Mindfulness and the psychology of presence

Psychol Psychother. 2007 Sep;80(Pt 3):367-76. doi: 10.1348/147608306X162600.


Mindfulness, as 'being in the present on purpose' has become of practical and theoretical interest to clinical psychologists. It is an element in several influential and effective treatment methods. Research concentrates on the effects of practice but neglects the experience of presence. A common requirement that the clinician also practice mindfulness leads to an interest in describing clinical presence. This stance has been of interest in psychoanalysis but not studied in mainstream clinical psychology. The description of that as a state of being and the similarity between mindfulness practice and the phenomenological method provide a link with a 6-year series of seminars given to psychotherapists by the philosopher Martin Heidegger. His demonstrations of the relation between experiential and scientific knowledge offer a way to make links between a reflective clinical psychology, mindfulness, and current developments in the understanding of consciousness.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attention*
  • Awareness*
  • Consciousness*
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Philosophy
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Psychology, Clinical* / education
  • Psychotherapy / education