-0002-5648-3043, Shonin, E. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2015. Mindfulness in mental health: a critical reflection. Journal of Psychology, Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Brain Stimulation, 1 (1).


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Mindfulness derives from Buddhist practice and is fundamentally concerned with the development of present moment awareness. It is arguably one of the fastest growing areas of mental health research with the last decade witnessing a tenfold increase in the number of published scientific papers concerning the applications of mindfulness in mental health contexts. Given the demonstrable growth of interest into the clinical utility of mindfulness, this paper provides a: (i) timely and evidence-based appraisal of current trends and issues in psychopathology-related mindfulness research, and (ii) discussion of whether the empirical evidence for mindfulness-based interventions actually merits their growing popularity and utilization amongst mental health stakeholders. It is concluded that mindfulness-based interventions have the potential to play an important role in psychiatric treatment settings as well as in applied psychological settings more generally. However, due to the rapidity at which mindfulness has been taken out of its traditional Buddhist setting, and what is possibly evidence of media and/or scientific hype concerning the effectiveness of mindfulness, it is recommended that future research seeks to: (i) consolidate and replicate research findings, (ii) assess the maintenance of outcomes over longer time periods, (iii) investigate potential adverse effects, and (iv) fully control for potential performance bias in mindfulness-based intervention studies. It is further recommended that future research seeks to investigate the Buddhist position that sustainable improvements to mental and spiritual health typically require consistent daily mindfulness practice over a period of many years (i.e., they do not arise after attending eight two-hour classes with some self-practice in between).

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Psychology, Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Brain Stimulation
Creators: Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Elyns Publishing Group
Place of Publication: New Jersey, United States
Date: 2015
Volume: 1
Number: 1
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 28 Oct 2015 10:33
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 08:25
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25778

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