Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction: Another approach for questioning stressful thoughts and improving psychological well-being

MarieOdiel van Rhijn, Inbal Mitnik, Shahar Lev-ari


Psychological well-being was found to be an important factor in health promotion. Various therapeutic models consider dysfunctional cognitions and beliefs as a source of mental distress. They propose a rational and objective process of questioning the stress-evoking thoughts in order to achieve therapeutic change and psychological well-being.

Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR, 'The Work') meditation technique offers a different approach for questioning stressful thoughts by including emotional and authentic insight. It consists of two stages: a systematic and comprehensive identification of stressful thoughts followed by questioning of these thoughts by a fixed set of questions and turnarounds.

The aim of the current article is to review the IBSR technique, its unique format and therapeutic process. It summarizes the clinical evidence regarding its efficacy as a tool of improving various psychological parameters.

Despite several limitations of the technique, the findings demonstrated its effectiveness as a tool for enhancing psychological well-being and promoting mental health. Randomized controlled trials are warranted in order to further examine the technique's potential contribution to psychological well-being.


Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction; Byron Katie; mindfulness; health promotion

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18103/mra.v2i1.191


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