In recent years Buddhism has become increasingly well known and understood in Western culture. Furthermore, Buddhism has begun to influence theoretical positions and clinical interventions in psychology. Most notably, mindfulness, which involves bringing one's attention to the present experience and paying attention to arising sensations in a non- judgmental fashion, has been utilized as a therapeutic technique in psychological interventions. Recent reviews suggest that interventions based on mindfulness skills are becoming increasingly popular. Empirical findings suggest that the therapeutic mechanisms associated with mindfulness may be beneficial in treating various psychological disorders. The aim of this thesis is to describe mindfulness, including its roots in Buddhism and its current ties to western psychology. In addition, the most well - known and widely used conceptual approaches to mindfulness will be reviewed and summarized. Three therapeutic mechanisms associated with mindfulness - acceptance, exposure, and metacognitive awareness - will be addressed. It will be proposed that these mechanisms may be beneficial in treating individuals with social phobia, a highly prevalent psychological disorder.
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