Meditation Techniques
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Meditation Techniques

An article in the journal Counseling and Values presents other techniques, including Meditation. Based on scientific studies that provide evidence for positive effects, the presented techniques are judged to be promising and useful. Common effects include relaxation, stress reduction and the reduction of negative psychological states, such as depression and anxiety.

According to the authors, a broader selection of meditation techniques would make it easier to find methods that fit the individual client’s needs. This would strengthen their motivation to practice the technique systematically over time. Some specifically wish for a non-religious method, while others prefer a spiritual or religious technique. The focus of the article is to present techniques that are not yet as widely known in the US as mindfulness and TM.

Well-documented and secular

Meditation Techniques is decribed as a well-documented method, based on scientific studies, mainly within the area of biomedical research. The authors would also like to see studies of Meditation techniques that include self-reports, i.e. where the participants complete forms that are commonly used in research. This would make it easier to compare with the results from studies of other techniques. Nevertheless, the article maintains that “the extant literature on meditation provides empirical support for its use with clients”. Actually, a study of Meditation based on self-reports is actually currently being conducted in Norway, and the results are expected to be available soon.

Meditation may be categorized in various ways. Goleman claims that all techniques increase mindfulness and attention. Certain characteristics distinguish between techniques, and these may represent important nuances in the meditator’s practice. The three method presented in the article are Jyoti meditation og Centering Prayer, both of which have religious or spiritual aspects, and Meditation, which is described as “a form of secular meditation grounded in psychological research”. The article concludes that “if a client comes from a nonspiritual background or is adverse to spiritual perspectives, meditation may be appropriate in that it does not adhere to any religious or spiritual beliefs or practices”.

Wider selection

A considerable change has taken place in the attitude to meditation, from a predominantly sceptical attitude in the 1930s to a mainly positive attitude nowadays. Meditation has obtained an established position in the social sciences. Significant effects are documented for those who practice a method, according to the authors. Counselors want to provide suitable techniques for their clients, consistent with the clients’ wishes. They need a wider selection than the few techniques that are most widely used.


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