Title

Focused Practice: Exploring the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Empathy Among Clinical Social Workers

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2013

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Sarah Ferguson

Abstract

This research project explores the impact of mindfulness on the practice of clinical social work as it pertains to building the skill of empathy. Mindfulness, in practice, varies from clinician to clinician; however, mindfulness in general involves having an expanded sense of awareness and attunement to the greater experience of the client. As such, current research (as discussed in the literature review) supports that those clinicians who practice mindfulness develop an increased compassion for self and others and thus are more empathic than those who do not practice mindfulness. This research is important to the field of clinical social work because of the implications for future education to include mindfulness training as part of developing the skill of using empathy with clients. Data collected for this research comes from 121 clinical social workers registered with the Minnesota Board of Social Work (MBOSW) and is based on their responses to the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and a seven-question survey. The results of this study point to a relationship between mindfulness and empathy among clinical social workers, indicating that further research exploring this relationship should be done to support these findings.

Keywords

mindfulness, empathy, social work

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.