Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

<< Buddhist Psychology: A Transcultural Bridge to Innovation and Reproduction

Mindfulness-training: Exploring Personal Change Through Sensory Awareness

Michael M. Tophoff (Limmen)



Mindfulness-training is internationally being explored and researched, mainly within the context of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Its significance for the treatment of psychiatric and somatic diseases has been demonstrated, using Kabat-Zinn's method of mindfulness based stress-reduction. Significant changes have been shown experimentally both on physiological as well as on behavioral levels, such as changes in the cardiovascular system and blood chemistry on the one hand, and changes in global psychology symptomatology on the other. Prophylactic effects in treating relapse in severe clinical depression have been demonstrated, as well as the reduction of pain and negative body image. As an alternative to Kabat-Zinn's method, the method of Sensory Awareness is presented as a training tool for mindfulness. Here, mindfulness is not only considered from a behaviorist point of view but rather from an integral one. First, the concept of mindfulness will be placed in its original Chinese, Chan-Buddhist context. The relevance of this core Buddhist concept will be demonstrated in its applicability both in clinical as well as in normal settings, integrating behavioral and existential approaches. Characteristics of Sensory Awareness will be plotted against Kabat-Zinn's method in terms such as practicability, generalization and integration into daily life practice. Second, the author will present his own research results on the the effectiveness of Sensory Awareness as a method for mindfulness-training, obtained at the University of Amsterdam. Measured through instruments of high validity and reliability (such as the Somatic Awareness Questionnaire and the Outcome Questionnaire) results show significant differences in the sense of improvement in the awareness of bodily signals, general bodily wellbeing, and other dimensions.

Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-08-28