We hope you find this new feature of the Mind and Life Research Network's meditation list of benefit: this year we will begin to send an update of recent meditation-related research publications on a quarterly basis, covering articles published in journals listed in the PyschINFO database during the previous three months and referenced with relevant keywords (i.e. meditation, mindfulness, contemplative practice, etc). If you are working on research related to meditation or other contemplative practices and would like us to include unpublished updates on your research in this quarterly mailing, please send your update to pmaceachron@wrightinst.edu - the next update will be sent at the beginning of April.  

 

Thanks,

 

Phil MacEachron, Psy.D.

Mind and Life Research Network Moderator

 

 

Coelho, H. F., P. H. Canter and E. Ernst (2007). "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Evaluating Current Evidence and Informing Future Research." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 75(6): 1000-1005.

            Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a recently developed class-based program designed to prevent relapse or recurrence of major depression (Z. V. Segal, J. M. G. Williams, & J. Teasdale, 2002). Although research in this area is in its infancy, MBCT is generally discussed as a promising therapy in terms of clinical effectiveness. The aim of this review was to outline the evidence that contributes to this current viewpoint and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this evidence to inform future research. By systematically searching 6 electronic databases and the reference lists of retrieved articles, the authors identified 4 relevant studies: 2 randomized clinical trials, 1 study based on a subset of 1 of these trials, and 1 nonrandomized trial. The authors evaluated these trials and discussed methodological issues in the context of future research. The current evidence from the randomized trials suggests that, for patients with 3 or more previous depressive episodes, MBCT has an additive benefit to usual care. However, because of the nature of the control groups, these findings cannot be attributed to MBCT-specific effects. Further research is necessary to clarify whether MBCT does have any specific effects.

 

Pruett, J. M., N. J. Nishimura and R. Priest (2007). "The Role of Meditation in Addiction Recovery." Counseling and Values 52(1): 71.

            The authors examined the role of meditation as an important component in addiction recovery. Successful addiction recovery is often related to an individual's ability to develop and use a repertoire of coping behaviors, including the ability to maintain an ongoing awareness of one's vulnerability. These learned behaviors serve as reliable alternatives to the routine behavior patterns of individuals who are addicted, which, in the past, have led to often-repeated destructive outcomes. The authors contend that incorporating meditation into the lifestyle of individuals recovering from addiction provides a consistent means of preparing for inevitable, addiction-related life challenges and a coping skill that can help maintain equilibrium in living with ever-present peril. (Contains 4 figures.)

 

Rothaupt, J. W. and M. M. Morgan (2007). "Counselors' and Counselor Educators' Practice of Mindfulness: A Qualitative Inquiry." Counseling and Values 52(1): 40.

            The Buddhist practice of mindfulness is being used more often both to help clients and to facilitate counselor effectiveness. A growing body of research supports these uses of mindfulness. Most authors also emphasize that those who teach mindfulness must also apply it themselves. However, little is known about how counselors and counselor educators incorporate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives. The current study used semistructured interviews to elicit such information from 6 counselors and counselor educators. A constant comparative method was used to analyze the data and synthesize themes. Emergent themes included practices used to cultivate mindfulness and the results of mindfulness practices.

 

Singh, N. N., G. E. Lancioni, A. S. W. Winton, A. D. Adkins, J. Singh and A. N. Singh (2007). "Mindfulness Training Assists Individuals With Moderate Mental Retardation to Maintain Their Community Placements." Behavior Modification, vol 31(6): 800-814.

            The mindfulness procedure Meditation on the Soles of the Feet can help individuals with mild mental retardation control aggressive behavior. In this study, our aim was to teach this mindfulness technique, using a multiple baseline design, to 3 individuals with moderate mental retardation who were at risk of losing their community placements because of their aggressive behavior. These individuals initially found the procedure difficult to comprehend because they could not easily visualize past anger-producing situations, but mastery was achieved when we incorporated recreating-the-scene as a prompt and added a discriminative stimulus on the soles of the participants' feet. Aggressive behavior decreased with mindfulness training, and follow-up data showed that they managed their aggressive behavior in the community for at least 2 years and thus were able to retain their community placements.

 

Holmes, E. (2007). "Sound and song as hypnotherapy: A holistic approach for transformation through the use of sound and song." Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis 28(1): 12-18.

            Since the dawn of time cultures and civilisations have used sound and song as tools to induce a state of trance. These states have a transformative effect on the physical, mental, emotional, sensory, and spiritual levels. The use of voice through song as medicine is expressed in many different forms, such as chanting, prayer, toning, and harmonics. This has been used to expand spiritual awareness in many cultures in India, Africa, Bali, Native America, Aboriginal Australia, and amongst the Kahuna of Hawaii and the Maori of New Zealand. Using vibration through sound induces a hypnotic trance to facilitate meditation, concentration, mental alertness, relaxation, healing, happiness, and inner peace. In this article I expand these examples, with practical examples of toning, harmonics, and chanting, as well as the integration of Ericksonian style stories, metaphor, paradox, and repetition. I also use case studies from my individual and group sessions where these tools have been used successfully. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Altmaier, E. and R. Maloney (2007). "An initial evaluation of a mindful parenting program." Journal of Clinical Psychology 63(12): 1231-1238.

            A growing number of children are experiencing marital transition. The effects of divorce on children have typically been considered deleterious, although factors can buffer the difficulty of postdivorce adjustment. One of these factors is a positive relationship with a parental figure. Unfortunately, divorce often overwhelms parents with a series of changes that compromise their parenting skills. One new approach to improving parenting after divorce is mindful parenting, which aims to enhance interpersonal and emotional connection in the parent-child relationship. This program is intended to facilitate parents' self-awareness, their mindfulness, and their intentionality in responding to their child's needs. The present study reports on the implementation of the Mindful Parenting Program, delivered in two groups to 12 recently divorced parents with preschool-aged children. Program effectiveness was conducted on two levels. First, mindfulness measured by the Toronto Mindfulness Scale revealed significant increases over the intervention and posttest period. Second, in-home behavioral observations conducted pre- and postintervention revealed no changes in parent-child relationships. These findings are discussed within the larger context of facilitating effective parenting postdivorce. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Farb, N. A. S., Z. V. Segal, H. Mayberg, J. Bean, D. McKeon, Z. Fatima and A. K. Anderson (2007). "Attending to the present: Mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference." Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2(4): 313-322.

            It has long been theorised that there are two temporally distinct forms of self-reference: extended self-reference linking experiences across time, and momentary self-reference centred on the present. To characterise these two aspects of awareness, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine monitoring of enduring traits ('narrative' focus, NF) or momentary experience ('experiential' focus, EF) in both novice participants and those having attended an 8 week course in mindfulness meditation, a program that trains individuals to develop focused attention on the present. In novices, EF yielded focal reductions in self-referential cortical midline regions (medial prefrontal cortex, mPFC) associated with NF. In trained participants, EF resulted in more marked and pervasive reductions in the mPFC, and increased engagement of a right lateralised network, comprising the lateral PFC and viscerosomatic areas such as the insula, secondary somatosensory cortex and inferior parietal lobule. Functional connectivity analyses further demonstrated a strong coupling between the right insula and the mPFC in novices that was uncoupled in the mindfulness group. These results suggest a fundamental neural dissociation between two distinct forms of self-awareness that are habitually integrated but can be dissociated through attentional training: the self across time and in the present moment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Siegel, D. J. (2007). "Mindfulness training and neural integration: Differentiation of distinct streams of awareness and the cultivation of well-being." Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2(4): 259-263.

            Comments on an article by Norman A. S. Farb et al (see record 2007-18458-007). The authors have provided an intriguing insight illuminating the nature of mindful awareness and of our experience of self. In their study the researchers compare the brain imaging findings of two groups, one trained in mindfulness meditation and the others awaiting such training--the novices. The results reveal that in all subjects during the meaning-condition, the medial prefrontal regions (mPFC) were activated, consistent with numerous prior studies suggesting that our 'narrative circuitry' includes these midline structures, just behind the forehead. This study's findings establish an important basic step in the illumination of the possible mechanisms by which mindfulness training may help cultivate well-being. With mindfulness practice, the intentional creation of a state of mindful awareness enables the individual to differentiate previously inseparable streams in the flow of information of the mind. The authors' note that such ability may help in 'objectifying' the mind, a process in which individuals are able to dis-identify from mental activities as being the totality of who they are. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA )

 

Blackledge, J. T. (2007). "Disrupting verbal processes: Cognitive defusion in acceptance and commitment therapy and other mindfulness-based psychotherapies." Psychological Record 57(4): 555-576.

            Applied behavioral psychology pivots on the formation and alteration of stimulus function: on how stimuli come to differentially affect behavior and how these effects can be altered when they prove problematic. Relational frame theory (RFT) offers an account of how uniquely verbal processes transform stimulus functions. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was designed to counteract problematic verbal transformations of function, in part through the use of cognitive defusion techniques. But the construct of cognitive defusion remains incompletely understood. The current article comprises an attempt to explore parameters around the ways in which cognitive defusion are viewed and operationalized within ACT and RFT. A comprehensive RFT-based conceptualization of defusion is offered, and hypotheses about the nature of defusion and its effects are discussed, with the intent of spurring more focused empirical exploration on the characteristics and effects of defusion inside ACT and in a variety of mindfulness-based psychotherapeutic treatments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Lakey, C. E., W. K. Campbell, K. W. Brown and A. S. Goodie (2007). "Dispositional mindfulness as a predictor of the severity of gambling outcomes." Personality and Individual Differences 43(7): 1698-1710.

            Two studies were conducted to test and explain the relation of mindfulness to the severity of gambling outcomes among frequent gamblers. In both studies, dispositional mindfulness related to less severe gambling outcomes as measured by a DSM-IV-based screen for pathological gambling, even after controlling for gambling frequency and dispositional self-control. Study 2 extended this finding in showing that the association between mindfulness and lower pathological gambling was partially mediated by better performance on two risk-taking tasks that capture overconfidence, risky bet acceptance, and myopic focus on reward. These studies suggest a role for mindfulness in lessening the severity of gambling problems and making adaptive decisions, especially in risk-relevant contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Grepmair, L., F. Mitterlehner, T. Loew and M. Nickel (2007). "Promotion of mindfulness in psychotherapists in training: Preliminary study." European Psychiatry 22(8): 485-489.

            This study examined whether the promotion of mindfulness in psychotherapists in training can influence the treatment results of their patients. The therapeutic course and treatment results of 196 inpatients, who were treated during a nine week period by nine psychotherapists in training, were compared: in the first phase of the study, the treatment group without (CG, historical control group, n = 55), and in the second phase the treatment group with, (MFG, n = 58) therapists who were currently practicing Zen meditation. The results of treatment were examined (according to the intent-to-treat principle) with the Session Questionnaire for General and Differential Individual Psychotherapy (STEP), the Questionnaire of Changes in Experience and Behaviour (VEV) and the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R), and showed significantly better results in the MFG. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Nielsen, L. and A. W. Kaszniak (2007). ""Awareness of subtle emotional feelings: A comparison of long-term meditators and nonmeditators": Correction to Nielsen and Kaszniak (2006)." Emotion 7(4): 754.

            Reports an error in "Awareness of Subtle Emotional Feelings: A Comparison of Long-Term Meditators and Nonmeditators" by Lisbeth Nielsen and Alfred W. Kaszniak (Emotion, 2006[Aug], Vol 6[3], 392-405). The copyright attribution is incorrect. The article is in the public domain. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2006-10747-005.) The authors explored whether meditation training to enhance emotional awareness improves discrimination of subtle emotional feelings hypothesized to guide decision-making. Long-term meditators and nonmeditators were compared on measures of self-reported valence and arousal, skin conductance response (SCR), and facial electromyography (EMG) to masked and nonmasked emotional pictures, and on measures of heartbeat detection and self-reported emotional awareness. Groups responded similarly to nonmasked pictures. In the masked condition, only controls showed discrimination in valence self-reports. However, meditators reported greater emotional clarity than controls, and meditators with higher clarity had reduced arousal and improved valence discrimination in the masked condition. These findings provide qualified support for the somatic marker hypothesis and suggest that meditation may influence how emotionally ambiguous information is processed, regulated, and represented in conscious awareness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA )

 

Thompson, B. L. and J. Waltz (2007). "Everyday mindfulness and mindfulness meditation: Overlapping constructs or not?" Personality and Individual Differences 43(7): 1875-1885.

            Elaborating on our understanding of the construct of mindfulness is currently a priority as mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions proliferate (Bishop et al., 2004). Two studies examined the relationship between measures of everyday mindfulness, mindfulness during meditation, and the five-factor model personality domains. These studies also investigated the effect of sitting meditation on mood. Two samples were largely naēve to formal sitting meditation, and the third sample was screened for meditation experience. The first study found that everyday mindfulness correlated positively with agreeableness and conscientiousness, and correlated negatively with neuroticism. Little to no relationship was found between mindfulness during meditation and everyday mindfulness across all three samples. Changes in mood following meditation varied across studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Barnes, S., K. W. Brown, E. Krusemark, W. K. Campbell and R. D. Rogge (2007). "The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress." Journal of Marital & Family Therapy 33(4): 482-500.

            Two studies examined the role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and in responses to relationship stress. Using a longitudinal design, Study 1 found that higher trait mindfulness predicted higher relationship satisfaction and greater capacities to respond constructively to relationship stress. Study 2 replicated and extended these findings. Mindfulness was again shown to relate to relationship satisfaction; then, using a conflict discussion paradigm, trait mindfulness was found to predict lower emotional stress responses and positive pre- and postconflict change in perception of the relationship. State mindfulness was related to better communication quality during the discussion. Both studies indicated that mindfulness may play an influential role in romantic relationship well-being. Discussion highlights future research directions for this new area of inquiry. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Margolin, A., Z. Schuman-Olivier, M. Beitel, R. M. Arnold, C. E. Fulwiler and S. K. Avants (2007). "A preliminary study of spiritual self-schema (3-S-super(+)) therapy for reducing impulsivity in HIV-positive drug users." Journal of Clinical Psychology. Special Issue: Spirituality and psychotherapy 63(10): 979-999.

            The purpose of this study was twofold. First, pretreatment correlations are presented among impulsivity, intoxicant use, HIV risk behavior, spirituality, and motivation in a sample of 38 HIV-positive drug users Second, treatment outcomes are presented from a preliminary study of spiritual self-schema (3-S-super(+)) therapy--a manual-guided psychotherapy integrating cognitive and Buddhist psychologies--for increasing motivation for abstinence, HIV prevention, and medication adherence. Impulsivity was negatively correlated with spiritual practices and motivation for recovery, and was positively related to intoxicant use and HIV risk behavior. Relative to a standard care comparison condition, patients completing 3-S-super(+) therapy reported greater decreases in impulsivity and intoxicant use, and greater increases in spiritual practices and motivation for abstinence, HIV prevention, and medication adherence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Block-Lerner, J., C. Adair, J. C. Plumb, D. L. Rhatigan and S. M. Orsillo (2007). "The case for mindfulness-based approaches in the cultivation of empathy: Does nonjudgmental, present-moment awareness increase capacity for perspective-taking and empathic concern?" Journal of Marital & Family Therapy 33(4): 501-516.

            Empathic responding, most notably perspective-taking and empathic concern, has important implications for interpersonal functioning. While empathy training approaches have received some support for a variety of populations, few extant interventions have targeted empathic responding in couples. Mindfulness- and acceptance-based behavioral approaches, for couples as a unit and/or for individual family members/partners, are proposed as an adjunct to empathy training interventions. Preliminary findings suggest that the viability of these interventions for increasing empathic responding should be further investigated, and specific suggestions for this line of research are offered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Blumenthal, J. A., M. A. Babyak, G. Ironson, C. Thoresen, L. Powell, S. Czajkowski, M. Burg, F. J. Keefe, P. Steffen and D. Catellier (2007). ""Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction": Erratum." Psychosomatic Medicine 69(8): 826.

            Reports an error in "Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction" by James A. Blumenthal, Michael A. Babyak, Gail Ironson, Carl Thoresen, Lynda Powell, Susan Czajkowski, Matthew Burg, Francis J. Keefe, Patrick Steffen and Diane Catellier (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2007[Jul-Aug], Vol 69[6], 501-508). Several incorrect values were reported in table 2 in the article. The corrected Table 2 appears in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2007-12051-004). Objective: To assess the prospective relationship between spiritual experiences and health in a sample of patients surviving an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) with depression or low social support. Methods: A subset of 503 patients participating in the enhancing recovery in coronary heart disease (ENRICHD) trial completed a Daily Spiritual Experiences (DSE) questionnaire within 28 days from the time of their AMI. The questionnaire assessed three spirituality variables--worship service/church attendance, prayer/meditation, and total DSE score. Patients also completed the Beck Depression Inventory to assess depressive symptoms and the ENRICHD Social Support Inventory to determine perceived social support. The sample was subsequently followed prospectively every 6 months for an average of 18 months to assess all-cause mortality and recurrent AMI. Results: Of the 503 participants who completed the DSE questionnaire at the time of index AMI, 61 (12%) participants either died or sustained a recurrent MI during the follow-up period. After adjustment for gender, education level, ethnicity, and a composite medical prognosis risk score derived specifically for the ENRICHD trial, we observed no relationship between death or nonfatal AMI and total spirituality as measured by the DSE (p = .446), worship service attendance (p = .120), or frequency of prayer/meditation (p = .679). Conclusion: We found little evidence that self-reported spirituality, frequency of church attendance, or frequency of prayer is associated with cardiac morbidity or all-cause mortality post AMI in patients with depression and/or low perceived support. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA )

 

Bowen, S., K. Witkiewitz, T. M. Dillworth and G. A. Marlatt (2007). "The role of thought suppression in the relationship between mindfulness mediation and alcohol use." Addictive Behaviors 32(10): 2324-2328.

            Previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to suppress thoughts about using substances may actually lead to increases in substance use. Vipassana, a mindfulness meditation practice, emphasizes acceptance, rather than suppression, of unwanted thoughts. A study by S. Bowen et al (2006) and colleagues examining the effects of a Vipassana course on substance use in an incarcerated population showed significant reductions in substance use among the Vipassana group as compared to a treatment--usual control condition. The current study further examines the mediating effects of thought suppression in the relationship between participation in the course and subsequent alcohol use. Those who participated in the course reported significant decreases in avoidance of thoughts when compared to controls. The decrease in avoidance partially mediated effects of the course on post-release alcohol use and consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Carson, J. W., K. M. Carson, K. M. Gil and D. H. Baucom (2007). "Self-expansion as a mediator of relationship improvements in a mindfulness intervention." Journal of Marital & Family Therapy 33(4): 517-528.

            In a recent randomized controlled trial, couples participating in a mindfulness-based relationship enhancement program demonstrated significant improvements in relationship satisfaction and relationship distress (Carson, Carson, Gil, & Baucom, 2004). Here we report on a multiple mediation analysis of these couples' improvements. Potential mediators included measures of couples' engagement in exciting self-expanding activities, couples' ability to accept one another's difficult characteristics, and individual partners' ability to relax. Results indicate that to a large extent, the mindfulness-related relationship improvements can be attributed to partners' sense that they were participating in exciting self-expanding activities together during the course of the intervention. The implications of these findings for future mindfulness research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Grepmair, L., F. Mitterlehner, T. Loew, E. Bachler, W. Rother and M. Nickel (2007). "Promoting mindfulness in psychotherapists in training influences the treatment results of their patients: A randomized, double-blind, controlled study." Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 76(6): 332-338.

            Background: All therapists direct their attention in some manner during psychotherapy. A special form of directing attention, 'mindfulness', is recommended. This study aimed to examine whether, and to what extent, promoting mindfulness in psychotherapists in training (PiT) influences the treatment results of their patients. Methods: The therapeutic course and treatment results of 124 inpatients, who were treated for 9 weeks by 18 PiTs, were compared. The PiTs were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: (i) those practicing Zen meditation (MED; n = 9 or (ii) control group, which did not perform meditation (noMED; n = 9). The results of treatment (according to the intent-to-treat principle) were examined using the Session Questionnaire for General and Differential Individual Psychotherapy (STEP), the Questionnaire of Changes in Experience and Behavior (VEV) and the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R). Results: Compared to the noMED group (n = 61), the patients of PiTs from the MED group (n = 63) had significantly higher evaluations (according to the intent-to-treat principle) for individual therapy on 2 STEP scales, clarification and problem-solving perspectives. Their evaluations were also significantly higher for the entire therapeutic result on the VEV. Furthermore, the MED group showed greater symptom reduction than the noMED group on the Global Severity Index and 8 SCL-90-R scales, including Somatization, Insecurity in Social Contact, Obsessiveness, Anxiety, Anger/Hostility, Phobic Anxiety, Paranoid Thinking and Psychoticism. Conclusions: This study indicates that promoting mindfulness in PiTs could positively influence the therapeutic course and treatment results in their patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Koszycki, D., M. Benger, J. Shlik and J. Bradwejn (2007). "Randomized trial of a meditation-based stress reduction program and cognitive behavior therapy in generalized social anxiety disorder." Behaviour Research and Therapy 45(10): 2518-2526.

            Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been reported to reduce anxiety in a broad range of clinical populations. However, its efficacy in alleviating core symptoms of specific anxiety disorders is not well established. We conducted a randomized trial to evaluate how well MBSR compared to a first-line psychological intervention for social anxiety disorder (SAD). Fifty-three patients with DSM-IV generalized SAD were randomized to an 8-week course of MBSR or 12 weekly sessions of cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT). Although patients in both treatment groups improved, patients receiving CBGT had significantly lower scores on clinician- and patient-rated measures of social anxiety. Response and remission rates were also significantly greater with CBGT. Both interventions were comparable in improving mood, functionality and quality of life. The results confirm that CBGT is the treatment of choice of generalized SAD and suggest that MBSR may have some benefit in the treatment of generalized SAD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Pagnoni, G. and M. Cekic (2007). "Age effects on gray matter volume and attentional performance in Zen meditation." Neurobiology of Aging 28(10): 1623-1627.

            Zen meditation, a Buddhist practice centered on attentional and postural self-regulation, has been speculated to bring about beneficial long-term effects for the individual, ranging from stress reduction to improvement of cognitive function. In this study, we examined how the regular practice of meditation may affect the normal age-related decline of cerebral gray matter volume and attentional performance observed in healthy individuals. Voxel-based morphometry for MRI anatomical brain images and a computerized sustained attention task were employed in 13 regular practitioners of Zen meditation and 13 matched controls. While control subjects displayed the expected negative correlation of both gray matter volume and attentional performance with age, meditators did not show a significant correlation of either measure with age. The effect of meditation on gray matter volume was most prominent in the putamen, a structure strongly implicated in attentional processing. These findings suggest that the regular practice of meditation may have neuroprotective effects and reduce the cognitive decline associated with normal aging. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Perseius, K. I., A. KĆver, S. Ekdahl, M. Āsberg and M. Samuelsson (2007). "Stress and burnout in psychiatric professionals when starting to use dialectical behavioural therapy in the work with young self-harming women showing borderline personality symptoms." Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 14(7): 635-643.

            The aim of the study was to investigate how starting to use dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) in the work with young self-harming women showing symptoms of borderline personality disorder affected the psychiatric professionals (n = 22) experience of occupational stress and levels of professional burnout. The study was carried out in relation to an 18-month clinical psychiatric development project, and used a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods [a burnout inventory, the Maslach burnout inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS), free format questionnaires and group interviews]. The result confirms previous reports that psychiatric health professionals experience treatment of self-harming patients as very stressful. DBT was seen as stressful in terms of learning demands, but decreased the experience of stress in the actual treatment of the patients. The teamwork and supervision were felt to be supportive, as was one particular facet of DBT, namely mindfulness training which some therapists felt also improved their handling of other work stressors not related to DBT. The inventory for professional burnout, the MBI-GS, showed no significant changes over the 18-month period, although there was a tendency for increased burnout levels at the 6-month assessment, which had returned to baseline levels at 18 months. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Pruett, J. M., N. J. Nishimura and R. Priest (2007). "The role of meditation in addiction recovery." Counseling and Values 52(1): 71-84.

            The authors examined the role of meditation as an important component in addiction recovery. Successful addiction recovery is often related to an individual's ability to develop and use a repertoire of coping behaviors, including the ability to maintain an ongoing awareness of one's vulnerability. These learned behaviors serve as reliable alternatives to the routine behavior patterns of individuals who are addicted, which, in the past, have led to often-repeated destructive outcomes. The authors contend that incorporating meditation into the lifestyle of individuals recovering from addiction provides a consistent means of preparing for inevitable, addiction-related life challenges and a coping skill that can help maintain equilibrium in living with ever-present peril. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Raingruber, B. and C. Robinson (2007). "The effectiveness of Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation, and Reiki healing sessions in promoting health and enhancing problem solving abilities of registered nurses." Issues in Mental Health Nursing 28(10): 1141-1155.

            Given the current necessity of retaining qualified nurses, a self-care program consisting of Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation classes, and Reiki healing sessions was designed for a university-based hospital. The effectiveness of these interventions was evaluated using self-care journals and analyzed using a Heideggerian phenomenological approach. Outcomes of the self-care classes described by nurses included: (a) noticing sensations of warmth, tingling, and pulsation which were relaxing, (b) becoming aware of an enhanced problem solving ability, and (c) noticing an increased ability to focus on patient needs. Hospitals willing to invest in self-care options for nurses can anticipate patient and work related benefits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Rothaupt, J. W. and M. M. Morgan (2007). "Counselors' and counselor educators' practice of mindfulness: A qualitative inquiry." Counseling and Values 52(1): 40-54.

            The Buddhist practice of mindfulness is being used more often both to help clients and to facilitate counselor effectiveness. A growing body of research supports these uses of mindfulness. Most authors also emphasize that those who teach mindfulness must also apply it themselves. However, little is known about how counselors and counselor educators incorporate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives. The current study used semistructured interviews to elicit such information from 6 counselors and counselor educators. A constant comparative method was used to analyze the data and synthesize themes. Emergent themes included practices used to cultivate mindfulness and the results of mindfulness practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Srinivasan, N. and S. Baijal (2007). "Concentrative meditation enhances preattentive processing: A mismatch negativity study." Neuroreport: For Rapid Communication of Neuroscience Research 18(16): 1709-1712.

            The mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm that is an indicator of preattentive processing was used to study the effects of concentrative meditation. Sudarshan Kriya Yoga meditation is a yogic exercise practiced in an ordered sequence beginning with breathing exercises, and ending with concentrative (Sahaj Samadhi) meditation. Auditory MMN waveforms were recorded at the beginning and after each of these practices for meditators, and equivalently after relaxation sessions for the nonmeditators. Overall meditators were found to have larger MMN amplitudes than nonmeditators. The meditators also exhibited significantly increased MMN amplitudes immediately after meditation suggesting transient state changes owing to meditation. The results indicate that concentrative meditation practice enhances preattentive perceptual processes, enabling better change detection in auditory sensory memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Wachs, K. and J. V. Cordova (2007). "Mindful relating: Exploring mindfulness and emotion repertoires in intimate relationships." Journal of Marital & Family Therapy 33(4): 464-481.

            This study tested the theory that mindfulness contributes to greater intimate relationship satisfaction by fostering more relationally skillful emotion repertoires. A sample of married couples was administered measures of mindful awareness, emotion skills, and marital quality. We hypothesized that mindfulness would be associated with both marital quality and partners' emotion skills and that the association between mindfulness and marital quality would be mediated by emotion repertoire skill. Findings suggested that emotion skills and mindfulness are both related to marital adjustment, and that skilled emotion repertoires, specifically those associated with identifying and communicating emotions, as well as the regulation of anger expression, fully mediate the association between mindfulness and marital quality. Theoretical implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Childs, D. (2007). "Mindfulness and the psychology of presence." Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice 80(3): 367-376.

            Mindfulness, as 'being in the present on purpose' has become of practical and theoretical interest to clinical psychologists. It is an element in several influential and effective treatment methods. Research concentrates on the effects of practice but neglects the experience of presence. A common requirement that the clinician also practice mindfulness leads to an interest in describing clinical presence. This stance has been of interest in psychoanalysis but not studied in mainstream clinical psychology. The description of that as a state of being and the similarity between mindfulness practice and the phenomenological method provide a link with a 6-year series of seminars given to psychotherapists by the philosopher Martin Heidegger. His demonstrations of the relation between experiential and scientific knowledge offer a way to make links between a reflective clinical psychology, mindfulness, and current developments in the understanding of consciousness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Kuijpers, H. J. H., F. M. M. A. van der Heijden, S. Tuinier and W. M. A. Verhoeven (2007). "Meditation-induced psychosis." Psychopathology 40(6): 461-464.

            Background: Meditation is a self-regulatory psychological strategy that is frequently applied in Western as well as non-Western countries for different purposes; little is known about adverse events. Sampling and Methods: A male patient is described who developed an acute and transient psychosis with polymorphic symptomatology after meditating. A literature search for psychotic states related to meditation was carried out on PubMed, Embase and PsycInfo. Results: In the case presented a diagnosis of acute polymorphic psychotic disorder was made. Other case reports dealt with either a relapse of a pre-existent psychotic disorder or with a brief psychotic reaction in patients without a psychiatric history. Conclusion: Meditation can act as a stressor in vulnerable patients who may develop a transient psychosis with polymorphic symptomatology. The syndrome is not culture bound but sometimes classified in culture-bound taxonomies like Qi-gong Psychotic Reaction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Langan, R. (2007). "Embodiment." The American Journal of Psychoanalysis. Special Issue: Clinical Sándor Ferenczi conference in Baden-Baden 67(3): 249-259.

            Groddeck, most interestingly, proposed that the body manifested the mind, and the mind the body. I consider his interactional viewpoint from several perspectives. First, I discuss how the entire body not only is minded by and minding of all that occurs within and without, but as well how the developable capacity for mindfulness affects the perception of reality, within and without. Secondly, I consider the body as delusion, a seemingly necessary anchor into the reality of the physical world, whereas Groddeck's and Ferenczi's openness to ideas of telepathy and communication beyond death flirts with a disembodied transcendence of physicality. And third, I propose that Groddeck's psychoanalytic approach, like Buddhist meditational techniques, reveals an experiential flux of embodiment and disembodiment in each re-embodied moment of being alive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Manocha, R., B. Semmar and D. Black (2007). "A pilot study of a mental silence form of meditation for women in perimenopause." Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 14(3): 266-273.

            Menopausal symptoms often feature or are worsened by psychological and psychosomatic factors. As there is limited research into the potential role of psychological interventions, especially meditation, for the treatment of these symptoms the current study adopted an AB case series design with a follow-up phase. Fourteen women who were experiencing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms and receiving no treatment for them attended meditation classes twice weekly for 8 weeks and practiced daily at home. A mental silence orientated technique of meditation called Sahaja Yoga (SYM) was taught. The Hot Flash Diary, Kupperman Index, MENQOL, Greene's Climacteric Scale and STAI, were administered at baseline, mid treatment (4 weeks), post-treatment (8 weeks) and at 8 weeks follow-up. Substantial improvements in all measures occurred at post treatment. Changes in vasomotor symptoms, especially hot flashes, were most prominent as a significant decrease of 67% at post-treatment and 57% at follow-up (&#967;² = 11.7, p < .003) were noted and Kupperman's Index score decreased by 58% at post-treatment and 40% at follow-up (&#967;² = 11.7, p < .005). All other symptom measures improved substantially from baseline to post-treatment, non-parametric analysis indicating that most of these changes were significant. These findings tentatively suggest that menopausal symptoms, especially vasomotor symptoms, and particularly hot flashes, might be substantially improved by using meditation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

McCracken, L. M., J. Gauntlett-Gilbert and K. E. Vowles (2007). "The role of mindfulness in a contextual cognitive-behavioral analysis of chronic pain-related suffering and disability." Pain 131(1-2): 63-69.

            An increasing number of studies consider the specific processes by which distressing sensations, thoughts, and emotional experiences exert their influence on the daily functioning of those who suffer with chronic pain. Clinical methods of mindfulness and the processes that underlie them appear to have clear implications in this area, but have not been systematically investigated to this point in time. The purpose of the present study was to examine mindfulness in relation to the pain, emotional, physical, and social functioning of individuals with chronic pain. The present study included 105 consecutive patients attending a clinical assessment for treatment of chronic pain. Each completed a standardized battery of questionnaires, including a measure of mindfulness, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale [Brown KW, Ryan RM. The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. J Pers Soc Psychol 2003;84:822-48]. Correlation analyses indicated that mindfulness was unrelated to age, gender, education, or chronicity of pain, but was significantly related to multiple measures of patient functioning. In multiple regression analyses, after controlling for patient background variables, pain intensity, and pain-related acceptance, mindfulness accounted for significant variance in measures of depression, pain-related anxiety; physical, psychosocial, and "other" disability. In each instance greater mindfulness was associated with better functioning. The combined increments of variance explained from acceptance of pain and mindfulness were at least moderate and, in some cases, appeared potentially meaningful. The behavioral processes of mindfulness and their accessibility to scientific study are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

McCracken, L. M. and K. E. Vowles (2007). "Psychological flexibility and traditional pain management strategies in relation to patient functioning with chronic pain: An examination of a revised instrument." The Journal of Pain 8(9): 700-707.

            Recent developments in cognitive behavioral theory emphasize the role of "psychological flexibility" in adaptive functioning. Psychological flexibility includes processes of acceptance, mindfulness, values, and cognitive defusion. The present study was intended to investigate aspects of psychological flexibility in relation to the functioning of patients with chronic pain. Two hundred sixty patients seeking treatment for chronic pain completed a battery of measures, including an expanded version of an instrument assessing responses to pain that reflect both psychological flexibility and traditionally conceived "pain management strategies" (ie, pacing, relaxation, positive self-statements). Initial psychometric evaluation of the expanded instrument yielded 2 reliable subscales, as hypothesized. Both subscales were correlated with measures of emotional functioning and psychosocial disability, although psychological flexibility achieved larger correlations and was correlated with additional measures of physical functioning, health care use, and work status. Regression analyses indicated that, after pain and patient background variables were statistically controlled, psychological flexibility accounted for significant variance in eight separate measures of functioning while pain management strategies accounted for significant variance in none. These results may call for a shift in our approaches to chronic pain in line with developments taking place in broader areas of behavioral and cognitive therapy. Perspective: This study includes development of an instrument for assessing coping, consisting of traditionally conceived coping strategies and a process that may be unfamiliar to most readers, termed "psychological flexibility." Results demonstrated that this process, a blend of acceptance, values-based action, mindfulness, and cognitive defusion, is significantly related to patient functioning with chronic pain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Bhurruth, M. (2007). "Review of The mind-brain relationship. A Jungian clinical perspective." Group Analysis 40(3): 420-421.

            Reviews the book, Coming into mind: The mind-brain relationship. A Jungian clinical perspective by Margaret Wilkinson (see record 2006-07520-000). The author sets out to illuminate how the process of early developmental trauma inhibits the development of neural pathways both hierarchically (up and down) in each of the brain hemispheres and also between the hemispheres. Restricted neural pathway development in the brain equates with a restricted capacity to having mindfulness - that is to say, an ability to regulate affect, to think concordantly about feelings and experience and to self soothe. She devotes chapters to the early development of the brain-mind, memory systems, the fear system and psychological kindling (of fear) in the brain-mind and un-doing dissociation. Clinically, the author challenges the traditional role of interpretation in psychoanalysis; that of making unconscious conscious, which seems to be predominantly a left-brain, cognitive activity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

Wagstaff, G. F., J. Cole, J. Wheatcroft, M. Marshall and I. Barsby (2007). "A componential approach to hypnotic memory facilitation: Focused meditation, context reinstatement and eye movements." Contemporary Hypnosis 24(3): 97-108.

            Although hypnosis is now less popular as an interviewing technique in forensic investigations than it used to be, recent evidence suggests that some of the components of hypnotic interviewing might still be useful in the development of brief memory facilitation procedures. Two experiments are described which continue this componential approach to hypnotic interviewing. In the first experiment, the effects on episodic memory of a brief context reinstatement (revivication) procedure were examined together with a focused breathing meditation technique which shares similarities with traditional hypnotic induction. A second experiment investigated the effects of horizontal eye movements which some have also associated with hypnotic responding. Results indicated that a combined context reinstatement and focused meditation procedure was more effective than context reinstatement alone in facilitating memory for an emotional event without the increase in false positive errors familiar to more traditional hypnosis techniques. In contrast, an instruction to perform horizontal eye movements was not effective in facilitating memory and, when combined with a suggestion for improved recall, produced higher confidence in incorrect responses. Implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)

 

York, M. (2007). "A qualitative study into the experience of individuals involved in a mindfulness group within an acute inpatient mental health unit." Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 14(6): 603-608.

            This study aimed to explore the experiences of individuals involved in the mindfulness group within Plymouth acute inpatient mental health services in order to evaluate its efficacy within this setting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA )

 

Schure, M. B., J. Christopher and S. Christopher (2008). "Mind-Body Medicine and the Art of Self-Care: Teaching Mindfulness to Counseling Students through Yoga, Meditation, and Qigong." Journal of Counseling & Development 86(1): 47-56.

            A 4-year qualitative study examined the influence of teaching hatha yoga, meditation, and qigong to counseling graduate students. Participants in the 15-week, 3-credit mindfulness-based stress reduction course reported positive physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and interpersonal changes and substantial effects on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships. Students expressed different preferences for and experiences with the 3 mindfulness practices. Most students reported intentions of integrating mindfulness practices into their future profession.

 

Herndon, F. (2008). "Testing mindfulness with perceptual and cognitive factors: External vs. internal encoding, and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire." Personality and Individual Differences 44(1): 32-41.

            A new approach to testing mindfulness in relation to perceptual and cognitive factors is presented. In two studies a total of 142 participants were tested using a measure ("external encoding"). Mindfulness was shown to be correlated with external encoding (study 1) and both mindfulness and external encoding predicted low "cognitive failures" (study 2). Results are discussed in terms of their implications for possible mechanisms responsible for the benefits of mindfulness in psychological well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA ) (journal abstract)