Mindfulness and Third Wave Therapies

  • Andrew Jahoda
  • Biza Stenfert Kroese
  • Carol Pert


The principles and attitudinal qualities underpinning third wave therapies have potential benefits for clients with intellectual disabilities; nevertheless, more research is required to explore their applicability for this client group. Most of the adaptations used to make CBT more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities will also be relevant for third wave therapies, such as keeping exercises short, providing more repetition and using visual aids and storyboards to overcome communication difficulties. Further adaptations are necessary to clarify some of the abstract concepts underpinning mindfulness and other third wave therapies and to help clients apply the key principles. The use of vignettes and storyboards can be used to assist this process. Adapted compassion-focused techniques hold some promise to further enhance clients’ coping mechanism, such as when problems are associated with a sense of separation or alienation. However, research is needed to explore the clinical effectiveness of an adapted approach.


  1. Azulay, J., Smart, C. M., Mott, T., & Cicerone, K. D. (2013). A pilot study examining the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction on symptoms of chronic mild traumatic brain injury/postconcussive syndrome. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 28(4), 323–331.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baer, R. A. (2003). Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: A conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology, 10, 125–143.Google Scholar
  3. Bédard, M., Felteau, M., Gibbons, C., Klein, R., Mazmanian, D., Fedyk, K., & Mack, G. (2005). A mindfulness-based intervention to improve quality of life among individuals who sustained traumatic brain injuries: One-year follow-up. Journal of Cognitive Rehabilitation, 23, 8–13.Google Scholar
  4. Bédard, M., Felteau, M., Marshall, S., Gibbons, C., Klein, R., & Weaver, B. (2012). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: Benefits in reducing depression following a traumatic brain injury. Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 26, 14–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bedard, M., Felteau, M., Marshall, S., Cullen, N., Gibbons, C., Dubois, S., Maxwell, H., Mazmanian, D., Weaver, B., Rees, L., Gainer, R., Klein, R., & Moustgaard, A. (2014). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy reduces symptoms of depression in people with a traumatic brain injury: Results from a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 29, 13-22.Google Scholar
  6. Brewer, J. A., Davis, J. H., & Goldstein, J. (2013). Why is it so hard to pay attention, or is it? Mindfulness, the factors of awakening and reward-based learning’. Mindfulness, 4, 75–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chambers, R., Lo, B. C., & Allen, N. B. (2008). The impact of intensive mindfulness training on attentional control, cognitive style, and affect. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32, 303–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapman, M. J., & Mitchell, D. (2013). Mindfully valuing people now: An evaluation of introduction to mindfulness workshops for people with intellectual disabilities. Mindfulness. doi: 10.1007/s12671-012-0183-5.
  9. Clapton, N., Williams, J., Griffith, G., & Jones, R. (2017). Finding the person you really are … on the inside. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, Jan 1, 1744629516688581.Google Scholar
  10. Crane, R. (2008). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: Distinctive features. Routledge: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  11. Crane, R. S., Soulsby, J.D., Kuyken, W., Williams, J.M.G., Eames, C. (2012). Bangor, Exeter and Oxford mindfulness based interventions teaching assessment criteria (MBI-TAC). Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, School of Psychology, Bangor University.Google Scholar
  12. Dobkin, P. L., Irving, J. A., & Amar, S. (2012). For whom may participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program be contraindicated? Mindfulness, 3(1), 40–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Flook, L., Kitel, M., Kaiser-Greenland, S., Locke, J., Ishijima, E., & Kasari, C. (2010). Effects of mindfulness awareness practices on executive functions in elementary school children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26, 70–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flook, L., Goldberg, S. B., Pinger, L., Bonus, K., & Davidson, R. J. (2013). Mindfulness for teachers: A pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout and teaching efficacy. Mind, Brain and Education, 7, 182–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gilbert, P. (2009). Introducing compassion-focused therapy. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 15(3), 199–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gilbert, P. (2010). The compassionate mind. Compassion focused therapy. London: Constable and Robinson.Google Scholar
  17. Gilbert, P., & Choden, K. (2014). Mindful compassion. How the science of compassion can help you understand your emotions, live in the present, and connect deeply with others. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Gilbert, P., & Irons, C. (2004). A pilot exploration of the use of compassionate images in a group of self-critical people. Memory, 12(4), 507–516.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gilbert, P., & Proctor, S. (2006). Compassionate mind training for people with high shame and self-criticism: Overview and pilot study of a group therapy approach. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 13, 353–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harper, S., Webb, T., & Rayner, K. (2013). The effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for supporting people with intellectual disabilities: A narrative review. Behaviour Modification, 3, 431–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experimental approach to behaviour change. New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  22. Idusohan-Moizer, H., Sawicka, A., Dendle, J., & Albany, M. (2015). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for adults with intellectual disabilities: An evaluation of the effectiveness of mindfulness in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 59(2), 93–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Jha, A. P., Krompinger, J., & Baime, M. J. (2007). Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention. Cognitive Affective Behaviour Neuroscience, 7, 109–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Delta.Google Scholar
  25. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life (p. 4). New York: Hyperion.Google Scholar
  26. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1996). Mindfulness meditation: What it is, what it isn’t, and its role in health care and medicine. In Y. Haruki, Y. Ishii, & M. Suzuki (Eds.), Comparative and psychological study on meditation. Delft: Eburon.Google Scholar
  27. Khoury, B., Lecomte, T., Fortin, G., Masse, M., Therien, P., Bouchard, V., Chapleau, M. A., Paquin, K., & Hofmann, S. G. (2013). Mindfulness-based therapy: A comprehensive meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(6), 763–771.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuyken, W., Byford, S., & Taylor, R. S. (2008). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent relapse in recurrent depression. Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology, 76, 966–978.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kuyken, W., Crane, R., & Dalgleish, T. (2012). Does mindfulness based cognitive therapy prevent relapse of depression? British Medical Journal, 345, e7194. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e7194.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Lee, D. A. (2005). The perfect nurturer: Using imagery to develop compassion within the context of cognitive therapy. In P. Gilbert (Ed.), Compassion: Conceptualisations, research and use in psychotherapy. London: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Lee, D. A. (2009). Using a compassionate mind to enhance the effectiveness of cognitive therapy for people who suffer from shame and self. In D. Sookman & R. Leahy (Eds.), Treatment resistant anxiety disorders. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Linehan, M. (1993). Cognitive behavioural treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lustyk, M., Chawla, N., Nolan, R., & Marlatt, G. (2009). Mindfulness meditation research: Issues of participant screening, safety procedures, and researcher training. Advances in Mind Body Medicine, 24(1), 20–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Ma, S. H., & Teasdale, J. D. (2004). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: Replication and exploration of differential relapse prevention effects. Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology, 72, 31–40.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Marshall, M., & Holmes, G. (2009). An evaluation of a mindfulness group. Group, 19, 40–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Moore, A., & Malinowski, P. (2009). Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility. Conscious Cognition, 18(1), 176–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2009). Depression: The treatment and management of depression in adults (update). Clinical Guideline 90, p. 34. London: NICE.Google Scholar
  38. Neff, K. D., & Germer, C. K. (2012). A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the mindful self-compassion program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(1), 28–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Noone, S. J., & Hastings, R. (2010). Using acceptance and mindfulness-based workshops with support staff caring for adults with intellectual disabilities. Mindfulness, 1(2), 67–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Salzberg, S., & Goldstein, J. (2001). Insight meditation. Boulder: Sounds True.Google Scholar
  41. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). (2010). Non-pharmaceutical management of depression in adults. Edinburgh: SIGN.Google Scholar
  42. Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: A new approach to preventing relapse. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  43. Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2013). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression (2nd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  44. Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(3), 373–386.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  46. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Winton, A. S., Curtis, W. J., Wahler, R. G., Sabaawi, M., et al. (2006). Mindful staff increase learning and reduce aggression in adults with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27, 545–558.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Winto, A. S. W., Adkins, A. D., Singh, J., & Singh, A. N. (2007). Mindfulness training assists individuals with moderate mental retardation to maintain their community placements. Behaviour Modification, 31(6), 800–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Manikam, R., Winton, A. S. W., Singh, A. N. A., Singh, J., & Singh, A. D. A. (2011). A mindfulness-based strategy for self- management of aggressive behaviour in adolescents with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1153–1158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., & Karazsia, B. T. (2015). Effects of training staff in MBPBS on the use of physical restraints, staff stress and turnover, staff and peer injuries, and cost effectiveness in developmental disabilities. Mindfulness, 6), 926.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tang, Y. Y., Ma, Y., Wang, J., Fan, Y., Feng, S., Lu, Q., et al. (2007). Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(43), 17152–17156.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Teasdale, J. D., Moore, R. G., Hayhurst, H., Pope, M., Williams, S., & Segal, Z. V. (2002). Metacognitive awareness and prevention of relapse in depression: Empirical evidence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 275–287.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Teper, R., & Inzlicht, M. (2013). Meditation, mindfulness and executive control: The importance of emotional acceptance and brain-based performance monitoring. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 8, 85–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Wells, A. (2007). Cognition about cognition: Metacognitive therapy and change in generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 14, 18–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Williams, J., Crane, C., & Barnhofer, T. (2014). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for preventing relapse in recurrent depression: A randomized dismantling trial. Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology, 82, 275–286.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Zellner Keller, B., Singh, N. N., & Winton, A. S. W. (2014). Mindfulness-based cognitive approach for seniors (MBCAS): Program development and implementation. Mindfulness, 5(4), 453–459.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Jahoda
    • 1
  • Biza Stenfert Kroese
    • 2
  • Carol Pert
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Health and WellbeingUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  3. 3.Learning Disabilities ServiceNHS Greater Glasgow and ClydeGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations