A recent visitor to this site sent us this link and some thoughts about mindfulness…
A couple of statements made that caught my eye.
“It’s difficult to tell how common [negative] experiences are, because mindfulness researchers have failed to measure them, and may even have discouraged participants from reporting them by attributing the blame to them.”
“Claire is clear about how she feels mindfulness should be discussed and delivered: ‘A lot of the people who are trained in mindfulness are not trained in the dangers as well as the potential benefits,’ she says. ‘My experience of people who teach it is that they don’t know how to help people if it goes too far.'”
Mindfulness is not a panacea, and, as with any treatment, it can help and it can hurt.
More importantly, mindfulness is a term that is used to describe so many different approaches that it is at risk of becoming meaningless.
There are excellent controlled trials of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Treatment (MBCT) which is a well defined treatment for preventing depression. If you are receiving MBCT from someone who has been certified to provide that intervention you can have reasonable confidence about the effectiveness of the treatment.
Similarly, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that has been studied and has been shown to be helpful for many people with stress and chronic pain.
Other approaches to mindfulness may or may not be as useful.