Embodying mindfulness allows both therapists and clients to make the most of treatment sessions. More than just a guide to techniques and benefits, this book provides a comprehensive understanding of mindfulness meditation, and shows how to effectively incorporate mindfulness into every aspect of the therapeutic process.
Mindfulness isn’t simply a therapeutic tool that can be used at a specific time. If you’re a psychotherapist interested in implementing mindfulness practices into your therapy sessions, you must first embody a mindful presence yourself. In Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy, psychotherapist Steven Alper presents the mindfulness pyramid model, an easy-to-use reference approach for integrating mindfulness into the very fabric of your therapy sessions—in every action you take.
A therapist’s mindfulness practice and the mindful activity during sessions forms the foundation of clients’ mindfulness practice. This practical guide will help demystify mindfulness meditation; elaborate on the psychotherapeutic benefits of practices such as body scan, breath awareness, sitting meditation, and lovingkindness; and offer helpful strategies for teaching formal and informal mindfulness skills to clients. This book conceptualizes and explores the applicability of mindfulness and delves into the many ways in which mindfulness can manifest in psychotherapy.
This is a must-have resource for any therapist interested in honing their own mindfulness practice and incorporating mindfulness in treatment sessions.
Steven A. Alper, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and mindfulness practitioner who has taught mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for twenty-four years. He established the first hospital-based MBSR programs in Southern California in 1994 at the University of California, San Diego Department of Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic, and in 1995 at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, CA, where he was MBSR program director and senior instructor from 1995-2005. In addition to his private practice, he has taught mindfulness nationally and internationally since 2005 to mental health and health care professionals, as well as in a range of corporate, non-profit, and professional settings.
“Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy by Steven Alper is a wonderful book that’s wise, scholarly, and practical. For anyone interested in bringing mindfulness into therapy, it is a must-read. This book lies at the intersection of mindfulness and psychotherapy, and clearly illustrates how mindfulness intersects with psychotherapy.” —Bob Stahl, PhD, coauthor of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Living With Your Heart Wide Open, Calming the Rush of Panic, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook for Anxiety, and MBSR Every Day
“This book brings mindfulness literature to a refreshing and academic new depth. Scholarly, yet deeply personal, the writing is clear, readily accessible, and eloquent. Alper’s brilliant presentation of the mindfulness pyramid model illustrates how therapeutic interdependence is alive and creative. This is an essential book for any therapist interested in mindfulness.” —Paula Carmona,MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC, coauthor of Peaceful Mind
“Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy offers a beautifully integrated model for incorporating mindfulness in psychotherapy. Steven Alper weaves together years of contemplative practice and clinical wisdom with current research on mindfulness, emphasizing it as a way of being and a method for investigating subjectivity. This comprehensive and artful book will benefit therapist and client. I highly recommend it.” —Shauna Shapiro, coauthor of The Art and Science of Mindfulness and Mindful Discipline
“Steven Alper has poured his deep understanding of practice and of psychotherapy into this wise and accessible book. His candor about his own struggles ground the book in humility and wisdom, and he speaks directly to his reader in a voice that is reassuring, confident, and deeply humane. Psychotherapists with established meditation practices, as well as those who want to begin, will both find much of value here.” —Barbara Davenport, LCS, graduate of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis Program in Child Psychotherapy, and author of The Worst Loss and Grit and Hope: 5 Latino Students & the Program That Helped Them Get to College (UC Press, 2016)
“Mindfulness in psychotherapy has often been reduced to a cognitive tool or a stress reduction technique, missing the deepest and most liberating levels of this ancient practice. In this important contribution, Steven Alper presents an original model that integrates different domains and levels of mindfulness in the therapeutic relationship, offering a clear, step-by-step training to integrate mindfulness in therapy—starting from the necessary foundation of the therapist's own mindfulness practice. For its depth and applicability, this book will bring clarity and inspiration to new and experienced therapists alike.” —Gonzalo Brito Pons, PhD, psychotherapist and coauthor of The Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Workbook
“Steven Alper has created an excellent and practical mindfulness guide for the psychotherapist who wishes to bring mindfulness forward more intentionally and explicitly in their own life and work. I strongly recommend this comprehensive and accessible book. It is a treasure for any therapist who is seeking to build a personal mindfulness practice, planning to deliver mindfulness-based psychotherapy, or who wishes to directly explore the profound power of mindfulness for healing and transformation.” —Jeffrey Brantley, MD, DFAPA, director of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at Duke Integrative Medicine, author of Calming Your Angry Mind, and coauthor of Daily Meditations for Calming Your Angry Mind
“Moving persuasively beyond diagnosis and technique, this accessible and sure-footed guide reveals the more general and enduring gains that come from incorporating mindfulness into your psychotherapy practice.” —Zindel V. Segal, PhD, coauthor of The Mindful Way Workbook
“What a lovely book. Steven Alper manages to artfully weave three important tales into one—detailing the importance of mindfulness practice, guiding the reader on how to bring such practice into one’s own life, and illustrating how to then deepen and enliven the practice of psychotherapy with the art of mindfulness. For any psychotherapist, this is critical and valuable stuff!” —William H. Polonsky, PhD, CDE, president of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute; associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego; and author of Diabetes Burnout
“Reading Steven Alper’s book, I was impressed by its thoroughness and comprehensibility. He takes the complicated task of weaving mindfulness meditation into the therapeutic process and makes it philosophical and practical. The model he creates is dynamic, clear, and relational, and reflects his embodiment of mindfulness. I appreciated the range of meditations included in the book and the depth of understanding and clarity he brings to their usage. The breadth of the book makes it indispensable as a resource for all serious-minded therapists who want to maintain the integrity of meditation and deepen not only their own practice, but healing itself.” —Elana Rosenbaum, LICSW, certified mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) teacher, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of Being Well (Even When You’re Sick) and Here for Now
“Steve Alper has given the world a remarkable synthesis that will be profoundly beneficial for therapists both personally and professionally if engaged in wholeheartedly as a way of being. How could their clients not benefit as well?” —Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses