East Asian Arch Psychiatry 2018;28:33

BOOK REVIEW

Mindfulness

Author: Katie Witkiewitz, Corey R Roos, Dana Dharmakaya Colgan, Sarah Bowen
Hogrefe Publishing Group
US$ 29.8; pp76; ISBN: 978-0-88937-414-0


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Mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) is taking on an ever- expanding meaning as interest in mindfulness grows among clinicians and researchers. The new book, Mindfulness, provides a brief and simplified introduction to the current applications of mindfulness in psychotherapy and MBI. It covers the terminology and definition of mindfulness, theories and models in MBI, assessment, indications, and treatment. This book briefly describes the historical roots of mindfulness (which are based on the teachings of the Buddha), and how these practices were translated into western science and medicine. There is also a chapter comparing eastern and western perspectives on mindfulness and the difference between them. This is important in understanding current MBI.

The chapters on assessment for mindfulness provide comprehensive details in multiple aspects. Mindfulness can be considered a practice, a state, or a trait. The author lists the tools that are currently used in measuring mindfulness in these areas. The book also covers objective and subjective measures of mindfulness, as well as the measures of constructs related to mindfulness.

In the treatment section, the author discusses the importance of a personal mindfulness practice to the therapist. It is one of the factors that moderate clinical outcomes at the end of MBI. The author also discusses the possible contraindications for MBIs and describes the different formats of treatment and various forms of MBI, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction.

This book is not a complete guide though. It is too short, and concepts and theories are written in a simplistic way. It may still be difficult for a beginner to understand some of the concepts in mindfulness practice as presented, without direct personal experience. The book also lacks detailed discussion about the mechanisms of MBI. Discussion on inquiry is too short and readers might find that part difficult to understand. An area not covered at all is recently developed mindfulness programmes, such as mindful parenting, mindfulness-based relapse prevention for people with substance abuse problems, the MYmind programme for youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder and for their parents.

Mindfulness is, however, concise and easy to read. Health care workers and medical professionals from diverse backgrounds may use this book as a guide.

Alfert WK Tsang, MBBS, FHKCPsych, FHKAM

(Psychiatry)

(email: alfert@netvigator.com)

Specialist in Psychiatry

Hong Kong SAR, China

The 2018 HKCPsych International Mental Health Congress
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