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Mindfulness for substance abuse recovery

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Saddhajeewa, Ethkandawaka




Doctor of Buddhist Ministry


Gauthier, Jitsujo Tina
Gabriel, Victor
Wood, Nathan


Over the past two decades, mindfulness has gained massive popularity in clinical psychology. It has gone from being a fringe topic of research to be the main replacement for psychotherapy. Since it is inception as a discipline, it has gained popularity as statistically supported by its utilization. This paper will seek to review the empirical literature on the effects of mindfulness and its impact on psychological health.

Mindfulness-based treatments or interventions have been utilized to help patients across all dimensions offering a healing impact. In this paper, I seek to show how we can utilize mindfulness to treat substance and drug abuse patients and how this treatment can help them fit back into society. Mindfulness brings about various positive psychological effects such as increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms, and emotional reactivity not to forget improved behavioral regulation. The review will also highlight the relationship between mindfulness and Buddhism, to show the dialogue between Buddhism and Clinical psychology and how they have done a deeply detailed review of existing cases. The current literature review does not elaborate on how mindfulness can be used in helping substance abuse victims. However, the therapeutic use of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can be used to help substance abuse victims.

Mindfulness is well captured in the Eastern tradition of Buddhism. The western psychological definition borrows its meaning of mindfulness in Buddhism. The western term mindfulness origin can be traced back to Pali, the language of Buddhist psychology to 2600 years ago (Germer 2005) Sati which means mindfulness in the Pali language. The basic concepts of Sati include awareness, attention, and remembering (Germer, 2005). In western definition, we can think of the above components as an aspect of being conscious. In Eastern tradition, Sati serves as a component of remembering and bringing attention to the present moment, a concept that the western incorporates to mean one is mindful. In Buddhism mindfulness is guided by an ethical imperative which requires the practitioner to cultivate a wise compassionate ethos of care and engagement towards self, others, and the world. It is in Buddhism that the understanding is the embodied and the contingent reality to be achieved. There is a great connection between Buddhism and mindfulness.


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University of the West



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