Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP
George McCloskey, Ph.D., Chairperson
Rosemary Mennuti, Ed.D.
Jennifer Block Lerner, Ph.D.
Mindfulness is a categorical name for a group of techniques borrowed from ancient Buddhist practices that teach individuals to pay attention in the present moment. Recently, the technique has been applied successfully in several clinical populations to help individuals live with, or accept, some of the difficult-to-treat symptoms of their illnesses. This intervention study takes three specific techniques from the mindfulness literature and introduces them to a young male who had been diagnosed and has received evidence-based treatment for early onset obsessive compulsive disorder, comorbid with Tourette’s syndrome. Fourteen sessions, scheduled over eight weeks, occurred. Three measures of effectiveness were developed to gauge the ability of practicing mindfulness to relieve the individual’s depressive symptoms, a common side effect of living with an incurable disorder. The individual took a Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition before beginning the intervention, then, at two weeks, at four weeks and at eight weeks into the mindfulness practice. In addition, seven goals were created to assess the effectiveness of this intervention; five were based on clinical knowledge of the individual and two were related to the outcome research on mindfulness. The third measure of effectiveness came from the individual’s self-report data at the end of each session. Each session was predictable, practicing the same three techniques: (1). the facilitator began with a body scan; (2). the individual and the facilitator then listened to one piece of classical music; and (3). each session ended with conscious breathing. The results of this protocol are promising. This individual showed a reduction in depressive symptomology while practicing mindfulness meditation, achieved homeostasis or better on three of the five clinical and two outcome goals, and expressed personal benefit at the end of most sessions. Continued application with a young population will help to inform the practice of mindfulness with young people and will be able to bring this ancient practice into the twenty-first century classroom.
Baldino, Rita L., "Mindfulness : Extending Treatment for Early Onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder / Tourettes Syndrome" (2008). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 5.