Nicholas van Dam

Progress in Mindfulness Research and its Near Enemies

Research into mindfulness-based interventions for medical, psychological and psychosomatic disorders has increased exponentially in recent years. This presentation examines what we know about the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for different types of conditions, as well as what we may infer concerning the state of mindfulness research: how methodologically and conceptually sound it is, and whether an accelerated effort to evaluate mindfulness for health purposes may pose certain risks for accurate assessment.


Mindfulness research will be discussed in terms of the current decontextualization of mindfulness from its original Buddhist origins and its recontexualization into Western psychological paradigms. Finally, with an eye to the original Buddhist percept of mindfulness, I will point to evidence indicating the promise of mindfulness-based intervention as a generic approach to coping with those inevitable vagaries of life often known as chronic disorders (i.e. long-lasting conditions).