What are mindfulness and acceptance therapies?

Mindfulness and acceptance therapies involve intentional and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on emotions, thoughts and sensations that are occurring in the present moment. The aim is to open awareness to present experiences, whether positive or negative, allowing thoughts and voices to come and go without reacting, and accepting oneself and the experience. This may help alleviate the distress associated with symptoms by focusing on how people relate and respond to their psychotic experiences, rather than identifying and directly challenging thoughts and beliefs about these experiences.

What is the evidence for mindfulness and acceptance therapies?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a small effect of improved general symptoms with mindfulness or acceptance therapies when compared to treatment as usual, but not when compared to active control conditions. There was a small effect for depression symptoms, and a medium-sized effect for mindful awareness, and no effects for positive or negative symptoms, hallucination-related distress, or functioning and disability. There was also no effect of individual acceptance therapies.


August 2018