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A Metasynthesis of Qualitative Studies on Mindfulness, Sexuality, and Relationality

Abstract

Objectives

A substantive body of quantitative literature found links between mindfulness interventions or dispositional mindfulness and increased relationality and/or sexuality. However, there needs to be a better understanding of the contexts in which the links between mindfulness and relationality/sexuality may occur, which qualitative studies may provide.

Method

A metasynthesis of qualitative studies aims to reinterpret the results of qualitative studies in one field of research. Therefore, we produced a metasynthesis of 8 peer-reviewed, published articles exploring the impacts of mindfulness practices and interventions on relationality/sexuality to produce new insights on this burgeoning field of research.

Results

The increase of mindfulness is experienced through the development of two main traits that are related to sexuality and relationality, namely, accepting oneself and others as they are, as well as paying attention in the present moment, which leads to awareness and a new approach on life. Then, practicing mindfulness allows benefits marked by a surging connectedness with others and contentment with one’s life and self. Finally, limits of mindfulness practices and interventions marked by restraining conditions of life are found, such as the hardships of pursuing the practice of mindfulness, initial sexual/relational difficulties that require patience, and an insufficient connectedness with significant others that hinders progress.

Conclusion

Mindfulness-based practices and interventions are a helpful technique to reduce sexual/relational difficulties and enhance one’s quality of life in these realms but should not be considered and approached as a panacea to such difficulties.

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Funding

This research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (#430-2016-00951) awarded to Mylène Fernet and by a grant from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec—Société et Culture (#2021-B2Z-290624) awarded to Éliane Dussault.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

ED: Designed and executed the study, conducted the data analyses, and wrote the paper. MF: Provided inter-rater reliability (studies’ scores, coding), ensured the quality of the methodology, collaborated with the design and writing of the study. NG: Provided inter-rater reliability (studies’ scores, coding), collaborated with the writing of the study and its revision. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Éliane Dussault.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Dussault, É., Fernet, M. & Godbout, N. A Metasynthesis of Qualitative Studies on Mindfulness, Sexuality, and Relationality. Mindfulness 11, 2682–2694 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01463-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01463-x

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Relationality
  • Sexuality
  • Metasynthesis
  • Qualitative