The past few decades have witnessed the synthesis of Buddhist mindfulness practice with the Western psychological paradigm, leading to the development of a variety of mindfulness-based interventions. These are delivered to various populations to treat a wide range of physical and psychological disorders, and several protocols have been implemented and evaluated, mostly, if not exclusively, in open or out-patient treatment settings. Little attention has been given to the definition of criteria, guidelines and protocols for the use of mindfulness in residential settings such as in-patient psychiatric wards, secure and forensic services, prisons, nursing homes and hospices. In this article, we discuss the rationale, advantages and obstacles to delivering mindfulness-based interventions in residential treatment settings, with specific reference to forensic settings. We also discuss the problem of developing robust outcome data and recommendations for future research.
•Understand the advantages and challenges of introducing mindfulness-based interventions in in-patient settings.
•Understand how mindfulness-based interventions can be adapted to accommodate individual patient psychopathology.
•Understand how mindfulness-based interventions can be adapted to specialist clinical settings such as forensic units.