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This paper reports the results of a prospective experiment in which a group of approximately 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi assembled in Washington, D.C., from June 7 to July 30, 1993. It was hypothesized that levels of violent crime in the District of Columbia would fall substantially during the Demonstration Project, as a result of the group's effect of increasing coherence and reducing stress in the collective consciousness of the District. A 27-member Project Review Board comprising independent scientists and leading citizens approved the research protocol and monitored the research process. Weekly crime data was derived from database records provided by the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (DCMPD), which are used in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Statistical analysis considered the effect of weather variables, daylight, historical crime trends and annual patterns in the District of Columbia, as well as trends in neighboring cities. Consistent with previous research, levels of homicides, rapes and assaults (HRA crimes) correlated with average weekly temperature. Robberies approximately followed an annually recurring cycle. Time series analysis of 1993 data, controlling for temperature, showed that HRA crimes dropped significantly during the Demonstration Project, corresponding with increases in the size of the group; the maximum decrease was 23.3% (p < 2 × 10-⁹) [24.6% using a longer baseline, with 1988-1993 data (p < 3 × 10-⁵)], coincident with the peak number of participants in the group during the final week of the assembly. When the same period in each of the five previous years was examined, no significant decreases in HRA crimes were found. Robberies did not decrease significantly. However, a model that jointly estimated the effect of the Demonstration Project on both HRA crimes and robberies showed a significant reduction in violent crimes overall of 15.6% (p = 0.0008). Further analysis showed that the effect of the coherence-creating group on reducing HRA crimes could not be accounted for by additional police staffing. The time series analysis for HRA crimes gave results that are highly robust to alternative model specifications, and showed that the effect of the group size was cumulative and persisted after the Demonstration Project ended. Also, calculation of the steady state gain based on the time series model predicted that a permanent group of 4,000 coherence-creating experts in the District would have a long-term effect of reducing HRA crimes by 48%.

The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST) was used to examine the association between individual differences in FFFS-fear (threat detection/avoidance) and BIS-anxiety (conflict detection/cautious approach), psychological acceptance and job demands on work engagement. Moderated mediation analysis was used to test a model assessing the indirect path between BIS-anxiety/FFFS-fear and work engagement via psychological acceptance across high and low demanding jobs. Using a sample of 228 casual, part-time and full-time workers we found that FFFS-fear, rather than BIS-anxiety, predicted lower psychological acceptance which, in turn, was associated with lower work engagement; this indirect effect was only evident when the job was considered demanding. These results suggest that interventions for improving work engagement may be enhanced by targeting psychological acceptance, particularly in highly demanding jobs.

This is a personal account of the clinical work done in the Palestinian Territories by a clinical psychologist working with an international medical Non Governmental Organization (NGO). In her interventions the author used mindfulness-based therapy with people who suffered from severe psychological distress due to the political conflict. Such interventions can be therapeutic and heal deep suffering, whilst offering clients coping strategies when possibly facing other traumatic events in a situation of “chronic emergency” such as the one that people have to face in a country that has been under military occupation for over 40 years. Using a case study approach, the author discusses the intervention with two women, one suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the loss of her baby after being kept at a military check-point, and the other suffering from depression following the killing of her son. The mindfulness-based intervention allowed them to explore a therapeutic approach which helped them to overcome their symptoms and “get unstuck”.

The authors offer a preliminary exploration of the theory underlying the ways in which mindfulness might be incorporated into social justice approaches to social work (such as structural, critical, and anti-oppressive social work) as a method to link the personal and political in direct practice. Mindfulness may provide a window for observing and investigating events in our everyday lives that can inform, while also being structured by, larger social relations and structures. Mindfulness and social justice approaches to social work theory, in particular critical social science theory, converge around the ideas of social relations, dialectics, consciousness, and self-reflection or reflexivity. There are tensions, however, and further development is needed of a social work practice that incorporates knowledge from both mindfulness and social justice approaches. Les auteurs font une première exploration de la théorie sous-tendant les moyens possibles d'intégrer la pleine conscience du moment présent aux approches de justice sociale en travail social (comme le travail social structurel, critique et anti-oppressif) comme méthode de conjugaison du personnel et du politique dans l'exercice direct de la profession. La pleine conscience du moment présent peut servir de fenêtre d'observation et d'investigation d'événements du quotidien susceptibles de nous éclairer tout en étant construite par de plus vastes relations et structures sociales. La pleine conscience du moment présent et les approches de justice sociale à la théorie du service social, en particulier la théorie critique des sciences sociales, gravitent autour des notions de relations sociales, de dialectique, de prise de conscience et d'autoréflexion ou réflexivité. Il y a toutefois des tensions et il faut continuer à travailler au développement d'un service social intégrant la connaissance issue tant de la pleine conscience du moment présent que des approches de justice sociale.

Mindfulness is a relatively new construct in counseling that is rapidly gaining interest as it is applied to people struggling with a myriad of problems. Research has consistently demonstrated that counseling interventions using mindfulness improve well-being and reduce psychopathology. This article provides a detailed definition of mindfulness, including a discussion of the mechanisms underlying mindfulness practice; explores the implementation of mindfulness as a counseling intervention; and examines literature supporting its effectiveness.
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Using a randomized wait-list controlled design, this study evaluated the effects of a novel intervention, mindfulness-based relationship enhancement, designed to enrich the relationships of relatively happy, nondistressed couples. Results suggested the intervention was efficacious in (a) favorably impacting couples' levels of relationship satisfaction, autonomy, relatedness, closeness, acceptance of one another, and relationship distress; (b) beneficially affecting individuals' optimism, spirituality, relaxation, and psychological distress; and (c) maintaining benefits at 3-month follow-up. Those who practiced mindfulness more had better outcomes, and within-person analyses of diary measures showed greater mindfulness practice on a given day was associated on several consecutive days with improved levels of relationship happiness, relationship stress, stress coping efficacy, and overall stress.

Although meditation is increasingly accepted as having personal benefits, less is known about the broader impact of meditation on social and intergroup relations. We tested the effect of lovingkindness meditation training on improving implicit attitudes toward members of 2 stigmatized social outgroups: Blacks and homeless people. Healthy non-Black, nonhomeless adults ( N = 101) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: 6-week lovingkindness practice, 6-week lovingkindness discussion (a closely matched active control), or waitlist control. Decreases in implicit bias against stigmatized outgroups (as measured by Implicit Association Test) were observed only in the lovingkindness practice condition. Reduced psychological stress mediated the effect of lovingkindness practice on implicit bias against homeless people, but it did not mediate the reduced bias against Black people. These results suggest that lovingkindness meditation can improve automatically activated, implicit attitudes toward stigmatized social groups and that this effect occurs through distinctive mechanisms for different stigmatized social groups.
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