• Question: Can mindfulness be explicitly taught?

    Asked by bcobbold to Kathrin, Joe, Iroise, Ian, Emma, Anna on 20 Apr 2015.
    • Photo: Iroise Dumontheil

      Iroise Dumontheil answered on 20 Apr 2015:

      There are a number of mindfulness meditation training programmes that have been designed. For example there is the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) developed by Dr. Mark Williams and others in Oxford. Both have been shown to help people with chronic pain, depression, anxiety. The MBCT is now recommended to prevent relapse of depression in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK (http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg90/chapter/1-recommendations).
      These programs are 8 weeks long, and the idea is that the mindfulness techniques are taught to participants, they get typically 1h30-2h classes once a week, and they have to practice guided meditations every day, and then to become more mindful in everyday life people need to regularly continue to meditate (formal mindfulness practice) but also try to implement mindfulness in everyday life (informal mindfulness practice).

      In schools there are programs such as the mindfulness in schools .b program (http://mindfulnessinschools.org/). However there isn’t yet good randomised controlled trials of this type of programs in schools.

      For information about mindfulness, you can go to this website, which tries to collate all research done on mindfulness. http://www.mindfulnet.org/