The secular practice of a spiritual technique: mindfulness-based interventions and spirituality

Landau, Samuel (2017) The secular practice of a spiritual technique: mindfulness-based interventions and spirituality. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Mindfulness meditation (MM) is an ancient Buddhist spiritual practice that has been secularised into popular and effective therapeutic interventions. This is the first empirical study to investigate the spiritual and secular context of mindfulness-based interventions through the prism of Common Factors theory, specifically focusing on the work of Frank (1973) and the concept of a healing ‘myth’ or story.

The hypotheses predicted that a philosophically integrated role-induction to MM, would be more effective at improving credibility and expectations, state mindfulness and affect outcomes compared to philosophically narrower spiritual or secular presentations.

Participants were randomly allocated to a role-induction group (integrated / spiritual / secular) and all received the same MM-intervention. Additionally, congruency effects between participants’ dispositional spirituality / secularity and induction group were tested. 165 participants (82 % female, mean age 25 years, SD=11.15) completed the online study. While all groups showed improvements on measures of credibility and expectations, state mindfulness and negative affect across timepoints, contrary to hypotheses the integrated induction group did not improve more than the secular or spiritual groups, nor were strong congruency effects found.

Results are discussed in the context of a possible primary ‘myth’ of MM that overrides secondary divisions between secularity / spirituality; the ‘myth’ of finding peace in a frantic world.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 09:50
Last Modified: 06 May 2018 15:57

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00