Mindfulness for Therapists
Practice for the Heart
Routledge – 2015 – 106 pages
Mindfulness for Therapists: Practice for the Heart encourages therapists to embrace mindfulness practice to create presence and depth in their work with clients. Mindfulness helps therapists cultivate compassion, relieve stress, and weather the often emotionally difficult work of providing therapy. In addition, the therapist's own meditation practice is a necessary foundation for teaching mindfulness to clients. Through a variety of exercises and stories from his own clinical experience, McCollum helps therapists understand the usefulness of mindfulness, and develop their own practice.
"Eric McCollum invites us to consider how mindfulness practices can help us become better therapists. He engages with wise clinical examples, learning activities, and jargon-free explanations of classic meditation practices. He suggests that we should embrace mindfulness practices because they help us be more present, centered, and compassionate with our clients, less reactive, and more trusting in the therapy process. Reading this book is like listening to a trusted friend – one with a sense of humor, disarming transparency, and respect for the integrity of the important work we do." -- Fred P. Piercy, PhD, Professor of Family Therapy, Virginia Tech; Editor of Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
"For therapists and their clients, cultivating the capacity for mindfulness and compassion is at the core of successful psychotherapy. As Eric McCollum points out, therapists cannot facilitate this unless they have an ‘inside-out’ experience and understanding. This wonderfully clear and wise book guides therapists on how to incorporate mindfulness into their own path in a way that can bring inner transformation, and healing to the hearts of all those whom they touch." --Tara Brach, PhD, Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge.
"This book is a gift; it is the best I have ever read on mindfulness meditation, period. Beautifully written and refreshingly clear on a topic that is often a muddle, it is replete with gripping stories that will resonate with any therapist. I especially appreciated McCollum’s frank discussion of the barriers to meditation and how to address them, as well as his willingness to share his struggles along with the joys of decades of practice. I would suggest all new therapists read this very accessible, informative gem of a book." --Doug Sprenkle, PhD, Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy/Human Development and Family Studies, Emeritus, Purdue University
Preface 1.The challenge of presence in a multi-tasking world 2.What is mindfulness? 3. What do we know about mindfulness: The research record 4. How does mindfulness benefit therapists? 5. Cultivating mindfulness 6. The complexities of compassion 7. Things get in the way: Obstacles to being present 8. Practicing to be present 9. A final thought
Eric E. McCollum, PhD, is Professor and Program Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Program at Virginia Tech, where he teaches mindfulness meditation to all students in the Marriage and Family Therapy training program. He has practiced psychotherapy for nearly 40 years and has practiced meditation in the Buddhist vipassana tradition for more than 30 years.