Developing and Adapting a Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention for Racially and Economically Marginalized Patients in the Bronx

Yash Bhambhani, Laurie Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs; e.g., MBSR, MBCT, ACT) have been widely used and disseminated for treatment of myriad physical and psychological problems. However, most MBIs have primarily been used with middle-or upper-class White populations, with some instances where they have been adapted for use with diverse populations (e.g., Burnett-Zeigler et al., 2016; Roth & Robbins, 2004). However, even when adapted, most MBIs have not explicitly addressed unique factors faced by the target population, such as racial discrimination, unemployment, lack of financial means, and other stressors. We developed and used an iterative approach to refine a MBI group based on MBSR and MBCT, for a racially and ethnically diverse population in the Bronx, considered by the U.S. census to be the most diverse in the country. Based on a trauma-informed care and centering people of color approach, we developed a longer than usual (16 weeks) mindfulness-based group, where core skills were broken down into smaller chunks to facilitate easier incorporation into daily life. We also used a longer duration and 1-hour weekly meeting time keeping in mind needs of the individuals, who often had limited time to participate due to work limitations and other comorbid physical conditions. While acknowledging that the individuals this group was catering to had experienced multiple traumatic events, we sought to also highlight and further develop the resilience and courage people in the Bronx community bring to the table. We review two clinically rich case vignettes, and also discuss recommendations for working with racially and economically marginalized people, and include a call to action for health care providers and organizations to engage in activism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • implementation
  • low income
  • mindfulness
  • people of color
  • race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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