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About Us

Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention was originally created at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center  at the University of Washington. The clinical and research team originated under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Marlatt, whose research, innovation and support made this work possible.

The original MBRP team of researchers and clinicians from UW currently includes Drs. Sarah Bowen, Neha Chawla, Katie Witkiewitz, and Joel Grow, all of whom studied under the mentorship of the late Dr.  Marlatt. Close colleagues in our training and research efforts include Devin Ashwood in the UK, and the team in Brazil many others in the U.S. and internationally.

Sarah Bowen, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist. She is an Associate Professor at Pacific University, in Portland, OR, and affiliate research faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. She received her doctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Marlatt at University of Washington. Dr. Bowen's research focuses primarily on mindfulness-based therapies for relapse prevention, with specific focus on mechanisms of change, including negative affect, thought suppression and craving. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters on this and related topics (see publications), and is co-au​thor of the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician's Guide. Dr. Bowen has facilitated MBRP groups in private and county treatment agencies, in criminal justice institutions, and at the VA Medical Center, and offers trainings to researchers and clinicians in the U.S., Europe, and Central America. She is particularly interested in the application of mindfulness-based work to dual-diagnosis and under-served populations.

Neha Chawla, Ph.D. is a co-creator of MBRP and co-author of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician's Guide. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Seattle. Her research interests include the development and evaluation of mindfulness-based treatments for substance use disorders, understanding mechanisms of change, issues related to therapist training and dissemination, and the assessment of therapist competence. Dr. Chawla has facilitated several trainings and workshops on MBRP and led groups in private and community treatment settings in Seattle and on the East-coast. For more information about Dr. Chawla's private practice, please click here.

Joel Grow, PhD is a clinical psychologist at the Seattle Mindfulness Center. His research interests include clinical applications of mindfulness and self compassion, primarily in the area of addictive behaviors. He has specific interests in therapist training and dissemination, as well as delivery of mindfulness groups online. He has taught in the university setting for the past 10 years, and was awarded the UW Extension "Award for Teaching Excellence". He co-facilitates MBRP and MSC groups in both private and community treatment settings.


Katie Witkiewitz, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico and the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and has worked extensively on studying the biopsychosocial influences on substance use relapse. She has conducted numerous empirical studies on mindfulness-based treatments for alcohol and drug use disorders and mechanisms of successful treatment outcomes following interventions to prevent alcohol and drug use relapse. 

Devin Ashwood has worked therapeutically, as a trainer and leader in a range of addiction treatment settings for over twelve years, was Program Leader and Lecturer in addictions counselling at the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies and the University of Bath and has become the primary Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention teacher trainer in the UK. He has been practicing mindfulness daily for the past 20 years, received a first class Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches from the University of Bangor and teaches mindfulness to professionals and clients. He also organizes and leads a number of meditation groups and retreats throughout the year, including working as a Buddhist Chaplain to the prison service for the past 10 years. For the past three years, he has worked as the Director at Gaia House meditation retreat centre. 

Brazilian Center of Research and Training in MBRP (Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisa e Formação em MBRP)

The Brazilian Center of Research and Training in MBRP (MBRP Brazil) was officially created in 2015 and its main objectives include the development of research and training to professionals who would like to deliver MBRP for people with substance use problems in different contexts. Since 2010, the MBRP Brazil members are conducting research on this topic, which were the result of collaboration between researchers and clinicians, members of the Research Center for Health and Substance Use (NEPSIS) with Dr. Bowen. The NEPSIS is a research directory linked to the Department of Psychobiology of the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) coordinated by Professor Ana Regina Noto, national reference in the substance use field. Also in collaboration with Dr. Bowen, the MBRP Brazil has been offering professional trainings in MBRP for clinicians and researchers who would like to improve their repertoire to help people with addictive behaviors. In addition to research, the MBRP Brazil team also offers groups for substance users from the community and their families. Learn more about MBRP Brazil at:

Alan Marlatt, PhD

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention was largely inspired by and based upon the research of Dr. Alan Marlatt. Dr. Marlatt was the Director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center and Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle for over 30 years. His primary focus in both research and clinical work was in the field of addictive behaviors. In addition to over 200 journal articles and book chapters, he published several books in the addictions field, including Relapse Prevention (1985; 2005), Assessment of Addictive Behaviors (1988; 2005), Harm Reduction (1998), and Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS): A Harm Reduction Approach (1999). He co-authored of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician's Guide.

Dr. Marlatt was an inspiration to countless students, clinicians, researchers and clients, and while he will be greatly missed, his innovative and compassion approach to treatment of addictive behaviors will continue to serve as a foundation and inspiration for generations to come.

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