Abstract / Description of output
While a considerable research base demonstrates the positive effects of 8-week secular mindfulness courses, it remains unclear to what degree their participants continue to engage with mindfulness practices; and there is a dearth of published reports on longer-term mindfulness interventions. Studies have also tended to focus on clinical “effectiveness,” with less attention given to participants’ own construal and expectations of mindfulness. To address these gaps, the study reported here implemented a year-long mindfulness program for a group of 20 individuals with long-standing health conditions who gradually transitioned to self-guiding. Their experiences, expectations, and understanding of mindfulness were investigated through the lens of descriptive phenomenology. The findings revealed that mindfulness practice did bring therapeutic improvement but that it was a multi-faceted process where an individual’s intentionality toward practice was key, with a clear division between those pursuing an “embodied integrated” mindfulness and those viewing it as a stress management tool.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- chronic illness
- experiential learning
- qualitative research