Sarah Bowen, PhD

Associate Professor
UC Box 
HPC 2-297

Roles and Interests

Clinical and Research Interests

Treatment of addictive behaviors and prevention of relapse, dual diagnosis populations, incarcerated adults and adolescents, mindfulness-based approaches to treating addiction and impulsive behavior.  My clinical orientations come from an integration of meditation and mindfulness-based approaches and radical behaviorism.


  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 2009
  • PhD, University of Washington, Department of Psychology, doctor of philosophy in clinical psychology, 2008
  • Pre-Doctoral Intern, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, 2008
  • BA, University of Washington, Department of Psychology, bachelor of arts in psychology, 2001

Selected Recent Publications (*denotes student author)

Greenfield, B. L., Roos, C., Hagler, K. J., Stein, E., Bowen, S., & Witkiewitz, K. A. (in press). Race/ethnicity and racial group composition moderate the effectiveness of mindfulness-based relapse prevention for substance use disorder. Addictive Behaviors.

Wilson, A. D., Roos, C. R, Robinson, C. S., Stein, E., Manuel, J. A., Enkema, M., Bowen, S., & Witkiewitz, K (2017). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Addictive Behaviors: Implementation Issues on the Road Ahead. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31.

Roos, C. R., Bowen, S., & Witkiewitz, K. (2017). Baseline patterns of substance use disorder severity and depression and anxiety symptoms moderate the efficacy of mindfulness-based relapse prevention Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85, 1041-1051.

Enkema, M. C. & Bowen, S. (2017). Mindfulness practice moderates the relationship between craving and substance use in a clinical sample.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1-7.

Bowen, S., Somohano, V., Rutkie, R, Manuel, J. & Rehder, K. (2017). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Methadone Maintenance: A Feasibility Trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 23(7), 541-544.

Kaplan, J.B., Bergman, A.L., Christopher, M., Bowen, S., & Hunsinger, M. (2017). Role of Resilience in Mindfulness Training for First Responders. Mindfulness, 8, 1373-1380.

Manuel, J., Somohano, V., & Bowen, S. (2017). Mindfulness practice and its relationship to the five-facet mindfulness questionnaire. Mindfulness, 2, 361-367.

Bowen, S., De Boer, D., & Bergman, A. (2017). The role of mindfulness as approach-based coping in the trauma-substance abuse cycle. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 212-216.

Bergman, A. L., Christopher, M. S., & Bowen, S. (2016). Changes in facets of mindfulness predict stress and anger outcomes for police officers. Mindfulness, 7, 851-858.

Bowen, S., Bergman, A., & Witkiewitz, K. (2015) Engagement in Buddhist meditation practices among non-Buddhists: Associations with religious identity and practice. Mindfulness, 6 (6), 1456-1461.

Geisner, I., Bowen, S., Lostutter, T., Cronce, J. Granato, H., & Larimer, M. E. (2014). Gambling-related problems as a mediator between treatment and mental health with at-risk college student gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31, 1005-1013.

Imani, S. Vahid, M. K. A., Gharraee, B., Habibi, M., Bowen, S., & Noroozi, A. (2015) Comparing mindfulness-based group therapy with treatment as usual for opioid dependents: A pilot randomized clinical trial study protocol. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 9(1), e216.

Imani, S., Atef Vahid, M. K., Gharraee, B., Noroozi, A., Habibi, M., & Bowen, S. (2015). Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Group Therapy Compared to the Usual Opioid Dependence Treatment. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, 10(3), 175-184.

Witkiewitz, K., Desai, S. A., Bowen, S., Leigh, B. C., Kirouac, M. & Larimer,M. E. (2014). Development and Evaluation of a Mobile Intervention for Heavy Drinking and Smoking among College Students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(3), 639-650.

Bowen, S., Witkiewitz, K., Clifasefi, S., Grow, J., Chawla, N., Hsu, S., Douglas, H., Harrop, E., Collins, S., Lustyk, K., & Larimer, M. (2014). Relative Efficacy of Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention, Relapse Prevention and Standard Aftercare Treatment in Preventing Relapse to Substance Use.  JAMA Psychiatry, 71, 547-56.

Witkiewitz, K., Bowen, S., Harrop, E., Douglas, H., Enkema, M., & Sedgwick, C. (2014). Mindfulness-based treatment to prevent addictive behavior relapse: Theoretical models and hypothesized mechanisms of change. Substance Use and Misuse, 49 (5), 513-524.

Bowen, S. & Enkema, M. (2014). Relationship between Dispositional Mindfulness and Substance Use: Findings from a Clinical Sample. Addictive Behaviors, 39(3), 532-537.

Mundle, G., Bowen, S., Heinz, A., & Kienast, T. (2014) Practical application of mindfulness in addiction treatment – the case of MBRP and DBT-S. Journal of Addiction Research and Practice, 60 (1). 29-36.

Lee, K-H & Bowen, S. (2014). Relation Between Personality Traits and Mindfulness Following Mindfulness-Based Training: A Study of Incarcerated Individuals with Drug Abuse Disorders in Taiwan. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-9.

Witkiewitz,K., & Greenfield, B. L., & Bowen, S. (2013). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention with Racial and Ethnic Minority Women.  Addictive Behaviors, 38(12), 2821-2824.

Witkiewitz, K., Lustyk, M. K., & Bowen, S. (2012). Re-Training the Addicted Brain: A Review of Hypothesized Neurobiological Mechanisms of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 27, 351-365.

Witkiewitz, K., Bowen, S., Douglas, H., & Hsu, S. H. (2013). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Substance Craving. Addictive Behaviors, 38, 1563-1571.

Lee, K-H, Bowen, S., Oei, T. P. & Yen, C. F.  (2012). An Expanded Self-Medication Hypothesis based on Cognitive-Behavioral determinants for Heroin Abusers in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Study. American Journal on Addictions. Suppl 1: 43-48.

Bowen, S. & Kurz, A. S. (2011). Smoking, Nicotine Dependence and Motives to Quit in Asian-American versus Caucasian College Students. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 14, 1235-1240.

Witkiewitz, K., Desai, S. A, Steckler, G., Jackson, K. M., Bowen, S., Leigh, B. C., & Larimer, M. E. (2012). Concurrent drinking and smoking among college students: an event-level analysis. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26 (3), 649-654.

Bowen, S. & Kurz, A. S. (2012). Between-session practice and therapeutic alliance as predictors of mindfulness after mindfulness-based relapse prevention. Journal of Clinical Psychology 68 (3): 236-245.

Bowen, S. & Vieten, C. (2012).  A Compassionate Approach to the Treatment of Addictive Behaviors: The Contributions of Alan Marlatt to the Field of Mindfulness-Based Interventions. Addiction Research and Theory, 20 (3), 243-249. 

Bowen, S., Haworth, K., Grow, J., Tsai, M., & Kohlenberg, R. (2012). Interpersonal Mindfulness Informed by Functional Analytic Psychotherapy: Findings from a Pilot Randomized Trial. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 7, 9-15.

Wupperman, P., Marlatt, G. A., Bowen, S., Cunningham, A., Mulvihill-Rivera, N., Boyd, J., &  Easton, C. (2012). Mindfulness and Modification Therapy for behavioral dysregulation: Results from a pilot study targeting female alcohol use and aggression.  Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(1), 50-66.

Lustyk, K., Gerrish, W.H., Douglas, H., Bowen, S., & Marlatt, G. A. (2011). Relationships among premenstrual symptom reports, menstrual attitudes, and trait mindfulness. Mindfulness. 2, 37-48.

Witkiewitz, K., Bowen, S., & Donovan, D. M. (2011). Moderating effects of a craving intervention on the relation between negative mood and heavy drinking following treatment for alcohol dependence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(1), 54-63.

Bowen, S., Witkiewitz, K., Chawla, N., & Grow, J. (2011). Integrating Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Practices and Traditions for the Prevention of Relapse.  Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management 18, (10), 473-479.

Lee, K-H., Bowen, S., & An-Fu, B. (2011). Psychosocial outcomes of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention in incarcerated substance abusers in Taiwan: A preliminary study. Journal of Substance Abuse, 16, 476-483.

Brewer, J. A., Bowen, S., Smith, J.T., Marlatt, G. A., & Potenza, M. N. (2010). Applying mindfulness-based treatments to co-occurring disorders: What can we learn from the brain? Addiction, 105, 1698- 1706.

Chawla, N., Collins, S., Bowen, S., Hsu, S., Grow, J., Douglas, A., & Marlatt, G. A. (2010). The Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Adherence and Competence Scale: Development, Interrater Reliability and Validity. Psychotherapy Research, 20, 388-397.

Witkiewitz, K. & Bowen, S. (2010). Depression, craving and substance use following a randomized trial of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 362-374.

Selected Recent Presentations (*denotes student author)

Bowen, S. (2016, November). Integrating Contemporary Behavioral and Traditional Contemplative Approaches: Towards an Effective Technology of Behavior Change. Presented at the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, San Diego CA.

Bowen, S. Roemer, L. Salzberg, S., & Segal, Z., (2016, November). Round Table Discussion (Moderator): Traditional Contemplative Practice and Contemporary Clinical Science: Navigating New and Old Territories. Presented at the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, San Diego CA.

Enkema, M. & Bowen, S. (2016, June) Mindfulness practice moderates the relationship between craving and substance use in a clinical sample. In A. L. Bergman (chair) Substance Use and CBS. Presented at the 14th Association for Contextual Behavioral Science World Conference. Seattle, WA.

Bowen, S. (2016, April). Mindfulness-Based Approaches for Preventing Relapse. Presented at the first annual meeting of  MindfulnessTN, Knoxville, TN.

Bowen, S. (2016, March) Mindfulness-based Approaches to the Treatment of Addictive Behaviors. Presented at the 18th annual meeting of Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine, Tualitin, WA.

Witkiewitz, K., Bowen, S., & Roos, C. (2016, March). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders: Empirical Findings and Recent Adaptations. Presented at the 4th annual meeting of Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction, San Diego, CA.

Bowen, S. (October, 2015). Neural and Clinical Science of Mindfulness in the Age of RDoC. Panel discussion and working research group, 3rd meeting of the Mindfulness Research Working Group, Miami, FL.

Bowen, S. (June, 2015). Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Mindfulness-Based Treatment for Addictive Behaviors. Presented at the 77th annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Phoenix, AZ

Bowen, S. & Witkiewitz, K. (2014, November). Stress and Coping on Both Sides of the Law: MindfulnessBased Interventions with Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Populations (Chair). Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Barros, V.V., Bowen, S., Demarzo, M. M. P., Kozasa, E. H.& Regina Noto, A. R. (2014, October). Adaptation of the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Program for Chronic Users of Benzodiazepines. Poster presented at the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies. Boston, MA

Bowen, S. & Brewer, J. (2014, October). Buddhism, Behaviorism and the Brain: Towards a Better Understanding of the Nature, Mechanisms and Mitigation of Craving, Grasping, and Addiction. Master Lecture: International Symposia for Contemplative Studies. Boston, MA

Bowen, S. (2014, June). Contemplative approaches in the treatment of addiction and relapse. Presented at the Mind and Life Summer Research Institute, Garrison, NY.

Bowen, S. (2014, February). Mindfulness and Meditation in Psychology and Medicine. Presented at the University of Washington Mini-Medical School Lecture Series.  Seattle, WA.

Bowen, S., Witkiewitz, K., Clifasefi, S., Collins, S., Grow, G., Chawla, N., *Hsu, S., & *Douglas, H. (2013, November). 12-month outcomes of an RCT Comparing Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Cognitive Behavioral Relapse Prevention and Standard Care. In K.Witkiewitz & S.Bowen (Chairs) Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention: Outcomes, Mechanisms of Change, and Treatment Engagement After a Randomized Trial. Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, Nashville, TN.

Bowen, S. (2013, November). Application of Contemplative Practices in Treatment of Addiction. Summit Mind and Life XXVII meeting on Craving, Desire and Addiction with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala, India.

Bowen, S. (2013, May). Mindfulness in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders. Presented at the International Congress on Drugs: Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Alcohol and other Drugs. Juiz de Fora, Brazil.

Bowen, S. (2013). A Relapse Prevention Program for Substance Abuse based on Principles of Mindfulness. Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Bowen, S., Harrop, E., Brewer, J., Schuman-Olivier, Z. D., Brown, K. W., Reese, H., Sibinga, E. M., & Mistler, L. A. (2012, November). Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Diverse Populations and Settings: Questioning Assumptions and Adapting Practices. Panel discussion, S. Bowen & E. Harrop (Chair)s, at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, National Harbor, MD.

Haworth, K., Bowen, S., Tsai, M., & Kohlenberg, R. (2012, November). Differences Between Asian American and Caucasian College Students in State Mindfulness Following a Brief Mindfulness Intervention, Poster presented at the Mindfulness and Acceptance Special Interest Group, annual meeting of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, National Harbor, MD.

Bowen, S. (2012, April). Behavioral investigations of changes in craving following mindfulness-based interventions for substance use disorders. Presented at the annual meeting of the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Denver, CO.

Bowen, S. (2012, March). Theoretical, Practical and Empirical Perspectives on Mindfulness-Based Treatments for Psychological and Medical Disorders.  Presented at the annual CME Meeting of the Oregon Psychiatric Association, Portland, OR.


  • Self-Care & The Science and Practice of Mindfulness
  • Psychopathology
  • Clinical Practicum

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association
  • Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Mindfulness and Acceptance Special Interest Group, Chair
  • Mind and Life Institute, Research Fellow