Mindfulness Meditation and Self-Monitoring Reduced Maladaptive Daydreaming Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Brief Self-Guided Web-Based Program

Oren Herscu, Eli Somer, Asaf Federman, Nirit Soffer-Dudek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Maladaptive daydreaming (MD) is a compulsive form of daydreaming that causes distress and functional impairment. We present the first treatment trial for MD. Method: We tested the effectiveness of an eight-session internet-based self-help training for mindfulness and self-monitoring and compared three groups across three measurement points in time. A sample of 557 people was randomly assigned. A total of 353 participants (age M[SD] = 28.3[10.5], 76% female, 77% unmarried) completed our program: fullintervention group (n = 114, psychoeducation + motivation enhancement + mindfulness + self-monitoring), partial-intervention group (n = 125, identical excluding self-monitoring), and waiting-list group (n = 125, internet-based support as usual). Results: All MD measures assessing daydreaming pathology, daydreaming frequency, and life functioning showed significant improvement with a large effect size (ES) from baseline to posttreatment in both intervention groups, whereas the wait-list group showed no significant improvement, MD: F(3, 349) = 35.76, p <.0001, η2 = 0.24; frequency: F(3, 349) = 32.06, p <.001, η2 = 0.22; functioning: F(3, 349) = 20.43, p <.001, η2 = 0.15. Mindfulness with self-monitoring training for MD was superior to mindfulness alone in the short term, but they both were equally efficient in the long term. Both interventions were superior to relying on internet-based support forums only. The clinically significant improvement rate of mindfulness with self-monitoring training was 24%, while the reliable improvement rate reached 39%. At the 6-month follow-up, achievements were maintained. Conclusions: A brief internet-based intervention program comprising mindfulness meditation and selfmonitoring facilitated recovery or improvement in many individuals with MD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-300
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • RCT
  • dissociation
  • immersive daydreaming
  • maladaptive daydreaming
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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