The paucity of effective alternative or augmentative treatments available for OCD coupled with the emerging potential of mindfulness-based treatments indicate that exploring the potential utility of such interventions for the OCD population is a useful area of inquiry. In addition, although more general examinations of the mechanisms by which mindfulness contributes to positive change have been conducted, those mechanisms of action have never been theoretically linked with the mechanisms of action believed to underlie the mental processes in OCD. The current study will include a critical analysis of the existing literature covering the cognitive and biological bases for understanding the etiology and maintenance of OCD symptomatology, empirical findings on the efficacy and effectiveness of various biological and psychosocial treatments for OCD, research on the effectiveness of augmenting traditional treatments with mindfulness for various psychiatric disorders, and an exploration of the mechanisms of action posited in dismantling studies of mindfulness treatments for various clinical and non-clinical populations. Through an integration of the findings, hypotheses regarding the mechanisms for change are offered along with clinical recommendations for how this understanding might be applied to treating client suffering from OCD. This study's methodology is informed by Pawson's realist synthesis method, whose goal is explanatory rather than summative, making it well suited to carrying out syntheses to develop working explanatory models in areas where data are insufficient to identify and test relationships (Pawson, 2006). The final process of this research involves making logical connections between the proposed components of mindfulness and OCD, developing an explanatory model, and applying such theoretical concepts to clinical practice.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Obsessive-compulsive disorder -- Treatment; Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Woo, Stephanie;