Using mindfulness meditation to teach beginning therapists therapeutic presence: a qualitative study

J Marital Fam Ther. 2010 Jul 1;36(3):347-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2010.00214.x.


Some of the more difficult to define aspects of the therapeutic process (empathy, compassion, presence) remain some of the most important. Teaching them presents a challenge for therapist trainees and educators alike. In this study, we examine our beginning practicum students' experience of learning mindfulness meditation as a way to help them develop therapeutic presence. Through thematic analysis of their journal entries a variety of themes emerged, including the effects of meditation practice, the ability to be present, balancing being and doing modes in therapy, and the development of acceptance and compassion for themselves and for their clients. Our findings suggest that mindfulness meditation may be a useful addition to clinical training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control
  • Communication
  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marital Therapy / methods*
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Professional-Patient Relations*