Langerian Mindfulness and psychotherapy integration

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Ellen Langer defines mindfulness as a process of actively making new distinctions, rather than relying on entrenched categorizations from the past. Her approach focuses on attention to variability and production of novelty in daily activities, and does not require meditation, with the result that it may be more attractive to those disinclined to meditation practices. The “mother of mindfulness” began investigating mindlessness and mindfulness in the 1970’s, directly and indirectly influencing the cognitive-behavioral approach that is now known in the practice of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Several exercises and training found in CBT and similar psychotherapeutic approaches often refer to the “cognitive revolution” promoting an increase in flexibility, novelty seeking and openness to multiple perspectives, which are the pillars of Langerian Mindfulness. Many clinical conditions can be thought about in terms of mindlessness. For example, irrational beliefs, which are considered by the CBT model as the base of most disorders, are a deep form of mindlessness that consider only a specific point of view, a previous category that is acknowledged or felt to be “true”. Most CBT and CT techniques, such as the use of alternative beliefs from the ABC model, directly address this, promoting mindfulness. The cognitive approach is deeply rooted in the Langerian framework, though this is not always recognized. A recognition of the important role of the mindfulness/mindlessness thought processes during therapeutic settings that interventions can help generate improvements in psychological distress. Possible applications of this concept may involve strategies and techniques to be used with the patient, explanations and metaphors. Moreover, the concept of mindfulness can contribute to the research on psychotherapists’ dispositions (Heinonen et al., 2012), as it may be an important pre-treatment variable in psychotherapy outcomes. Mindfulness as conceived by Langer has not been investigated in this area. The purpose of this intervention is to explore, from a theoretical perspective, the contribution that Langer’s theory can provide in psychotherapy integration and what are possible research implications.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSEPI 32nd Annual Meeting
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016
EventoSEPI 32nd Annual Meeting - Dublin, Ireland
Durata: 16 giu 201618 giu 2016


ConvegnoSEPI 32nd Annual Meeting
CittàDublin, Ireland


  • Mindfulness

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