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psychotherapy

Clients often come to therapy with significant difficulties that take significant dedication and effort to overcome. Yet they are often accustomed to standard medical care, in which the clinician does almost all the work and produces remarkable results with a minimal patient role (e.g., splinting an agonizing broken wrist; or prescribing antibiotics for a raging case of strep throat).

Editor’s note: The following interview is with Steven Alper, MSW, LCSW, a psychotherapist and mindfulness practitioner who has taught mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for twenty-four years. He is the author of Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy: An Integrated Model for Clinicians.

To be a good mindfulness teacher, or even to use mindfulness effectively with your clients, it’s important that you have your own personal practice.

Luckily, the practice of psychotherapy has a number of built-in qualities that present clinicians with ample opportunities to do mindfulness in sessions.

Mindfulness in the context of psychotherapy is more than just a technique or a theoretical perspective; it is a way of being with and relating to experience. Regardless of whether or not you choose to incorporate formal mindfulness practices in your sessions with clients, having your own mindfulness practice will positively inform your work.

By Martin M. Antony, PhD, and Jenny Rogojanski, PhD

While it’s certainly not a requirement, many who are drawn to become mindfulness facilitators are trained psychotherapists. And many of the skills of psychotherapy, such as managing the group dynamic and building rapport, are assuredly useful in facilitating a mindfulness group.

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