Loving-kindness in the treatment of traumatized refugees and minority groups: a typology of mindfulness and the nodal network model of affect and affect regulation

J Clin Psychol. 2013 Aug;69(8):817-28. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22017. Epub 2013 Jun 19.


This article discusses how loving-kindness can be used to treat traumatized refugees and minority groups, focusing on examples from our treatment, culturally adapted cognitive-behavioral therapy (CA-CBT). To show how we integrate loving-kindness with other mindfulness interventions and why loving-kindness should be an effective therapeutic technique, we present a typology of mindfulness states and the Nodal Network Model (NNM) of Affect and Affect Regulation. We argue that mindfulness techniques such as loving-kindness are therapeutic for refugees and minority populations because of their potential for increasing emotional flexibility, decreasing rumination, serving as emotional regulation techniques, and forming part of a new adaptive processing mode centered on psychological flexibility. We present a case to illustrate the clinical use of loving-kindness within the context of CA-CBT.

Keywords: acceptance; cross-cultural; meditation; mindfulness; posttraumatic stress disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Asians / psychology
  • Buddhism
  • Cambodia / ethnology
  • Emotions*
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Love
  • Meditation
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods*
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / ethnology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • United States