Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention


Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP; Bowen, Chawla & Marlatt, 2010) is a treatment approach developed at the University of Washington for individuals in recovery for additive behaviors. It is patterned on the basis of Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Zindel Segal and colleague's Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy for depression. It integrates practices that cultivate mindful awareness, with cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention skills.

MBRP practices are intended to increase awareness of internal and external triggers, habitual patterns, and seemingly "automatic" reactions. These practices further cultivate the ability to pause, observe present experience, and bring awareness to the choices available to each of us in every moment. MBRP is best suited to individuals who have undergone initial treatment and are committed to maintaining treatment gains and to develop a lifestyle that supports recovery and well-being.

The primary goals of the program are:

  • To develop awareness of personal triggers and 'automatic' reactions, and learn ways to create a pause in this process. 
  • To shift our relationship to discomfort, by learning to recognize and "be with" challenging physical and emotional states and responding to them in skillful ways.
  • To foster a nonjudgmental, compassionate approach towards ourselves and our experiences.
  • To build a lifestyle that supports both recovery and mindfulness practice.