Consciousness and Unconsciousness in Clinical and Educational Psychology Through the Lens of Mindfulness
In the present review, the role of consciousness (controlled processes) in clinical and educational psychology is discussed, using the construct of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a mode of attention characterized by receptive and nonjudgmental awareness of the experience of the present moment. In clinical psychology, mindfulness has been found to reduce emotional distress by enhancing a detached stance toward difficult-to-control negative automatic thinking. In addition, detachment is supported by attentional control. Evidence from the educational field supporting a motivation-enhancing effect of mindfulness is also reviewed. Mindfulness can decouple the automatic tendency to reduce motivation and actual behavior. It enables people to derive satisfaction from ordinary daily life and to be empathic to other people. Future directions for empirical research, especially intervention studies, are discussed.
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