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Thesis

Meditation as an adjunct to psychotherapy: a review of modes and models for intervention

14 April 2000

Abstract

Contemporary research is helping to establish meditation as a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy. Literature on meditative modes and models is reviewed here and practices are categorized according to cognitive or somatic focus. Within these categories, research on the application of meditation to clinical anxiety and mood disorders is discussed. Efficacy fmdings for meditation as an adjunct to psychotherapy are also reviewed. Similarly, models of integrating meditation into psychotherapeutic practice are examined. These models vary in their emphasis on central versus peripheral approaches to integrating meditation into the therapy process. Models also very according to the settings in which they have been applied. Research based on these models suggests that meditation can be an effective adjunct to psychotherapy in augmenting treatment outcome. Limitations in research include poor variance accountability and use of pseudo-experimental design. Based on this review of modes and models, suggestions are made for future research design and clinical application. It is suggested that future models consider integrating both cognitive and somatically focused meditation practices to maximize the likelihood that meditative practice will be an effective treatment tool.


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