Ch 27 Navayana and Upaya: The Buddhist Dharma as a ‘new’ medicine –Paul van der Velde Editorial / INTEGRATION:
Ch 28 The New Buddhist Psychology: Gateway to the further side of
Theravada and Mahayana – Maurits Kwee & Marja Taams
Mindfulness: Challenges to the cognitive-behavioral approach Fabio Giommi
This chapter consists of two parts. The first provides some general considerations and introduces the second, a comparison study on mindfulness training as an effective component in treating emotional disorders.
Part I. Mindfulness approaches challenge some basic tenets of clinical cognitivism. Firstly, the pivotal aspect in the therapeutic process seems to be ‘deautomatizing-disidentifying’ rather than changing attitudes, schemas, etc. To escape automaticity, patients learn to relate to experiences as mental events within a field of awareness. Secondly, a question is posed by mindfulness approaches: is there a non-conceptual way of conscious knowing? Mindfulness is spoken of as ‘insight meditation’ (i.e. ‘a non-conceptual and penetrating seeing into the nature of mind’; Kabat-Zinn (2003). Such non-conceptual ‘seeing’ is a form of knowing not yet recognized in any cognitive model of mind, and results as the key factor in reducing dysfunctional automaticity.
Part II. F. Giommi, H. Barendregt, L. Oliemeulen, J. van Hoof, J. Tinge, A. Coenen, and P. van Dongen conducted a randomized controlled trial. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was compared to Psychoeducation (PE, a standard psychiatric intervention) in a sample of patients with emotional disorders. Assessments were made on symptoms reduction (5 scales of depression, anxiety, quality of life) and attentional functioning (6 neuropsychological tasks, EEG recordings). MBSR was found at least as efficacious as PE. Preliminary results suggest that MBSR exerts a positive effect on attention. To date no comparison with an established intervention has been performed: this was the first exploratory study on such issue, and the first to consider the specific effects of mindfulness on attentional processes. New confidence is gained in applying MBSR as an effective component in treating emotional disorders.
Part I: Introduction and some general considerations