Mindfulness-Based Interventions

Sahar Jahed, DO, Lisa N. Richey, Neda Gould, Ph.D.


  • Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) teach individuals the skills needed to cultivate mindfulness, the practice of bringing intentional, non-judgmental awareness to the present moment.
  • The practice of meditation is central to MBIs.
  • MBIs improve focused attention, self-regulation, and self-compassion as well as change one’s relationship to the internal and external experiences of everyday life.
  • While MBIs draw from the Buddhist framework, they are secular clinical interventions as opposed to religious or spiritual practices.[1]
  • Two of the most well-researched MBIs are Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)[1] and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).[2]


  • Initially developed in the 1970s at University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD,
 for the treatment of chronic pain[3]
  • Teaches mindfulness and coping skills through formal meditation practice, group discussion, and self-reflection[1]


  • Developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale in the 1990s for the treatment of recurrent depression[2]
  • Combines principles of mindfulness with cognitive therapy[2]
  • Focuses on identifying early signs of depressive episodes and “mindfully disengaging from distressing moods and negative thoughts”[4]

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Last updated: September 3, 2020