• Ontological Addiction Theory and Mindfulness-Based Approaches in the Context of Addiction Theory and Treatment

      Barrows, Paul; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (MDPI AG, 2021-07-30)
      Buddhist-derived interventions have increasingly been employed in the treatment of a range of physical and psychological disorders, and in recent years, there has been significant growth in the use of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for this purpose. Ontological Addiction Theory (OAT) is a novel metaphysical approach to understanding psychopathology within the framework of Buddhist teachings and asserts that many mental illnesses have their root in the widespread mistaken belief in an inherently existent self that operates independently of external phenomena. OAT describes how different types of MBI can help undermine these beliefs and allow a person to reconstruct their view of self and reality to address the root causes of suffering. As well as proving effective in treating many other psychological disorders, MBIs based on OAT have demonstrated efficacy in treating conventional behavioural addictions, such as problem gambling, workaholism, and sex addiction. The goal of this paper is to (i) discuss and appraise the evidence base underlying the use of MBIs for treating addiction; (ii) explicate how OAT advances understanding of the mechanisms of addiction; (iii) delineate how different types of MBI can be employed to address addictive behaviours; and (iv) propose future research avenues for assessing and comparing MBIs in the treatment of addiction.