Has the science of mindfulness lost its mind?

Miguel Farias, C. Wikholm

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    82 Citations (Scopus)
    176 Downloads (Pure)


    The excitement about the application of mindfulness meditation within mental health settings has led to the proliferation of a literature pervaded by a lack of conceptual and methodological self-criticism. In this article we raise two major concerns about the application of mindfulness meditation to mental health. First, we consider the range of individual differences within the experience of meditation; although some people may benefit from its practice, it won’t affect others in any substantive way, while a number of other individuals may suffer moderate to serious adverse effects. Second, we address the insufficient or inconclusive evidence for its benefits, particularly when mindfulness-based interventions are compared to other activities or treatments. We end with suggestions on how to improve the quality of research into mindfulness interventions and outline key considerations for clinicians considering referring patients for these interventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)329-332
    JournalBJPsych Bulletin
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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