Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Catherine Marrs Fuchsel


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.


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.