Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Psychotherapists-Psychology, Meditation-Therapeutic use, Dialectical behavior therapy, Mindfulness, Meditation, Therapists


The majority of mindfulness research conducted over the past two decades has examined client improvements and far fewer studies have connected the benefits of meditation and mindfulness to skills and well-being of psychotherapists. In this exploratory study, I examined how therapists who practice Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) experience a personal meditation and mindfulness practice. The goal was to explore DBT therapists' attitudes and perceptions regarding potential benefits of meditation and mindfulness, changes over time in meditation and mindfulness, and best avenues to acquire as well as maintain meditation and mindfulness skills. I drew from theories of classical Buddhism, contemporary mindfulness theories from western psychology, as well as findings from neuroscience. In their narratives, therapists emphasized numerous benefits derived from a personal meditation and mindfulness practice. Most importantly, therapists regarded a meditation practice as essential for personal well-being, professional effectiveness, and burnout prevention. The findings of my study may encourage clinical programs around the nation to systematically train psychotherapists in meditation and mindfulness practices.




iii, 95 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-83)