A Compassionate Approach to the Treatment of Addictive Behaviors

June 1, 2012
Cassandra Vieten, PhD

The Contributions of Alan Marlatt to the Field of Mindfulness-based Interventions

Sarah Bowen & Cassandra Vieten (2012) A compassionate approach to the treatment of addictive behaviors: The contributions of Alan Marlatt to the field of mindfulness-based interventions, Addiction Research & Theory, 20:3, 243-249, DOI: 10.3109/16066359.2011.647132.


Dr Alan Marlatt dedicated the last decade of his research career to development and assessment of mindfulness-based treatments for addictive behaviors. From his research in the 1970s on effects of transcendental meditation to several recent trials of vipassana and other mindfulness-based practices, Alan inspired and laid the foundation for the development of numerous interventions and studies on mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments for substance use disorders. In collaboration with his colleagues, Alan developed Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), an outpatient program that integrates skills from cognitive behavioral relapse prevention (RP) and training in mindfulness meditation practices. MBRP is designed to help clients increase awareness of triggers and subsequent physical, emotional, and cognitive experiences, learning to respond skillfully rather than react habitually. Aligned with Alan’s previous work in harm reduction and RP, this approach offers a nonjudgmental, client-centered, and acceptance-based approach to the treatment of addictive behaviors. Research and foundational theory behind MBRP and similar mindfulness-based programs developed by other researchers in the field of addictive behaviors are reviewed.

Read the Paper

Join Our Global Community

Receive curated mind-bending, heart-enlivening content. We’ll never share your email address and you can unsubscribe any time.

Back to Top