• The Hero’s Journey: constructing continuity from discontinuity in millennial career changers’ narratives

      Tsuda-McCaie, Freya; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-06-06)
      Although career construction theory is relevant to today's vocational climate, empirical research into it is scarce. Accordingly, we explored this theory by investigating the concepts, structures and processes that UK-based millennial career changers use to construct narratives allowing for continuity of plot and discontinuity of career direction. Interpretative phenomenological analysis on semi-structured interviews (N = 6) identified four themes: dissatisfaction, realisation, sacrifice and return. The Hero’s Journey was identified as an overarching structure for meaning making in career change. Participants assimilated instability and discontinuity into a broader framework of continuity, through narrating a quest for closer alignment between their work and personality. This study provides useful insights into career construction theory and suggests further utility of The Hero’s Journey in career counselling/guidance.
    • The mediating role of shared flow and perceived emotional synchrony on compassion for others in a mindful-dancing program

      Pizarro, José J.; Basabe, Nekane; Amutio, Alberto; Telletxea, Saioa; Harizmendi, Miren; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby; University of the Basque Country, Spain (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-08-02)
      While there is a growing understanding of the relationship between mindfulness and compassion, this largely relates to the form of mindfulness employed in first-generation mindfulness-based interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Consequently, there is limited knowledge of the relationship between mindfulness and compassion in respect of the type of mindfulness employed in second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs), including those that employ the principle of working harmoniously as a “secular sangha.” Understanding this relationship is important because research indicates that perceived emotional synchrony (PES) and shared flow—that often arise during participation in harmonized group contemplative activities—can enhance outcomes relating to compassion, subjective well-being, and group identity fusion. This pilot study analyzed the effects of participation in a mindful-dancing SG-MBI on compassion and investigated the mediating role of shared flow and PES. A total of 130 participants were enrolled into the study that followed a quasi-experimental design with an intervention and control group. Results confirmed the salutary effect of participating in a collective mindful-dancing program, and demonstrated that shared flow and PES fully meditated the effects of collective mindfulness on the kindness and common humanity dimensions of compassion. Further research is warranted to explore whether collective mindfulness approaches, such as mindful dancing, may be a means of enhancing compassion and subjective well-being outcomes due to the mediating role of PES and shared flow.
    • A Novel Mindful Nature Connectedness Intervention Improves Paranoia but Not Anxiety in a Nonclinical Population

      Muneghina, Orso; Van Gordon, William; Barrows, Paul; Richardson, Miles; University of Derby (Mary Ann Liebert Inc, 2021-09-03)
      Paranoia and anxiety are both recognized as experiences that are widespread in the general population. Studies have investigated the use of brief mindfulness-based interventions on both conditions, with encouraging results among nonclinical populations in particular. However, there is also promising evidence for the effectiveness of brief nature connectedness interventions on anxiety and mental health more generally. Since mindfulness has been shown to allow individuals to feel more connected to nature, and given that connection to natural environments can foster mindfulness and mental health, this study aimed to investigate the combined effects of a brief online mindful nature connectedness intervention (B-MNCI) on paranoia and anxiety. A total of 72 participants of nonclinical status were randomly allocated to either an online B-MNCI (10 min of daily guided meditation practice over 5 consecutive days) or a waitlist control group. Measures of paranoia, anxiety, mindfulness, and nature connectedness were taken at baseline, immediately after the intervention, and at 2 weeks follow-up. Findings indicated that compared with the control group, the B-MNCI showed significant improvements in nature connectedness and paranoia, with changes maintained at follow-up assessment. However, no significant differences were observed for anxiety and mindfulness scores. The results provide a new approach to bringing about sustained increases in nature connectedness and confirm the relevance of such approaches for improving mental health outcomes. The study also demonstrates the potential utility of an online B-MNCI for people of nonclinical status experiencing paranoia symptoms, including for those who find it difficult to physically venture into nature.
    • Policing in a pandemic: a commentary on officer well-being during COVID-19

      Edwards, Ann-Marie; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-07-24)
      The role of police officers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is challenging, faced with the difficult task of keeping communities safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while putting their physical and mental health at risk. Emerging evidence points to the stress experiences of officers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases now surpassing 174 million and close to four million deaths worldwide, as well as stringent lockdown measures, police officers are faced with unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic. This commentary suggests police departments strengthen resources by putting in place appropriate emergency planning for future public health incidents, in addition to preparing for temporary or permanent loss of human resources. It is important to implement robust training plans post-pandemic to allow officers to offer better care for communities when faced with future public health emergencies. Finally, police officers should be provided with the resources and support to cope with the stresses associated with COVID-19.
    • Second-generation mindfulness-based interventions: toward more authentic mindfulness practice and teaching

      Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-11-15)
      In recent years, a dialogue has emerged concerning the extent to which mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) teach and embody the essence of mindfulness according to longstanding conceptualizations of the technique. Traditionally, mindfulness was an integral component of a broad spectrum of contemplative practices, that when practiced collectively and correctly, reflected a rounded path of spiritual practice (Shonin et al. 2014). However, as part of its recent integration into various applied settings, it appears that some MBIs have largely isolated mindfulness from the techniques and practice principles that traditionally supported it. In such cases, a question that arises is whether mindfulness should still be called “mindfulness”, or whether in some of its modern interventional forms, it has been transposed into an “attention-based psychological technique” (Van Gordon et al. 2016). Regardless of the answer to this question, evidence from thousands of empirical studies suggest that this transposed technique has applications for improving health and human performance. Thus, the aforementioned dialogue has less to do with whether MBIs have demonstrable efficacy, and more to do with whether (i) there is sufficient transparency and scrutiny concerning the claims made by some MBI proponents regarding the authenticity of the technique they purport to teach, (ii) there are contexts in which a more traditional intervention-based form of mindfulness would be more appropriate or efficacious, and (iii) some prospective mindfulness practitioners would welcome more choice in terms of the degree to which an MBI follows the traditional practice model.
    • Understanding and practicing emptiness

      Van Gordon, William; Sapthiang, Supakyada; Barrows, Paul; Shonin, Edo; University of Derby; Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research, Derby (Springer, 2021-01-08)