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Clin Psychol Psychother. 2010 May-Jun;17(3):250-68. doi: 10.1002/cpp.665.

Is mindfulness-based therapy an effective intervention for obsessive-intrusive thoughts: a case series.

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West of England Forensic Mental Health Service, Psychology Department, Bristol.


Despite the efficacy of cognitive-behavioural interventions in improving the experience of obsessions and compulsions, some people do not benefit from this approach. The present research uses a case series design to establish whether mindfulness-based therapy could benefit those experiencing obsessive-intrusive thoughts by targeting thought-action fusion and thought suppression. Three participants received a relaxation control intervention followed by a six-session mindfulness-based intervention which emphasized daily practice. Following therapy all participants demonstrated reductions in Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale scores to below clinical levels, with two participants maintaining this at follow-up. Qualitative analysis of post-therapy feedback suggested that mindfulness skills such as observation, awareness and acceptance were seen as helpful in managing thought-action fusion and suppression. Despite being limited by small participant numbers, these results suggest that mindfulness may be beneficial to some people experiencing intrusive unwanted thoughts and that further research could establish the possible efficacy of this approach in larger samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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