[Therapeutically relevant effects by transcendental meditation?] [Article in German]

Author: Fehr TG
Klinisch-Psychologische Praxis, Wesel
Conference/Journal: Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol
Date published: 1996
Other: Volume ID: 46 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 178-88 , Word Count: 204

In two longitudinal studies the Freiburger Personality Inventory (FPI) was administered to beginners of Transcendental Meditation (TM), using pre-post-test-intervals of 8 weeks (study 1) and 14 months (study 2). TM-beginners showed a typical psychologically moderately stressed FPI-profile including a considerably reduced domineering tendency. Meditators in study 2 exhibited significantly greater improvements after 14 months compared to dropout-controls with 7 of the 12 FPI-factors. Before starting TM, controls showed significantly greater extraversion compared to successful meditators. Significantly reduced openness compared to the norm was found at the time of the second testing in study 1 and with 47% of the participants in a cross section study including 360 TM-practitioners (study 3). The uncritically reserved TM-practitioners within study 3 described themselves as remarkably positive; however, no effects correlating with length of practice could be distinguished in this group. In the same study the open meditators and several selected subgroups drawn from them--subjects with no treatment, subjects with any medical treatment and psychosomatically treated subjects--showed different focal points of generally constructive hypothetical effects resulting from long-term TM-practice for each group. In consequence, for meditating successfully a sufficiently self-critical and open attitude has to be required as a prerequisite. Subjects scoring clearly above average in extraversion should be discouraged starting TM because of the increased probability of abandoning the TM-routine early.