Mindfulness as a treatment for gambling disorder: Current directions and issues

Mark Griffiths, Edo Shonin, William Van Gordon

Abstract


Mindfulness is a form of meditation that derives from Buddhist practice and is one of the fastest growing areas of psychological research. Studies investigating the role of mindfulness in the treatment of behavioral addictions have, to date, primarily focused on gambling disorder. Recent pilot studies and clinical case studies have demonstrated that weekly mindfulness therapy sessions can lead to clinically significant change among individuals with gambling problems. This purpose of this paper is to appraise current directions in gambling disorder research as they relates to mindfulness approaches, and discuss issues that are likely to hinder the wider acceptance of mindfulness as a treatment for gambling disorder. It is concluded that although preliminary findings indicate that there are applications for mindfulness approaches in the treatment of gambling disorder, further empirical and clinical research utilizing larger-sample controlled study designs is clearly needed.


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