Title

Mindfulness and Meditation: Transforming Therapeutic Presence in Clinical Social Work Practice

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2015

Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel

Abstract

This study explored how practicing meditation and mindfulness influences psychotherapy practice. Qualitative methods were used to recruit and interview mental health practitioners with a personal practice of meditation and mindfulness. Nine participants responded to interview questions in person, via email, or over the phone. Using Grounded Theory and open coding, eight themes were identified: (a) definitions of meditation and mindfulness; (b) training obtained and/or pursued; (c) inspiration to begin practicing meditation and mindfulness; (d) frequency and method of practice; (e) integration into the clinical setting; (f) importance of neuroscience; (g) impact of meditation and mindfulness on self-care, burnout and compassion fatigue; and (h) future hopes for integration of meditation and mindfulness into mental health care. A discussion of how these themes relate back to the literature is offered. Several implications for social work practice, policy, and research are suggested, including: (a) ethical considerations for practitioners offering mindfulness-based therapies; (b) the value of meditation and mindfulness to address practitioner burnout; (c) the relevance of neuroscience to meditation and mindfulness; and (d) policy recommendations pertaining to the expansion of alternative therapies for vulnerable populations.

Keywords

meditation, mindfulness, therapeutic presence, psychotherapy practice, mindfulness-based interventions

Creative Commons License

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