I discovered this fantastic book, quite by accident. I was perusing online psych education resources for a challenging, advanced level course, for contact hours. I was delighted to see a course offering with this book as the reference guide. Not only was this the best course I have taken in recent years, it was also one of the most challenging.
I have been a student of Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness practice, and yoga, for many years, but I have not carried it into my psychiatric workplace, which is dominated by a medical model. I was very interested in learning more about the potential clinical applications, but mostly, I wanted to advance my own mindfulness practice to assist in dealing with difficult patients; to stay completely in the moment during counseling, and assistive sessions. The emotionally fragile can perceive a moment of drift, or lack of genuine connection, which is often difficult to avoid. I also needed to learn when to step back, and take a little meditative break, in order to return refreshed, attentive, and truly empathetic to my patient's needs. I learned ALL this and more with this course. But, it will take continued practice throughout the remainder of my career.
In 'Mindfulness and Psychotherapy,' you will learn to distinguish mindfulness traditions from Western psychotherapy and how the blending of the traditions enhances therapeutic relationships. Various disorders are explored, with exercises for establishing interventions and goals. You will have a review of the historical roots of Western psychotherapy and might be surprised to find that, although only recently reaching growing popularity, mindfulness has always been an element of the developing history of psychotherapy, although it may have been explored in different manners.
You need NOT be a psychotherapist to benefit from the book, but Buddhist teachings, meditative practice and mindfulness will be a great advantage. Any clinical practitioner treats patients among their population with various psychiatric disorders, from the most serious, to generalized anxiety, stress, and most commonly chronic pain. We do a terrible disservice to our patients, when we don't address the entire person: the bio, psycho, social being. They are in fragments, needing to be pulled together as one, under stress. It is our role to take the time to be there for them, to help them accomplish this, even if they are just coming in for gallbladder surgery.
I highly recommend this book; mine is a dogeared, coffee stained keeper. I can see mindfulness traditions paving the way for new patient interventions with more positive outcomes. We have a void out there that needs to be filled, in meeting our patients' needs. This may just be it, but it takes a lot of dedication on the part of the practitioner to develop the necessary skills! This is potentially the biggest drawback, as many may just not be able to connect with this challenging, lifelong process.