William Van Gordon

William Van Gordon
University of Derby · Department of Psychology

BSc (Dunelm) MSc PhD FHEA FRSPH CPsychol

About

206
Publications
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Introduction
Dr William Van Gordon is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor of Contemplative Psychology at the University of Derby (UK). He writes a regular blog on Contemplative Psychology for Psychology Today and during the last 4 years, his work featured in national/major news outlets on more than 200 occasions in 20 different countries. He is the author of The Way of the Mindful Warrior: Embrace Authentic Mindfulness for Wellbeing, Wisdom and Awareness (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers).
Additional affiliations
September 2014 - present
International Association of Humanities, Social Sciences & Management Researchers
Position
  • Scientific Committee
January 2014 - present
International Centre of Economics, Humanities and Management
Position
  • Scientific Committee

Publications

Publications (206)
Article
The purpose of this study was to conduct the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention (SG-MBI) for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Compared to first generation mindfulness-based interventions, SG-MBIs are more acknowledging of the spiritual aspect of mindfulnes...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims Workaholism is a form of behavioral addiction that can lead to reduced life and job satisfaction, anxiety, depression, burnout, work–family conflict, and impaired productivity. Given the number of people affected, there is a need for more targeted workaholism treatments. Findings from previous case studies successfully utilizing...
Article
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In recent decades, there has been growing assimilation of ancient Buddhist practices and principles into Western research and applied psychological settings. One Buddhist principle currently receiving an increasing amount of scientific interest is emptiness. Emptiness asserts that all phenomena-including the "self"-are empty of intrinsic existence....
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Background Sex addiction is a disorder that can have serious adverse functional consequences. Treatment effectiveness research for sex addiction is currently underdeveloped, and interventions are generally based on the guidelines for treating other behavioral (as well as chemical) addictions. Consequently, there is a need to clinically evaluate tai...
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Ontological Addiction Theory is a metaphysical theory of mental illness which conceptualises psychological suffering in terms of excessive ego-centeredness. This study aimed to develop and validate the Ontological Addiction Scale (OAS) and compare OAS scores with mental health measures. A 31-item prototype scale was developed based on traditional B...
Article
While research has examined factors that account for pro‐environmental behaviours relating to climate warming through carbon and resource use, very few studies have investigated factors that account for behaviour that directly supports conservation of habitats and biodiversity. In particular, there remain questions as to whether nature connectednes...
Article
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 co...
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Mindful parenting teaches parents to focus awareness on their thoughts, feelings and behaviours, as well as pay attention to their children in an intentional, present-centered and non-judgmental manner. Mindfulness appears to improve the quality of parenting and the parent–child relationship, as well as enhance children’s and parents' levels of res...
Data
While research has examined factors that account for pro‐environmental behaviours relating to climate warming through carbon and resource use, very few studies have investigated factors that account for behaviour that directly supports conservation of habitats and biodiversity. In particular, there remain questions as to whether nature connectednes...
Article
Full-text available
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 psychop...
Article
Contemplative psychology is concerned with the psychological study of contemplative processes and practices, such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, introspection, reflection, metacognition, self-regulation, self-awareness, and self-consciousness. Although contemplative psychology borders with other psychological and nonpsychological disciplines, so...
Article
Mindfulness has recently shown promise in mental illness treatment and preventative contexts with school-aged young people. However, there is a shortage of studies investigating the effects of school-based mindfulness interventions on young people of a pre-adolescent and early-adolescent age. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investiga...
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Objectives. There is burgeoning interest in studying the effectiveness of mindfulness-based and traditional contemplative practices, and brief yet suitably and comprehensive measures of mindfulness are needed to assess related changes. There is preliminary evidence that pilgrimage may share some aspects with contemplative practices. This study exam...
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Self-compassion, sharing some commonalities with positive psychology 2.0 approaches, is associated with better mental health outcomes in diverse populations, including workers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is heightened awareness of the importance of self-care for fostering mental health at work. However, evidence regarding the applications...
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Boarding schools exist to provide education for children, but this involves the child leaving the family home and residing in an educational institution. Identity Process Theory suggests that such a change in circumstances can threaten the child’s identity, which triggers coping strategies and impacts on the individual’s self-concept during both ch...
Book
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The Way of the Mindful Warrior provides a fresh, authentic, and structured path to using mindfulness to embrace living in awareness and reconnecting with our innermost nature of peace, wisdom, and compassion. Mindfulness is a 2,500-year-old Buddhist meditation practice that involves focusing awareness on the present moment, the only place where an...
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Bypassing a reductionist view of existing diagnostic categories, ontological addiction theory (OAT) is a new psychological model of human functioning. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), defined as “a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity”, is not only common (up to 20% of psychiatr...
Article
Assessment of mood is critical in determining rehabilitation outcomes for stroke and other acquired brain injury, yet a common consequence of such injuries is aphasia, where language is impaired. Consequently, the use of language-based measures in this population is often not possible. Following a critical review of the neuropsychological aspects o...
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Consanguineous marriage is associated with increased risk of congenital physical disabilities, as well as behavioural and mental health problems among consanguineous offspring. Furthermore, mental health problems have been highlighted as being prevalent among women involved in consanguineous marriages. Despite this, there has been limited research...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives: Self-compassion is a relatively new psychological construct, associated with better mental health outcomes in diverse populations, including workers. However, evidence relating to the applications of self-compassion interventions in work-related contexts has not been systematically reviewed to date. Therefore, this systematic review aim...
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A recent study has supported the efficacy of Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy (ABCT) compared to relaxation (REL) for the management of fibromyalgia (FM). The main objective of this paper is to examine the cost-utility of ABCT compared to REL in terms of effects on quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as well as healthcare costs. Forty-two Spanis...
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Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy (ABCT) ‒a standardized programme that includes practices to improve compassionate awareness with the aim of addressing maladaptive attachment‒ for improving mindfulness and self-compassion in fibromyalgia (FM) patients, and to determine whether gai...
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Attachment-based compassion therapy (ABCT) is a new protocol of compassion based on attachment theory. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of this protocol for improving self-compassion in a healthy population and determine whether improvements in self-compassion mediate changes towards a more secure attachment style. The study consist...
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Research into the effects and mechanisms of mindfulness training draws predominantly on quantitative research. There is a lack of understanding about the subjective experiences of experienced mindfulness meditators, which may provide additional insights into the effects, processes and context of mindfulness training. This qualitative study explored...
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Objectives 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 compas...
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Business ethics have come under increasing scrutiny recently due to various corporate scandals. This has prompted a need for research into the characteristics of people drawn to the business world and the education they receive. This study (i) evaluates the levels of ethical judgement, mental health, motivation, and self-compassion in 144 UK busine...
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Objectives School-based mindfulness interventions have recently shown promise for treating and preventing mental health issues in young people. However, the literature lacks a high-level perspective of the impact of mindfulness on young people’s mental health according to their own first-hand accounts. Therefore, the objective of this study was to...
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Objectives Social validity (SV) is a concept used in intervention research and is concerned with the overall acceptability, relevance, and utility of an intervention to all intervention stakeholders. SV not only takes into account efficacy in respect of the pre-defined study outcomes, but also participants’ perceptions of the intervention as well a...
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While scientific understanding concerning the role of biological pathogenic agents in the transmission of communicable diseases has increased markedly in recent decades, the possibility of a psychological pathogenic agent that underlies the transmission of a number of key global public health concerns has largely been overlooked. The present paper...
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Mental illness, obesity, and problematic leisure activities such as gambling, video gaming, and social media use arguably reflect some of the most pressing global public health concerns currently affecting children and adolescents. For example, between 10-20% of children and adolescents worldwide experience a mental health problem during any given...
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Purpose Though several work-related mental health training initiatives have been implemented in Japan, the effectiveness of such approaches remains unclear. Consequently, some Japanese corporations prefer using interventions such as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to improve employee mental health and wellbeing. This language-based development...
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Research suggests that mindfulness can induce changes in the social domain, such as enhancing emotional connection to others, prosocial behavior, and empathy. However, despite growing interest in mindfulness in social psychology, very little is known about the effects of mindfulness on social cognition. Consequently, the aim of this study was to ex...
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Neuro‐linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication and personal development focusing on how individuals organize their thinking, feelings, and language. While a growing number of academic articles highlight the application of NLP in organizational settings, a systematic review synthesizing and evaluating the quality of this evidence...
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Between 10 and 20% of adolescents worldwide experience a mental health problem within a given 12-month period. Mental health problems impact on an adolescent’s potential to live a fulfilling and productive life and lead to challenges such as stigma, isolation and discrimination. To address this need, in recent years, there has been growing interest...
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Children and adolescents constitute more than half of the global refugee population, and almost one‑third of first‑time asylum seekers in the European Union (EU) during 2015 were under 18 years of age. Syria, in particular, accounts for a substantial proportion of young refugees and asylum seekers because the ongoing civil war has led to almost 5 m...
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There is growing awareness of mental health problems among UK business students, which appears to be exacerbated by students’ attitudes of shame toward mental health. This study recruited 138 UK business students and examined the relationship between mental health and shame, and mental health and potential protective factors such as self-compassion...
Article
Full-text available
While scientific understanding concerning the role of biological pathogenic agents in the transmission of communicable diseases has increased markedly in recent decades, the possibility of a psychological pathogenic agent that underlies the transmission of a number of key global public health concerns has largely been overlooked. The present paper...
Article
Full-text available
Near-death experiences (NDEs) are life transformational events that are increasingly being subjected to empirical research. However, to date, no study has investigated the phenomenon of a meditation-induced near-death experience (MI-NDE) that is referred to in ancient Buddhist texts. Given that some advanced Buddhist meditators can induce NDEs at a...
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Wisdom-based Buddhist-derived practices (BDPs) are concerned with transmuting suffering by cultivating insight into the ultimate nature of both the self and reality. Arguably the most important wisdom-based BDP is emptiness (Sanskrit: śūnyatā) that implies that although phenomena are perceptible to the human mind, they do not intrinsically exist. D...
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Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a complex psychosomatic pain condition. In addition to generalized pain and various cognitive difficulties, new FMS diagnostic criteria acknowledge fatigue and sleep problems as core aspects of this condition. Indeed, poor sleep quality has been found to be a significant predictor of pain, fatigue, and maladaptive soc...
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Background Ontological addiction theory (OAT) is a novel metaphysical model of psychopathology and posits that human beings are prone to forming implausible beliefs concerning the way they think they exist, and that these beliefs can become addictive leading to functional impairments and mental illness. The theoretical underpinnings of OAT derive f...
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The primary purposes of this study were to (i) assess levels of different types of work motivation in a sample of UK hospitality workers and make a cross-cultural comparison with Chinese counterparts and (ii) identify how work motivation and shame-based attitudes towards mental health explain the variance in mental health problems in UK hospitality...
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There are an increasing number of people interested in prac-ticing mindfulness. Perhaps this reflects a growing wishamongst people to live a more peaceful life and connect witha deeper part of themselves. Or perhaps it simply reflectspeople’s wish to be fashionable and partake in a recent life-style trend. Either way, if as little as 5% of the popu...
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Aims To assess mental well-being in a sample of UK caring profession students and explore the relationship between mental well-being, psychological distress, caregiver role identity, self-compassion, and motivation. Background Students of caring profession subjects in UK universities typically follow a demanding educational and clinical training c...
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Kotera, Y., Adhikari, P., & Van Gordon, W. (2017). The relationship between work motivation and worker profile in UK hospitality workers. International Journal of Education, Psychology and Counseling, 2, 231-243.
Article
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Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Richardson, M. (2018). Mindfulness and nature. Mindfulness, Advance Online Publication, DOI:10.1007/s12671-018-0883-6.
Article
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Objective There is a growing interest in evaluating the effectiveness of compassion interventions for treating psychological disorders. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of “attachment-based compassion therapy” (ABCT) in the treatment of fibromyalgia (FM), and the role of psychological flexibility as a mediator of improvements.MethodsA...
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Montero-Marín, J., Navarro-Gil, M., Puebla, M., Luciana, J. V., Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & García-Campayo, J. (2017). Efficacy of ‘Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy’ in the treatment of fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8, 307, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00307.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Kotera, Y., Adhikari, P. & Van Gordon, W. (2017). Relationship between types of work motivation and worker profile in UK hospitality workers. Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Sciences, Humanities and Technology 2017. Kelantan, Malaysia: Global Academic Excellence.
Article
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Amidst the burgeoning enthusiasm for mindfulness in the West, there is a concern that the largely secular ‘de-contextualized’ way in which it is being harnessed is denuding it of its potential to improve health and wellbeing. As such, efforts are underway to ‘re-contextualize’ mindfulness, explicitly drawing on the wider framework of Buddhist ideas...
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Mindfulness programs are now taught in more than 50 countries worldwide (Kabat-Zinn et al., 2016), including Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Europe and the Americas (encompassed by the term “Latin” in this paper). Such Latin countries share obvious cultural influences and similarities—and during the implementation of mindfulness in th...
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Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & García-Campayo, J. (2017). The mandala of the present moment.Mindfulness, 8, 1720-1722.
Article
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Findings supporting the clinical applications of mindfulness have stimulated research into other meditation techniques. In particular, there is growing scientific enquiry into the effectiveness of Buddhist-derived compassion techniques for treating a wide variety of health-related disorders. Compassion-Based Interventions (CBIs) usually employ comp...
Article
Objectives. The purpose of this study was to conduct the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention (SG-MBI) for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Compared to first generation mindfulness-based interventions, SG-MBIs are more acknowledging of the spiritual aspect...
Article
Full-text available
Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2017). Mindfulness: The art of being human. Mindfulness, Advanced Online Edition, DOI: 10.1007/s12671-017-0819-6.
Article
Full-text available
“Mandala” is a Sanskrit word generally used to refer to a painting, diagram, or architectural structure with a particular symbolic meaning. Mandalas are often artistically beautiful and can be used to depict stages of the spiritual journey, the teachings or realm of a spiritual adept, or even life or the universe more generally. Perhaps the most we...
Article
There is consensus amongst both the scientific and Buddhist community that mindfulness – when correctly taught and practised – leads to a range of beneficial outcomes. However, there has been little evaluation of what happens when mindfulness is incorrectly taught, or is practised with a selfish rather than selfless intention. Nowhere is the import...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to conduct the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of a second-generation mindfulness-based intervention (SG-MBI) for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Compared to first-generation mindfulness-based interventions, SG-MBIs are more acknowledging of the spiritual aspect...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent with its growing popularity amongst the general public and medical community, throughout recent decades there have been increasing attempts to understand the mechanisms that underlie therapeutic improvement in individuals receiving mindfulness training. The current paper draws upon findings from various remits of scientific enquiry and s...