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Title: The secular practice of a spiritual technique : mindfulness-based interventions and spirituality
Author: Landau, Samuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 7774
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2017
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0636 Applied psychology