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Mindfulness Based Psychological Interventions: Developing Emotional Awareness for Better Being

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This paper presents and discusses the psychological interventions that are primarily based on the development of mindful awareness as a psychotherapeutic tool. Mindfulness based psychological interventions are defined and situated in their historical context, in the larger perspective of the evolution of psychotherapies in the Western world in the last two decades. A special focus is given to mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR, Kabat-Zinn, 1982) and to mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT, Segal, Williams & Teasdale, 2002). The structure and core elements of these interventions are presented. Then, we examine their effectiveness in improving psychological and physical well-being. In the next section, we speculate about the underlying psychological mechanisms that might account for the effects of mindfulness based interventions. Special attention is devoted to the cognitive processes underlying emotion regulation and self-awareness. Finally, we examine how a first person approach might contribute to the understanding of mindfulness based interventions.

Keywords: Mindfulness; cognitive therapy; first person approach; psychological interventions; psychotherapy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculté de Psychologie, Université de Louvain, place du Cardinal Mercier, 10, B- 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Email: 2: Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2009


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