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This afterword considers both the commonalities and differences in the approaches to mindfulness described in these two special journal issues. The approaches can be divided into those derived from scientific analysis and those taking a more experiential-humanistic perspective. These two perspectives generate different therapeutic strategies, which appear to have the same underlying principle. The question of whether practitioners should have a personal mindfulness practice is then considered. It is suggested that mindfulness is a holistic intervention. Finally, there are some personal reflections on running mindfulness courses.

Several randomised controlled trials suggest that mindfulness-based approaches are helpful in preventing depressive relapse and recurrence, and the UK Government’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended these interventions for use in the National Health Service. There are good grounds to suggest that mindfulness-based approaches are also helpful with anxiety disorders and a range of chronic physical health problems, and there is much clinical and research interest in applying mindfulness approaches to other populations and problems such as people with personality disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders. We review the UK context for developments in mindfulness-based approaches and set out criteria for mindfulness teacher competence and training steps, as well as some of the challenges and future directions that can be anticipated in ensuring that evidence-based mindfulness approaches are available in health care and other settings.