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.