Mindfulness based relapse prevention in an Alcohol Treatment Unit

First published: 10/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

Abstract:

Aims:

To allow participants to describe their own experiences of the effectiveness of Mindfulness based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) groups and also cover several pre-determined domains developed from the literature on alcohol misuse and mindfulness based approaches.

Design:

A qualitative approach was used to interview people who had taken part in two different eight week MBRP groups run at a Scottish Alcohol Treatment Unit. The data was transcribed and analysed using a grounded theory approach.

Participants:

The study recruited patients who had attended an eight week MBRP course run for people with a history of alcohol dependence who were currently abstinent. Eleven patients were recruited from a total of sixteen participants of two different groups. All participants were invited to take part in the study.

Intervention:

An eight week group programme combining Mindfulness techniques and Relapse Prevention delivered by an experienced Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) practitioner.

Findings and Conclusions:

This pilot study demonstrated that MBRP was an acceptable and potentially a useful treatment option. All patients interviewed showed at least some compatibility with the intervention and a desire to continue with mindfulness techniques after the end of the course. The self-monitoring component of the MBRP course seemed to provide participants with both a way of identifying high risk situations and a new approach to processing cues. Ideas relating to self-compassion seemed to have potential to impact on feelings of self-worth which sometimes led to behavioural change. A treatment which integrates cognitive behavioural techniques with mindfulness is potentially an important development in treatment of alcohol dependence.

Co-Authors

Dr Alistair Wilson. Consultant Psychiatrist (retired). NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Maria Higgins. Research Assistant. University of Glasgow. Dr Iain Smith. Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions. NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Dr Yameen Quereshi. Consultant Psychiatrist in Addictions. NHS Lanarkshire. Dr Elizabeth J McGrath. Clinical Psychologist. Camden & Islington Foundation trust.

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Dr Donna Mullen