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Title: Understanding the impact of meditative homework on thought processes in the context of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Author: Lahtinen, Marika
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 4022
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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Mindftilness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group psycho-educational treatment designed to reduce the risk of recurrent depression by integrating mindfulness based meditation practices with cognitive therapy techniques. Existing studies have focused on the effectiveness or acceptability of MBCT as an intervention, yet have failed to discretely examine the experience of meditative homework assignments. Given the prominence of this aspect of the MBCT programme, the aim of the present study was to explore subjective accounts of the meaning of carrying out meditative homework assignments in the context of a MBCT programme within the National Health Service. The research questions focused on the impact of meditative homework on thought processes as well as an exploration of barriers and facilitating factors from a participant's perspective. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with six adult participants, all of whom had completed an eight-week MBCT programme. The Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis methodology was adopted to analyse interview transcripts. Data analysis began with a detailed examination of one case until a thorough analysis was completed after which subsequent cases were analysed. Finally a cross case analysis was carried out where individual themes were interrogated for similarities and differences (Smith, et al., 2009). Two master themes emerged from the analysis: 'The relationship of meditative homework to metacognitive experience' and 'motivating and discouraging factors for engagement in meditative practice'. Participants' accounts of completing the meditative homework component of the MBCT programme revealed a transformation in metacognitive processes as a result of undertaking meditative homework. Participants' experiences of metacognitive processes are examined in the context of existing psychological theories of metacognition, including the ICS (Teasdale, 1999a, 1999b) and the S-REF (Wells, 2000). A model for the perceived facilitating factors and difficulties experienced in carrying out meditative homework is constructed based on the Integrated Theoretical Foundations Model for CBT homework assignment (Kazantzis et al., 2005). This model explores participants' motivation in three stages of the homework process: during assignment of the homework task; in completing the planned task; and in carrying out a review of the task. The theoretical and clinical implications of the present study are discussed in relation to psychological literature, homework assignment and the practise of MBCT.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available