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Thesis

Mindfulness as an acceptance-based treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

10 December 2004

Abstract

The percentage of individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) who do not significantly improve following treatment is greater than that of any other anxiety disorder (Mennin, Heimberg, Turk, & Fresco, 2002). Interventions focused on treating GAD have demonstrated only modest benefits and have been met with criticism. Researchers have therefore found it necessary to seek out alternative and potentially more successful treatment strategies. Kabat-Zinn et al. (1992) and others have found success in using mindfulness meditation to treat various clinical disorders, such as depression and panic disorder. Additionally, researchers have recently begun to explore the specific benefits of mindfulness with GAD and to empirically validate such treatments. In this paper, I review the literature on traditional interventions with GAD as well as applications of mindfulness interventions. Furthermore, I review theory on the application of mindfulness meditation and other approaches to psychotherapy and GAD, and finally, I examine the limited number of empirical studies utilizing mindfulness as a treatment for GAD.


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