A mind full of self: Self-referential processing as a mechanism underlying the therapeutic effects of mindfulness training on internalizing disorders

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

The aim of the current review is to advance the hypothesis that change in self-referential processing is a key but under-examined mechanism through which mindfulness training confers its therapeutic benefits for individuals with internalizing disorders. Consequently, we integrated neuroscientific studies on aberrant self-referential processing in internalizing disorders with contemplative science scholarship examining the effects of mindfulness training on the self-referential system. Reviewing these literatures yielded four major conclusions: (1) internalizing disorders can be characterized by excessive self-referential processing and emotion dysregulation; (2) mindfulness training has moderate effects on reducing internalizing symptoms; (3) mindfulness training promotes the shifting from narrative self-focus to present-centered experiential awareness; (4) such mindfulness-induced changes in self-reference is accompanied by reduced activation in overactive self-referential brain regions that have been implicated in internalizing disorders. Clinical and research implications related to delineating the role of self-referential processing in producing the therapeutic effects of mindfulness training are discussed.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles