Does HRV biofeedback practice help to regulate emotions and improve mindfulness in mentally unwell offenders?

Atkinson, Georgina Victoria (2020). Does HRV biofeedback practice help to regulate emotions and improve mindfulness in mentally unwell offenders? University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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Mindfulness-based interventions are widely used and are now part of the third wave behavioural therapies. Whilst the literature acknowledges the benefits of using mindfulness amongst various populations, little is known about the effects of mindfulness amongst the offender population within psychiatric settings. Heart Rate Variance (HRV) biofeedback has been suggested as being similar to mindfulness as it focuses on paced and controlled breathing techniques (Gillespie et al., 2012), thus it has been suggested as being a potential positive adjunct treatment that could help offenders regulate their emotions. This study therefore aimed to address the gap by establishing whether HRV biofeedback improved emotion regulation (including increasing HRV coherence) and mindfulness within a forensic psychiatric population. Chapter One introduces mindfulness and HRV biofeedback, and explores its relevance amongst the mentally unwell offender population. Chapter Two introduces the main emotional regulation interventions, in particular the third wave behavioural therapies. Chapter Three presents a systematic review of the literature, exploring the effects of neurofeedback and biofeedback in adult psychiatric settings, and Chapter Four presents this empirical study, including introduction to the mind-body connection, particularly the automatic nervous system and limbic system. Chapter Five concludes this study by examining the psychometric properties of the Difficulties in Emotional Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004); and, finally, Chapter Six provides the summary of the main findings and provides recommendations for practice and further research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology, Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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