Staff profile

Dr William Van Gordon


Lecturer in Psychology

Subject

Psychology

Department

University of Derby Online Learning

Email

w.vangordon@derby.ac.uk

About

I am a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Professor of Contemplative Psychology at the University of Derby. I am an international expert in the research and practice of meditation and other contemplative approaches. I sit on the editorial board for various academic journals including Mindfulness and Mindfulness and Compassion. In the last 5 years alone, in addition to three books I have published over 100 academic papers, including in some of the world's leading psychology and medical journals. During 2018, my work was featured in the national news (including television, radio and newspaper) on more than 50 separate occasions, including in countries such as the UK (e.g., BBC Television, The Times, Express, Sun, MailOnline), France, Ghana, Thailand, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Japan. Prior to joining academia, I was a Buddhist monk for ten years and I previously worked in senior management roles for Marconi Plc, PepsiCo International and Aldi Stores Ltd. In the case of this latter position, I had a total operational responsibility for a £28 million portfolio of six supermarkets with over 60 employees. I regularly travel all over the world to give keynote speeches, lectures and workshops on meditation and contemplative practice.

Research interests

My research focusses on providing robust theoretical and empirical foundations to support the effective integration of contemplative practices in applied settings. Examples of empirical projects that I am currently leading include (i) investigating the utility of second-generation mindfulness-based interventions for improving wellbeing and human functioning, (ii) formulating and empirically evaluating an approach to mindfulness that acknowledges its spiritual properties and the need for mindfulness instructors to be embedded in the practice of meditation, (iii) conceiving and providing empirical support for a new psychological theory (called Ontological Addiction Theory) that posits ‘addiction to self’ as a third category of addiction in addition to chemical and behavioural addiction, (iv) advancing scientific understanding into emptiness including its role for improving biological, neurological, and psycho-spiritual wellbeing, and (v) evaluating the applications of an eight-week behavioural intervention called Meditation Awareness Training (MAT) in clinical, educational, and occupational settings. I employ a variety of research methods ranging from randomised controlled trials and long-term prospective studies to clinical case studies. In addition to quantitative research designs, most of my intervention evaluation studies feature a strong qualitative component.

Membership of professional bodies

Qualifications

Additional interests and activities

Meditation, mountaineering, writing, running, swimming, martial arts, cycling, football, DIY, cooking, and helping people.

Recent publications

  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Garcia-Campayo, J. (2018). The Mindful Warrior: The Path to Wellbeing. Wisdom, and Awareness. Spanish: Editorial Kairós; Brazilian Portuguese: Record/Versus Editorial.
  • Shonin, E., & Van Gordon W., & Griffiths, M. D. (Eds). (2015). Mindfulness and Buddhist-derived Approaches in Mental Health and Addictions. Gewerbestrasse (Switzerland): Springer.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Singh, N. N. (Eds). (2015). Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness. New York: Springer.
  • Shonin, E., & Van Gordon, W. (2015). Meditation Awareness Training: Participant training guide - Revised. Nottingham: Awake to Wisdom.
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Dunn, T., Sapthiang, S., Kotera, Y., Sheffield, D., & Garcia-Campayo, J. (2019). Exploring emptiness and its effects on non-attachment, mystical experiences, and psycho-spiritual wellbeing: A quantitative and qualitative study of advanced meditators. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, DOI: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.12.003.
  • Campos, D., Modrego, M., López-del-Hoyo, Y, Gonzalez Panzano, M., Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Garcia-Campayo, J. (2019). Exploring the role of meditation and dispositional mindfulness on social cognition domains: A controlled study. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 809. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00809 
  • Kotera, Y., & Van Gordon, W. (2019). Japanese managers experiences of neuro-linguistic programming certification training: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education, and Practice, Advance Online Publication, DOI 10.1108/JMHTEP-06-2018-0033
  • López-González, L., Herrero-Fernández, D., Amutio, A., Santamaría, T., & Van Gordon, W. (2019). Validation of a scale for assessing social validity in mindfulness-based education programs. Mindfulness, Advanced Online Edition, 10.1007/s12671-019-01138-2
  • Sapthiang, S., Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2019). Adolescent problem gambling requires population-level public health interventions. Addiction Research and Theory, Advance Online Edition, DOI: 10.1080/16066359.2019.1590559.
  • Van Gordon, W., Sapthiang, S., Shonin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2019). Mindfulness for addressing key public health concerns in young people: Preventative applications and safety concerns. Education and Health, 37, 9-14.
  • Sapthiang, S., Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2019). The mental health needs of child and adolescent refugee and asylum seekers entering Europe. Social Health and Behavior, 2, 13-16..
  • Kotera, Y., Conway, E., & Van Gordon, W. (2018). Ethical judgement in UK business students: Relationship with motivation, self-compassion and mental health. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, Advance Online Publication. Doi: 10.1007/s11469-018-0034-2.
  • Ekici, C., Garip, G., & Van Gordon, W. (2018). The lived experiences of experienced Vipassana Mahasi meditators: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Mindfulness, Advance Online Publication. Doi: 10.1007/s12671-018-1063-4.
  • Kotera, Y., Sheffield, D., & Van Gordon, W. (2019). Organisational applications of neuro-linguistic programming: A systematic review. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 30, 101-116.
  • Sapthiang, S., Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018). Mindfulness in schools: A health promotion approach to improving adolescent mental health. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, Advance Online Publication. Doi: 10.1007/s11469-018-0001-y
  • Kotera, Y., Conway, E., & Van Gordon, W. (2019). Mental health of UK university business students: Relationship with shame, motivation and self-compassion. Journal of Education for Business, 94, 11-20.
  • Navarro-Gil, M., Lopez-del-Hoyo, Y., Modrego-Alarcón, M., Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Montero-Marin, J., & Garcia-Campayo, J. (2018). Effects of attachment-based compassion therapy (ABCT) on self-compassion and attachment style in healthy people. Mindfulness, Advance Online Publication. Doi: 10.1007/s12671-018-0896-1.
  • Kotera, Y., Adhikari, P., & Van Gordon, W. (2018). Motivation types and mental health of UK hospitality workers. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 16, 751-763. 
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Diouri, S., Garcia-Campayo, J., Kotera, Y., & Griffiths, M. D. (2018). Ontological Addiction Theory: Attachment to Me, Mine, and I. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7, 1-5. Doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.45.
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Dunn, T., Sheffield, D., Garcia-Campayo, J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2018). Meditation-induced near-death experiences: A three-year prospective study. Mindfulness, 9, 1794–1806.
  • Van Gordon, W. (2018). Applications of mindfulness for work-related stress. Positive Health, 248, 9-10.
  • Van Gordon, W. (2018). The top ten mistakes made by meditation practitioners. Positive Health, 245, 7-8.
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Griffiths, M. D. (2016). The four types of psychologist: Ineffective, satisfactory, gifted, and gone beyond. PsychCentral. Available at: http://pro.psychcentral.com/the-four-types-of-psychologist-ineffective-satisfactory-gifted-and-gone-beyond/0016491.html
  • Van Gordon, W., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). For the mindful teaching of mindfulness. The Psychologist, 28, 514-515.
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). The self and the non-self: Applications of Buddhist philosophy in psychotherapy. RaIIS-IT, 12, 10-11.
  • Cavalli, G., Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2016). Imparare fin da piccoli la mindfulness. Educare03, 3, 6-8.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon W., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). Mindfulness in psychology: A breath of fresh air? The Psychologist, 28, 28-31.
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Skelton, K., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Working mindfully: Can mindfulness improve work-related wellbeing and work effectiveness? Counselling at Work (A Journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), Winter Issue, 14-19.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon W., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Just what the doctor ordered! Mindfulness meditation as medication. Awakenings Middle East, September/November, 10-13.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Changing Paradigms: Buddhist Insight in Western Psychological Treatments. PsyPAG, 92, 35-39.
  • Kotera, Y., & Van Gordon, W. (2018). How Managers Use NLP in their Daily Work: Report from Japan. In: Machado & J.P. Davim (Eds). Emotional Intelligence and Neuro-Linguistic Programming: New Insights for Managers and Engineers. New York: Taylor and Francs. In Press
  • Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018). Foreword in: Garcia-Campayo, J., & Marcelo, D. (2018). What Do We Know About Mindfulness? 100 Key Questions. Barcelona: Editorial Kairos.
  • Shonin, E., & Van Gordon, W., & Griffiths, M. D. (2016). Mindfulness and wellbeing: Towards a unified operational approach. In: I. Ivtzan, & T. Lomas (Eds). Mindfulness in Positive Psychology: The Science of Meditation and Wellbeing (pp. 280-292). Oxford: Routledge.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Singh, N. N. (2015). Mindfulness and Buddhist Practice. In: E. Shonin, W. Van Gordon, & N. N. Singh (Eds). Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness (pp. 1-6). New York: Springer.
  • Van Gordon, W., Shonin, E., Griffiths, M. D., & Singh, N. N. (2015). Mindfulness and the Four Noble Truths. In: E. Shonin, W. Van Gordon, & N. N. Singh (Eds). Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness (pp. 9-27). New York: Springer.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., Singh, N. N., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). Mindfulness of Emptiness and the Emptiness of Mindfulness. In: E. Shonin, W. Van Gordon, & N. N. Singh (Eds). Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness (pp. 159-178). New York: Springer.
  • Langer, A. I., Carmona-Torres, J. A., Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2015). Mindfulness for the treatment of psychosis: State of the art and future developments. In: E. Shonin, W. Van Gordon, & M. D. Griffiths (Eds). Mindfulness and Buddhist-derived Approaches in Mental Health and Addiction (pp. 211-244). Gewerbestrasse (Switzerland): Springer.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). Mindfulness and Buddhist-derived treatment techniques in mental health and addiction. In: E. Shonin, W. Van Gordon, & M. D. Griffiths (Eds). Mindfulness and Buddhist-derived Approaches in Mental Health and Addiction (pp. 1-8). Gewerbestrasse (Switzerland): Springer.
  • Shonin, E., Van Gordon, W., Dunn, T., Singh, N. N., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Study summary - Meditation Awareness Training (MAT) for work-related wellbeing and job performance: A randomized controlled trial. In J. Näsström (Ed.), Focused, Calm and Effective: Effects of Mindfulness in the Workplace (pp.22-25). Stockholm: Potential Project Sverige AB. (ISBN 9781508855644).
  • Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018, December 9th). An introduction to Meditation Awareness Training. Invited workshop at The Symposium on Buddhist Counselling, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
  • Van Gordon, W. (2018, December 8th). The applications of Buddhist emptiness principles in psychotherapeutic settings. Invited talk at The Symposium on Buddhist Counselling, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
  • Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018, September 11th). Mindfulness for the treatment of problem gambling. Invited workshop at 12th European Conference on Gambling and Policy Issues, Malta.
  • Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018, June 23rd). Ontological addiction theory. Invited speaker at open round table discussion at: 5th International Meeting on Mindfulness, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018, June 22nd). Mindfulness and emptiness. Keynote speech at: 5th International Meeting on Mindfulness, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • Amutio, A., Pizarro, J. J., Telletxea, S., Harizmendi, M., Basabe, N., & Van Gordon, W. (2018, June 22nd). Development of the compassion for others scale: Effects of participating in a mindfulness collective ritual. 5th International Meeting on Mindfulness, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • Van Gordon, W., & Shonin, E. (2018, June 21st). using second-generation mindfulness-based interventions in treatment contexts. Invited workshop at V International Meeting on Mindfulness, Zaragoza, Spain.
  • Van Gordon, W. (2018, May 4th). Abridged Meditation Awareness Training for driver safety and awareness. Invited workshop to Nottingham Trent University, UK.
  • Van Gordon, W. (2018, Jan 19th). The role of meditation in cultivating a healthy body and healthy mind. Invited paper to: Awake to Wisdom Wellbeing through Meditation Symposium, Italy.
  • Kotera, Y., Adhikari, P. & Van Gordon, W. (2017, December 2-3rd). Relationship between types of work motivation and worker profile in UK hospitality workers. Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Sciences, Humanities and Technology 2017. Kelantan, Malaysia: Global Academic Excellence.