powered by centersite dot net
Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest NewsVideosLinksBook Reviews
10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain Balance8 Keys to Practicing MindfulnessA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBack in Action: Yoga for a Healthy BackBack To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte OrdBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Meditation & Mindful StretchingBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBorn to Balance - Balance BasicsBreath-Centered YogaBreathingBrightening Our Inner SkiesBuddhist Boot CampCalm Body Clear MindCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChakra MeditationsChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDetox YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEmotional Chaos to ClarityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEveryday Yoga for Stress Release Everything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineGoodbye, ThingsHandbook of MindfulnessHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianHow Would Buddha Act?I Contain MultitudesI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - MONDAYKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - TUESDAY - CoreKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMeditations for BeginnersMindful AmericaMindful AngerMindfulnessMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNamaste Yoga: Season 3 Part 1NeuroLogicNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesNutrition Essentials for Mental HealthPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift SupersurvivorsSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Good LifeThe Happiness of PursuitThe Harvard Medical School Guide to YogaThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Road to Calm WorkbookThe Self-Compassion Skills WorkbookThe Spa DeckThe Spirit of Buddhist MeditationThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Ultimate BALLET YOGAThe Ultra MindsetThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for the Young at HeartYoga for Your WeekYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress ReliefYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga TherapyYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Miracle BrainZen Encounters with Loneliness
Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Emotional Resilience

by Kirk Warren Brown, J David Cresswell, Richard M Ryan (Editors)
Guilford Press, 2015
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Aug 18th 2015

Handbook of Mindfulness

A perceptive reader will notice the names of Deci and Ryan, and ponder the connection between self-determination theory, espoused by both, one of whom is an editor, and mindfulness.

The authors respectively develop this theme in terms of awareness.  Working around this, part one delves into the origins of mindfulness as evolving into modern psychology, section two takes this further into how contemporary psychology has adapted this into attention, mental processing, motivation and behavior, and part three into the findings of application of mindfulness training for various human faculties, and parts four and five the applications for both healthy and clinical populations.

The connections with spirituality and Buddhism are of course known, but some researchers have commented in the letter pages of journals such as the British Psychologist, that without letting patients openly know, we are introducing spiritual-based clinical entities into the clinical setting.  The Kabat-Zinn and others have been criticized for fudging these links. The same journals are also reporting that over the last decades, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is losing its gloss, with large analytical studies demonstrating waning efficacy, cause unknown. Hence, if it is a 'fad', CBT is losing its luster and now Mindfulness in all its guises is perhaps the new, albeit scientifically proven, fad, for every clinician worth their salt, or Medicare/NHS funding, to take on board. I hear the term all over the place now. Having lived in these clinical circles since the early Seventies, I have seen them come and go, and smiled with ACT emerged, quoting Sixties Jay Hayley and Erikson amongst others. So now it is the turn of Mindfulness. The 1987 emergence of Motivational Interviewing, family to Self-determination theory, is clearly docking with other approaches to human behavior change. The question is, does this approach target human behavior directly?

Diving into Edward Deci's "being aware and functioning fully", we see the connections between awareness and motivation being that one of the functions essential to autonomy is awareness. This is the clear perception of events along with insightful understanding, with the upper end of this skill being relaxed attention and interest in what is going on, a curiosity if you like.  To be open and receptive, to be aware, of these two states, promotes autonomy or what the authors call true self-regulation. Awareness via being mindful, thus supports healthy self-regulation, via the closely related construct of mindfulness, namely an open and receptive attention to what is occurring in the present, and the second, namely, interest taking. This amounts to focused receptivity. Both mindfulness and interest taking promote autonomous regulation. So the connection between the science that has evolved across the years in SDT, or Self-Determination Theory, the brainchild of both Deci and Ryan, is made clear across these chapters.

The point of all this is to live a fuller and more deeply satisfying life, or the experience of eudaimonic well-being as Ryan and colleagues described it.  This leads to a discussion of intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. Underlying intrinsic motivation are the basic needs of competence and autonomy, namely feeling within our depth and guiding our own lives in what is most cherished in our value system. In terms of awareness, this would be predicted to be low if people are focused on external contingencies and pressures.

A question dealt with in the book is in answer to the question 'is there a neurobiology of mindfulness meditation?' Zeidan presents the neuronal correlations of dispositional mindfulness, as well as in brief training and in extended practice. Many have presumed that there are then going to be cognitive benefits to the practice of mindfulness meditation, and van Vugt follows up on Zeidan with just such evidence.  Meditative focused attention is theorized primarily to impact attention and through that, memory and perception, whereas open awareness is thought to impact cognitive monitoring and attention allocation, and thereby cognitive control and self-serving memory biases. There was and still is quite a lot of confusion in the literature about what processes compose meditation, as the same words tend to be used for different processes by different sources, so the use of mathematical models is put forward as a way of addresses these issues. Benefits again of meditation are discussed for attention, via this to perception, via this to memory, and then a discussion about episodic memory follows, given the impact on attention and working memory upstream, again referring to computational models, and especially free-recall tasks. This refers to self-related autobiographic memory vs other-orientated episodic memory, if attentional pathways are altered. The future in terms of modelling and integrating emotion and cognition are discussed as well.

This leads us to the emotional benefits of mindfulness (Arch and Landy). Since negative emotions are believed to be a primary expression of human suffering, and reflected in psychiatric disorders, the impact is huge. They are however experienced in normal populations as well, and hence the application is wider than just those categorized as ill in some emotional way, that is, where negative emotion leads to psychosocial dysfunction.

So higher 'trait-mindfulness' promotes increased willingness to experience negative emotions, greater endurance in anxiety provoking experiments, or even exposure to thinking about death and so on. Brief mindfulness inductions have also shown utility in this regard and faster recovery from dysphoric mood. Intervention studies take this observation further, even in healthy non-patients, which these authors focus on in their work. Of course, the benefits of mindfulness are not just thought to be intra-psychic, but affect one's presence in relationships, which Parker and her colleagues then address: how does this foster interpersonal benefits, as practitioners are often described as warm, or in touch with the emotions of their fellow human beings. By presence, the authors mean a bare awareness of the receptive spaciousness of our mind, rather pithily, or as Seigel referred to it, a state of receptive awareness of our open minds to whatever arises, as it arises.  The roles of this bare attention, as well as mindful awareness, or mindful practice (directed at one-ness with the activity), are explored. Mind wandering is another thing entirely, the opposite in fact, with all the dangers it encapsulates. As opposed to free association, which is creative, the less voluntary mind wandering is not a good generator of novel value. Later on the discussion moves to attachment, as well as the links between mindfulness, secure attachment and the medial prefrontal cortex. Many of the functions listed, 8/9 in fact, have been shown to co-occur with secure parent-child attachment, and 9/9 are outcomes of mindfulness training, all thus central to integrated self-regulation and successful interpersonal behavior.

Stress reduction in health adults is spotlighted by Shapiro and Jazaieri, and in children and adolescents by David Black. The idea however that the benefits to stress reduction and improved sense of wellbeing are solely the outcome of mindfulness based stress reduction is not proven, as distinct from other active interventions rather than waiting lists for instance, in more than a very few studies. One study that is quoted appears to have low numbers of subjects and covered only 6 hours of intervention compared to relaxation, but with positive results on this group. Gains in most studies did extend beyond the interventions, usually around 8 weeks, and there is evidence now that particularly canonical mindfulness training can enhance mental health-related subjective experience.  As noted by Parker and her colleagues, in children and adolescents, Black again returns to the executive functions in their self-regulatory guise, in what he refers to as an umbrella term for the system that coordinates attention, planning, decision-making, self-regulation and goal directed behaviors. A multiple page table covers the studies examining mindfulness training in youth, seeming all with positive things to say about mindfulness training.

Negative cognitions were improved in these groups, not just executive functions, and in the next chapter, Brown examines the enhancement of positive functions in mindfulness training. Too much self-control, as much as too little, can also cause problems in functioning, which Lynch and colleagues Lazarus and Cheavens take on in the next chapter.  As noted before, the constructs defined here are often confused in the literature, operationalized or collapsed into one construct which includes emotional eliciting and emotion regulatory factors, making comparisons difficult. The quintessential under-controlled disorder would be Borderline Personality, referring to DBT, as well as radically open DBT as therapies, with mindfulness a key component of these approaches. Moving from self-control to self-regulation is an interesting concept, and their neuro-regulatory model, still to be published, apparently challenges the linear assumptions regarding the desirability of self-control, and the wise limits of optimal and balanced capacity in this regard, rather than more is better philosophies, leaving one rather in an open stance in terms of willingness to experience. The differentiator in DBT is not to be distant from reality, but to rather engage with uncomfortable reality in a productive way.

Depression is another target for research in mindfulness, and Irving and her colleagues examine this field, followed by Hayes-Skelton and hers in the treatment of anxiety.  Addiction is another target (Bowen and colleagues) with awareness being the functional opposite of denial of deficit or denial of the risks of addiction. Physical disease and conditions are another target, with Linda Carlson in the driver's seat, seeking the value of awareness based interventions in medical conditions. The target is mood state and symptoms of stress, as well as decreases in inflammatory markers, and various killer cytokines apart from the inflammatory ones. The evidence is clear that targeting the neuropeptides as much as the autonomic nervous system pays dividends.  David Creswell continues this theme as he targets the linkages between mindfulness and health, focusing initially on the mindfulness stress-buffering hypothesis, and then building a biological model of mindfulness and health, again, as others have done, bringing in the prefrontal cortex.

Another  model, this time from Watkins  much earlier in the book, is proposed, drawing on Processing Mode Theory, explained with a nice diagram on the interacting cognitive subsystems of depression, with implicational vs propositional meaning dissected in the two loops, the sensory and the cognitive in the maintenance of depression via an "interlock".  This chapter carries further the explanation of the attentional systems interface with affective bias via the mindfulness interventions.

The book is thus nicely balanced between the need for beginners to understand the substrates involved, and the experienced practitioner to keep up with the progress and welling up of the science supporting the practice in modern clinical settings.

As with the other approaches in Clinical Psychology, namely CBT, ACT, Psychodynamic, Family, DBT, CT, and multiple others, Mindfulness will have its time in the limelight, as it has done in other settings for thousands of years, and then perhaps, as with CBT apparently, wane somewhat and make its way into the somewhat less lustrous bin. However, perhaps in contrast, it is clear that the value of meditation in all its forms, and certainly in Mindfulness based approaches, is discernible in multiple other approaches to engaging with pathology, namely SDT and Motivational approaches, and a cognitive neuroscience database is emerging that supports the practice and provides the burgeoning evidence based showcased in this book. So perhaps this most useful tool in clinical toolboxes with have legs on it, and continue to grow both its evidence and applied efficacy in various settings, as it has done in sporting circles for instance.

This book appears to be a major feat in the industry, as many have come before it, certainly many reviewed on the internet, but seldom does one see something this complete, detailed, well balanced by the editors, informative, solid, and reliable in not pandering to the spiritual, but rather in answering the questions it set out to address: the nature of the theory, research and practice of mindful interventions.

It belongs on your shelf.

 

© 2015 Roy Sugarman

 

Roy Sugarman, PhD, Director Applied Neuroscience, Performance Innovation Team, EXOSäUSA