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Shannon Marie Maloney

BA (Hons), magna cum laude

DPhil student

  • American Rotary Scholar (2018-2019)

Exploring Mechanisms of Change in Mindfulness-Based Programs

 Alongside Professor Willem Kuyken, Dr. Christina Surawy,  and Professor Maryanne Martin, my research aims to elucidate mechanisms of change that explain how and why mindfulness predicts change in a range of mental and physical health outcomes. Some hypothesized mechanisms include interoceptive awareness, decentring, attentional control, and self-compassion. The way in which we intend to explore possible mechanisms of change is through dismantling trials; specifically looking at how individual meditation practices (body scan, befriending, breath, and mindful movement) operate in isolation rather than in combination of each other. Whilst keeping in mind the MBCT framework, we hypothesize that there are ‘universal’ mechanisms shared between these different meditation practices but also ‘specific’ mechanisms that are more sensitive to change after completing a particular mindfulness practice. Other research objectives include exploring dose-response, in regards to understanding the dosage of treatment (mindfulness practice) required to elicit change in a range of outcome variables in the short-term and the longer-term.


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Exploratory study of how and why mindfulness works


Ethics Approval Reference: R64751/RE001

Numerous studies have demonstrated that practising mindfulness can improve a variety of mental and physical health outcomes. However, there is a limited understanding of how and why mindfulness works. The aim of this research is to uncover this ‘how’ and ‘why’.

Are you 18 years old or over? Do you have no previous mindfulness practice OR have you completed an eight-week MBCT course? If yes, then join our two-week mindfulness study!

What would I be invited to do?

  • Complete a brief guided mindfulness practice every day for two weeks
  • Attend two 1.5 hour sessions at the Department of Psychiatry
  • Complete online assessments and have your heart rate recorded

The plan is to recruit until April 2020!

If you are interested and would like more information please contact Shannon Maloney at