Developed by Jim and Kimberly Carson, Mindfulness-Based Relationship Enhancement (MBRE), a novel 8-week adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), was shown in a randomized controlled trial to significantly improve relationship satisfaction and relationship distress. Multiple mediation analysis allowed an evaluation of what was driving the couples’ improvements. Of the three mechanisms of change considered to be important in MBRE (i.e., couples’ engagement in exciting self-expanding activities, couples’ ability to accept one another’s difficult characteristics, and individual partners’ ability to relax), results indicated that the majority of the mindfulness-related relationship improvements can be attributed to partners’ sense that they were participating in exciting self-expanding activities together. The expansion of the sense of self, at the heart of the meditative traditions, was shown to also be nourishing for couples’ partnership.


See the full article here: Self-Expansion As A Mediator Of Relationship Improvements In A Mindfulness Intervention.

James W. Carson and Kimberly M. Carson Duke University Medical Center Karen M. Gil and Donald H. Baucom University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journal of Marital and Family Therapy October 2007, Vol. 33, No. 4, 517–528.

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