Ronald Siegal and colleagues on the benefits of integrating mindfulness into mental health therapy

The online newsletter from Mindful.org on 10-14-14 featured an article about potential benefits of mindfulness practice mental health therapists. The article, “3 Ways to Bring Mindfulness into Therapy,” is by Susan Pollak, Ronald Siegal and Thomas Pedulla. Ronald Seigal is a psychologist who is on the faculty of Harvard University and has written several books about integrating mindfulness practice into mental health therapy, and this article is adapted from Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, by the three authors of the article.

The article provides a good, brief overview of: 

  • Mindfulness practices may be integrated into any of the current mainstream therapy systems- they are basically neutral in regard to different therapy systems.
  • Mindfulness practices are not a “one-size-fits-all” intervention, and may be individualized for the needs of different people who are consulting a therapist.
  • Mindfulness practices may be used by clinicians to enhance their own psychological well being, such as by helping with acceptance, compassion, sustaining attention, and maintaining the therapists own composure and balance when the person consulting the therapists is distressed.

Practicing mindfulness skills may both help the therapist with his own coping skills and to also deepen the therapeutic relationship. The authors include some links to research on the benefits for therapists who practice mindfulness meditation, and a brief exercise that therapists may use to develop their own mindfulness skills, such as by practicing during a brief break during their office day. The authors also provide a link to free downloadable meditations.

Overall, I found this relatively brief article to have a lot of helpful information and links to other helpful resources.

 

 

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