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The adaptation and application of mindfulness‐based psychotherapeutic practices for individuals with intellectual disabilities

Bronwyn Robertson (Psychotherapist at Parker, Schlichter and Associates, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 16 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to review the adaptation and application of mindfulness‐based psychotherapeutic practices for individuals with intellectual disability, the population most at risk for mental health and behavioral challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Provided is an overview of the adaptation and utilization of these practices in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, and maladaptive behavior in individuals with intellectual disabilities. It also explores current research related to mindfulness‐based stress management for parents and caregivers of individuals with intellectual disability.

Findings

Current research and practice supports that mindfulness‐based psychotherapeutic practices are clinically effective in the treatment of anxiety, mood, stress, aggression, and self‐injury in individuals with intellectual disabilities, and enhanced coping and stress management in their parents and caregivers.

Practical implications

The effective, experiential, and skills‐based practices of mindfulness‐based psychotherapy make it easily adaptable and applicable for use with individuals with intellectual disabilities who have varying mental health and behavioral challenges.

Originality/value

Very little has been published on the adaptation and application of mindfulness‐based psychotherapeutic practices for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Given the mental health and behavioral challenges faced by this population, there is a great need for individuals with intellectual disabilities to have effective and practical treatment such as mindfulness‐based psychotherapy. Further research and utilization of these practices with this population is needed.

Keywords

Citation

Robertson, B. (2011), "The adaptation and application of mindfulness‐based psychotherapeutic practices for individuals with intellectual disabilities", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 5 No. 5, pp. 46-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441281111180664

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited