Objective: There is scarce research on the effects of mindfulness in individual therapy. As many practitioners integrate mindfulness exercises into individual therapy, empirical evidence is of high clinical relevance. Method: We investigated the effects of a session-introducing intervention with mindfulness elements (SIIME) in a randomized, controlled design. The effects of SIIME on therapeutic alliance and symptomatic outcome were compared with progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and treatment-as-usual (TAU) control conditions. The sample comprised 162 patients with anxiety and depression.
Results: Multilevel modeling revealed a significant symptom reduction and significant increase of alliance over the course of therapy. There were no significant time-condition interactions on outcome and alliance, indicating the comparable efficiency of all three treatment conditions. Conclusion: We found no advantage of SIIME versus PMR and TAU. Add-on mindfulness might not improve individual therapy related to alliance and outcome.