Mindfulness, acceptance, and emotion regulation: perspectives from Monitor and Acceptance Theory (MAT).

Author: Lindsay EK1, Creswell JD2
Author Information:
1University of Pittsburgh, United States. Electronic address: ekl24@pitt.edu.
2Carnegie Mellon University, United States.
Conference/Journal: Curr Opin Psychol.
Date published: 2018 Dec 13
Other: Volume ID: 28 , Pages: 120-125 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.12.004. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 134

Experiential acceptance-an orientation of receptivity and noninterference with present-moment experiences-is described as central to mindfulness interventions, yet little experimental work has tested acceptance as a mechanism for mindfulness intervention effects. Guided by Monitor and Acceptance Theory (MAT), this review situates acceptance as an emotion regulation mechanism and reviews self-report mindfulness literature showing that attention monitoring skills are only associated with beneficial mental and physical health outcomes when accompanied by acceptance skills. New experimental dismantling work shows that removing acceptance training from mindfulness interventions reduces their efficacy for improving stress, positive emotion, and social relationship outcomes. Overall, converging evidence demonstrates that acceptance is a critical emotion regulation mechanism of mindfulness interventions. This work advances basic research, has translational value, and offers opportunities for future research.

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 30639835 DOI: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.12.004