Can mindfulness help anxiety? Trial suggests yes.

Research has shown that the U.S. is facing a mental health crisis, with specialists unable to keep pace with a surge in cases during the pandemic. Amanda Baker, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and director of Mass General’s Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, recently worked with colleagues from New York University and Georgetown to examine one potential response: mindfulness-based stress reduction. The team compared the effectiveness of the intensive intervention with that of the commonly prescribed anxiety drug escitalopram. Participants in the study improved about the same amount after an eight-week course. We spoke with Baker about the research and its implications for treatment of mental health issues. The interview has been edited for clarity and length. …

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