Date of Award

Fall 9-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Mindfulness Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Melissa Jean

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew Olendzki


Evidence-based studies have shown that individuals can significantly recover from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder through the Cognitive Behavioural Therapies of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). However once the affliction is no longer categorized as a disorder in accordance with the diagnostic criteria, the process of thought, and often intrusive thought, remains. The OCD cycle of "thought to anxiety to compulsion” stems from a desire to reduce the suffering that the initial thought causes. This suffering comes in the form of negative feelings which often lead to compulsive behavior. The Buddhist path lays out a method for the reduction of unnecessary suffering, where mindfulness practice is key. This creative project, “A Thought is Just a Thought: A Buddhist Guide to OCD,” is both a handbook and a workbook for individuals that struggle with an OCD-inclined mind and are interested in developing a relationship with Buddhist psychology as a vehicle for deeper insight. Buddhist psychology can provide a new paradigm for individuals to understand their thoughts and how they, most often unknowingly, contribute to their own suffering. In both psychotherapy and Buddhist psychology, greater wisdom contributes to greater wellbeing. The goal of this handbook is to provide wisdom for the purpose of enhancing wellbeing for its readers.