Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Breathing exercises-Therapeutic use, Psychotherapy-Differential therapeutics, Breathing, Psychotherapy, Conscious breathing, Social work, Complimentary and alternative medicine, Eastern medicine


The purpose of this study was to explore how clinicians integrate conscious breathing into their practice as psychotherapists. Sixteen therapists practicing in the San Francisco Area were interviewed for this qualitative study. Participants provided rich data in terms of how they conceptualize and utilize conscious breathing techniques, as well as how they think about the place of conscious breathing within traditional "talk" therapy settings. The findings augment existing research on the topic, and provide support for the notion that conscious breathing can be used as a therapeutic technique to advance such goals as mutual regulation, emotional attunement, a sense of "holding," increased mindbody awareness, and mindfulness. The findings of this study also show that if therapists are willing to consider different paradigms of healing, they can expand their clinical repertoire in ways that are of use to a variety of clients with a range of presenting problems. In this paper, the relevant research is reviewed, the study methodology is described, and the findings are analyzed. The author also makes suggestions for clinical practice, as well as for future research.




iii, 95 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-88)