Most psychological disorders involve transdiagnostic mental processes that are marked by inflexibility, automaticity, and a narrowed perspective-that is, mindlessness. From both a contemplative and a social-psychological perspective, mindfulness concerns freeing oneself from misperceptions and self-imposed limitations that impede creativity, clear seeing, and emotional well-being. Based on a review of current theory and empirical research spanning the fields of experimental, social, and clinical psychology, neuroscience, and mindfulness-based clinical interventions, we propose that an integrated view of Eastern and Western mindfulness offers a "transtherapeutic" approach to targeting transdiagnostic mental processes. Specific transdiagnostic processes considered include negative affectivity and emotional reactivity, repetitive negative thought, experiential avoidance, attentional bias, reappraisal, and suppression. Transtherapeutic mindful processes include open monitoring, decentering, flexible reappraisal, self-focused attention, mindful exposure, positive emotions, and nonreactivity. Drawing parallels between theories, experimental findings, and practical applications, we describe how mindfulness training through meditation may facilitate mindful learning and new possibilities for mind-body health. The example of substance use is provided to illustrate mindfulness as a transtherapeutic approach for effectively and efficiently targeting transdiagnostic mental processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes