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The Purpose, Mechanisms, and Benefits of Cultivating Ethics in Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Part of the Mindfulness in Behavioral Health book series (MIBH)

Abstract

The inclusion of ethics in mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) has become a hot topic in recent years, contributing to a differentiation between what has recently been called first- and second-generation MBIs. This chapter first discusses the origins and purpose of ethics in Theravada Buddhism and the traditional understanding that developing mindfulness also aids in monitoring and preventing harmful intentions and actions, while cultivating beneficial ones, to decrease suffering. It will then describe the role and benefits of cultivating ethics in Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MiCBT), a four-stage transdiagnostic approach that combines Burmese Vipassana meditation and core principles of traditional CBT. There are three principal reasons for which MiCBT dedicates a whole therapeutic stage to the development of empathy grounded in loving-kindness meditation and ethical living: (1) the cultivation of compassion, (2) the prevention of relapse into common mental health disorders, and (3) the cultivation of joy and well-being. The chapter also offers some insight into the reasons for which more advanced mindfulness states inevitably lead to the observation that ethics and compassion are interdependent, and reflects on some of the implications that this may have for MBI programs.

Keywords

  • Mindfulness-integrated cognitive behavior therapy
  • MiCBT
  • Ethics
  • MBIs
  • Second-generation MBIs
  • SG-MBIs

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Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Drs. Lynette Monteiro, Glenn Bilsborrow, and Andrea and Nick Grabovac for their useful suggestions.

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Cayoun, B.A. (2017). The Purpose, Mechanisms, and Benefits of Cultivating Ethics in Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In: Monteiro, L., Compson, J., Musten, F. (eds) Practitioner's Guide to Ethics and Mindfulness-Based Interventions . Mindfulness in Behavioral Health. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64924-5_7

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