Exploring mindfulness in self–injuring adolescents in a psychiatric setting
This study explored mindfulness in eight self–injuring psychiatric adolescents. A concurrent triangulation mixed–method design was used. In–depth semi–structured clinical interviews and clinical records constituted the qualitative data, while quantitative data was gathered using the Five–Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Thematic analysis was used to generate themes and subthemes for both selfinjury and mindfulness. Findings regarding self–injury were in line with the literature. In terms of mindfulness, two groups emerged: one sometimes acting mindfully and the other often acting mindfully. Both similarities and differences were found between the groups. Similarities in self–injuring behaviour can be explained by their similar scores on Observe and Nonreact, while the differences can be explained by the differences in their scores on Describe, Act with Awareness and Nonjudge. Those who sometimes act mindfully tend to be more self–critical, report more severe and lethal self–injuring episodes and more often use self–injury for self–punishment. Although those who often act mindfully self–injure more often, they show more selfcompassion and report less severe injuries and less lethal methods. Future research should explore the usefulness of mindfulness–based interventions, especially teaching Nonjudge and Nonreact skills, to not only increase mindfulness, but to decrease selfinjuring behaviour. Seeing that this is an exploratory study on a small sample, the results presented here should be considered to be preliminary until replicated with a larger clinical sample.
- Humanities