Beyond Deficit Reduction: Exploring the Positive Potentials of Mindfulness

  • Tim LomasEmail author
  • Itai Ivtzan
Part of the Advances in Mental Health and Addiction book series (AMHA)


The past few decades have seen an extraordinary explosion of interest in mindfulness, both in academia and in Western society more broadly. Central to this burgeoning enthusiasm has been the development of mindfulness-based interventions, which have had great success in treating physical and psychological health issues across diverse patient groups. However, for all their merits, these interventions have mostly been formulated in the context of clinical practice, and as such have tended to endorse a ‘deficit’ model of the person (which conceptualises humans as inherently dysfunctional or deficient, and views the role of therapeutic disciplines as being limited to the correction of such defects). Thus, nearly all mindfulness-based interventions are concerned with treating dysfunction or illness, from stress and depression to pain and discomfort. As necessary as such interventions are, this has meant that mindfulness has been largely decontextualised from its original purpose within Buddhism as a means for radical personal transformation. However, in recent years, the emergent field of positive psychology has been at the forefront of efforts to create mindfulness-based interventions that capture more of the missing spirit of the original Buddhist teachings. These new interventions will hopefully augment existing interventions, helping us to collectively further explore and appreciate the exciting promise of mindfulness.


Buddhism Mindfulness Positive psychology Interventions Wellbeing 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of East LondonLondonUK

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