Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (2009), 37:403-412 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2009

Research Article

Mindfulness Groups for Distressing Voices and Paranoia: A Replication and Randomized Feasibility Trial

Paul Chadwicka1 c1, Stephanie Hughesa2, Daphne Russella3, Ian Russella3 and Dave Dagnana4

a1 Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
a2 Bangor University and South Essex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, UK
a3 Bangor University, UK
a4 University of Lancaster, UK
Article author query
chadwick p [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
hughes s [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
russell d [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
russell i [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
dagnan d [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Background: The clinical literature cautions against use of meditation by people with psychosis. There is, however, evidence for acceptance-based therapy reducing relapse, and some evidence for clinical benefits of mindfulness groups for people with distressing psychosis, though no data on whether participants became more mindful. Aims: To assess feasibility of randomized evaluation of group mindfulness therapy for psychosis, to replicate clinical gains observed in one small uncontrolled study, and to assess for changes in mindfulness. Method: Twenty-two participants with current distressing psychotic experiences were allocated at random between group-based mindfulness training and a waiting list for this therapy. Mindfulness training comprised twice-weekly sessions for 5 weeks, plus home practice (meditation CDs were supplied), followed by 5 weeks of home practice. Results: There were no significant differences between intervention and waiting-list participants. Secondary analyses combining both groups and comparing scores before and after mindfulness training revealed significant improvement in clinical functioning (p = .013) and mindfulness of distressing thoughts and images (p = .037). Conclusions: Findings on feasibility are encouraging and secondary analyses replicated earlier clinical benefits and showed improved mindfulness of thoughts and images, but not voices.

Keywords:Mindfulness; groups; psychosis; voices; paranoia


c1 Reprint requests to Paul Chadwick, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail: