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La dimension interpersonnelle de la pleine conscience - 07/02/19

The interpersonal dimension of mindfulness

Doi : 10.1016/j.amp.2018.10.018 
Bassam Khoury a, , b , Simon Grégoire c, Frédérick Dionne d
a Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, McGill University, 3700 McTavish Street, H3A 1Y2 Montréal, QC, Canada 
b Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, États-Unis 
c Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, succursale centre-ville, H3C 3P8 Montréal, QC, Canada 
d Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, C.P. 500, G9A 5H7 Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada 

Auteur correspondant.
Sous presse. Épreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le jeudi 07 février 2019

Résumé

Récemment, le concept de « pleine conscience incarnée » (embodiment) a été proposé comme dénominateur commun aux approches bouddhistes et occidentales de la pleine conscience (Khoury, Dionne & Grégoire, 2018). Cet article vise à approfondir et élargir cette notion de pleine conscience incarnée afin de démontrer que celle-ci implique nécessairement une prise en compte des aspects interpersonnels et sociaux, souvent négligés dans la théorie, la pratique et la recherche. Des études récentes menées sur les effets interpersonnels de la pleine conscience sont d’abord exposées et des avenues sont ensuite proposées afin de stimuler le développement de ce domaine de recherche.

Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.

Abstract

Objective

The concept of “embodied mindfulness” (Khoury, Dionne, & Grégoire, 2018; Khoury et al., 2017) was recently introduced and discussed according to both Eastern and Western conceptualizations and operationalization of mindfulness. Our previous papers (Khoury et al., 2018; Khoury et al., 2017) proposed embodiment as a common process that integrates mindfulness across the Buddhist traditions and western schools of thoughts. Moreover, it grounded the notion of “embodied mindfulness” in Buddhist philosophy and neurobiology, namely in the integration of top-down and bottom-up processes. This new notion allowed a common understanding of the mechanisms of change of different Western mindfulness practices, namely Western mindfulness meditation and Langerian mindfulness. It also proposed consciousness as an interaction between the mind, the body, and the outside world. This article aims to deepen and broaden the notion of “embodied mindfulness” by taking into account the interpersonal and social contexts, which are often neglected in the theory, practice and research pertaining to mindfulness.

Method

In order to investigate the social dimension of mindfulness, we conducted a thorough qualitative review of theoretical and empirical papers pertaining to the interpersonal, familial, relational, and social aspects of mindfulness and thus, according to both mindfulness-meditation and Langerian mindfulness approaches. Empirical research addressing the interpersonal and social effects of mindfulness in both approaches is presented and discussed. Additionally, we reviewed the state of research in conceptualizing, operationalizing, and measuring the interpersonal/social dimension of mindfulness in both the meditative and Langerian approaches.

Results and Discussion

The results of interpersonal mindfulness are presented and discussed according to the different contexts. In the family context, both correlational and experimental studies have suggested positive effects of mindfulness on relationships between couples (e.g., increase of satisfaction and reduction of reactivity) and on the emotional, social, and behavioral adjustments of children of parents with higher mindfulness disposition or following mindfulness training. The positive outcomes on children were found across different developmental stages (e.g., childhood, early, and late adolescence) and included lower aggressiveness and externalizing behaviors, and more positive interactions with parents and peers, therefore higher self-regulation. The results were also found among both nonclinical and clinical populations, including children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In psychotherapy context, qualitative and correlational studies suggested that dispositional mindfulness is correlated with an increase in therapeutic alliance and presence, therefore, an increase in therapeutic effectiveness. In addition, an experimental study showed better clinical outcomes among patients seen by therapists practicing meditation than therapists who were in the control group. On the social level, both correlational and experimental studies have suggested positive effects of mindfulness on prosocial behaviors, empathy, altruism, compassion, and reduction in discrimination. These results were obtained in both the meditative and Langerian approaches. According to current research, interpersonal mindfulness, even though globally defined, was only measured in parenting and teaching contexts. Therefore, the need of having a contextually independent measure of interpersonal mindfulness is very high.

Conclusions

In light of the empirical results, we believe that the notion of “embodied mindfulness” would benefit from being extended to include more explicitly its interpersonal dimension. Integrating both intrapersonal and interpersonal/social dimensions in conceptualizing and measuring mindfulness can broaden our understanding of mindfulness and its applications and carry important implications in devising new mindfulness-based interventions, which should consider both the intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions of mindfulness.

Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.

Mots clés : Bénéfice thérapeutique, Échelle d’évaluation, Méditation, Prise en charge, Relation interpersonnelle, Thérapie basée sur la pleine conscience

Keywords : Assessment scale, Care management, Interpersonal relationship, Meditation, Mindfulness therapy, Therapeutic benefit


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