Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mindfulness (Psychology), Counselors-Psychology, Grief therapy-Psychological aspects, Qualitative research, Mindfulness, Hospice bereavement counselors


This exploratory study was conducted to examine the perceptions of hospice bereavement counselors' and how mindfulness practices impact their work with bereaved clients. Additionally, this study looked at the self-defined practices of participants and collected rich narratives of their personal and professional experiences with mindfulness. Using interviews with hospice bereavement counselors, this investigation found that all of the 10 participants described that mindfulness provided them with enhanced awareness through the use of self-nurturing rituals. These exercises helped all participants in three areas: to quiet the mind, improve physical awareness, and to serve as inspiration in their work. The study concluded that mindfulness strengthens hospice bereavement counselors personally and in turn enhances their professional work with the bereaved. In addition, mindfulness practices were reported to improve emotional regulation both for counselors and their clients. Over half of participants also stated that mindfulness has allowed them to be in the present moment of now, when asked about their sense of time. Therefore, this study suggests the potential for further research on the impact of mindfulness for bereavement work, hospice care, and for social workers from other fields to utilize mindfulness as a method to improve the personal and professional experience of counseling work.




iii, 61 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 53-55)