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International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 844–849

First Online: 13 May 2016DOI: 10.1007-s11469-016-9653-7

Cite this article as: Shonin, E. & Van Gordon, W. Int J Ment Health Addiction 2016 14: 844. doi:10.1007-s11469-016-9653-7


Consistent with its growing popularity amongst the general public and medical community, throughout recent decades there have been increasing attempts to understand the mechanisms that underlie therapeutic improvement in individuals receiving mindfulness training. The current paper draws upon findings from various remits of scientific enquiry and summarises key evidence-based mechanisms of mindfulness that have been proposed in the academic literature to date. Empirical findings indicate that mindfulness targets biological, psychological, social, and spiritual psychopathology determinants. Furthermore, the mechanistic pathways exploited by mindfulness are likely to vary according to factors such as i the type of mindfulness-based intervention that is administered e.g., first- or second-generation mindfulness-based interventions, ii the specific clinical disorder that is being targeted, iii the educational, social, and spiritual history of the participant, and iv the extent to which the mindfulness instructor truly embodies the principles of mindful living. It is hoped that the mechanisms of mindfulness discussed in this paper will contribute to the formulation of a more complete picture that can be tested and expanded upon during future scientific enquiry.

KeywordsMindfulness Mechanisms of action Second-Generation mindfulness-based Interventions Meditation Addiction treatment Mental illness  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Edo Shonin - William Van Gordon


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