Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) was created through combines Relapse Prevention with the kind of mindfulness training found in mindfulness-based stress reduction (Bowen et al., 2009; Witkiewitz & Bowen, 2010). MBRP focuses on helping people with addiction to overcome cravings to use drugs and alcohol through teaching them how to observe cravings and urges to use and identifying potential triggers for relapse while developing a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.  During this 8-week group in which participants are taught a body-scan, mindfulness meditation, and yoga. With the body-scan, participants lie on their backs and, beginning with their toes, gradually shift their attention through different parts of the bodies. Hatha yoga is taught to encourage participants to become more in touch with their body through slow, deliberate stretching exercises. The practice of formal sitting meditation allows participants to create greater awareness around their thoughts and emotions. Through use of these techniques, which help to cultivate varying degrees of mindfulness, participants are taught to observe thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations objectively without trying to cling to or push away their experience. Research support for MBRP is still preliminary. There is evidence that participation in MBRP leads to fewer days of substance use, greater awareness and acceptance, and reduced cravings (Bowen et al., 2009). Additionally, involvement in MBRP appears to reduce the likelihood that increases in depression will lead to relapse (Witkiewitz & Bowen, 2010).

Portland Psychotherapy previously conducted a research study examining MBRP treatment at a local woman’s residential substance abuse treatment program. This study was conducted with Dr. Katie Witkiewitz,who played a key role in the development of MBRP. We are now offering a class on MBRP through our center.

For details about the current class we are offering on MBRP, please go to this page.