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Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Are They Compatible Concepts?

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Several therapies have emerged that include mindfulness as a central theoretical concept within a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) model. These include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This article argues that mindfulness is contrary to many of the core principles of CBT, but more importantly, the concept of mindfulness lacks meaning, outside of the Buddhist religious tradition from which it arises. As part of a mystical ideology, mindfulness represents an antirational and prescientific worldview. As such, this article questions the assertion that mindfulness can be a part of a new scientific paradigm, representing a "third generation" of CBT, and suggests that CBT is in danger of becoming an all-encompassing term.
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Keywords: ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY; COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY; DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY; MINDFULNESS; RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy is no longer available to subscribers on Ingenta Connect. Please go to http://connect.springerpub.com/content/sgrjcp to access your online subscription to Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy.
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