- Mindfulness-based therapy for social anxiety disorder
- Book title
- Social anxiety: clinical, developmental, and social perspectives. - 3rd edition
- Pages (from-to)
- London [etc.]: Academic Press
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Over the past decades, a wealth of evidence has accumulated indicating that cognitive processes, such as attention for unwanted stimuli or sensations and the negative interpretation of ambiguous signals, are critically involved in the development and maintenance of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Although cognitive behaviour therapy has been successful in reducing SAD, several new interventions that explicitly target these maladaptive cognitive processes have been developed and tested over the past years. One such promising intervention is mindfulness, in which patients with SAD are—among other things—trained to gain more control over their focus of attention using meditation techniques. In this chapter, we discuss the theoretical background and the therapeutic potential of mindfulness training in SAD. As research thus far suggests that the clinical effect sizes obtained with mindfulness are relatively large, we argue that mindfulness may be an accessible, effective, and cost-effective alternative for traditional cognitive behavior therapy. We present a general protocol for mindfulness interventions in SAD, stimulating both researchers and practitioners to use this or a similar mindfulness protocol in further research or treatments. Finally, we discuss the limitations of mindfulness, as well as what are in our opinion the most relevant directions for future research.
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