Meditation has long been suggested as a means for improving mental health. This study examines whether meditation may be helpful to persons with intrusive thoughts. Fifty-three meditators from five sites of meditation reported their experience with meditation (how long they had been meditating and how much meditation they were currently doing per week), as well as their current experience of cognitive intrusions and related distress. Number of weeks experience with meditation was found to be negatively correlated with both severity of intrusive thoughts and negative evaluation of intrusive thoughts. Intensity of current meditation practice (minutes per week) was not found to be correlated with severity or evaluation of intrusive thoughts. It is concluded that experience with meditation provides psychological benefits consistent with the aims of both meditation traditions and many contemporary cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches. Meditation is theoretically and pragmatically compatible with contemporary cognitive-behavioral approaches and may be a useful supplement for treating clinical and nonclinical intrusive thoughts.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.