Title

Exploring Culturally Attuned Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as a Means of Improving Quality of life, Emotional Well Being and Academic Performance of Emirati College Students

Abstract

Derived primarily from the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness has become an integral aspect of second-generation approaches to cognitive therapy. Research exploring such mindfulness-based approaches, is generally positive about their efficacy, particularly with regard to relapse prevention. Less well explored is the acceptability of these approaches, particularly among individuals spontaneously expressing theistic worldviews such as Islam. It is argued that many of the defining principles and techniques used within mindfulness-based approaches are congruent with Islamic values, and in some cases they are highly resonant with specific Islamic directives aimed at shaping human cognition and behaviour. This paper explores the need for culturally appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions in the Muslim world, with a specific focus on the use of mindfulness-based approaches within the Arabian Gulf states. It is argued that Mindfulness based approaches, can be highly resonant with Islamic thought and practice when presented appropriately. This paper details several bridging concepts aimed at helping Muslim participants/clients/therapists make connections between mindfulness-based approaches and the Islamic tradition. An important determinant of any intervention's effectiveness is its acceptability and perceived religio-cultural appropriateness among the target population. We argue that the use of such bridging concepts will, in many cases, make mindfulness-based approaches more appropriate and effective for clients with worldviews shaped by Islam.

Document Type

Article

Publisher

Zayed University

Publication Date

2017

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Justin Thomas
Ian Grey
Peter Kinderman

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