Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Meditation-Therapeutic use, Psychotherapists-Psychology, Mindfulness (Psychology), Qualitative research, Mindfulness, Meditation, Therapeutic presence


The purpose of this exploratory study was to gain a deeper understanding of how clinicians' daily mindfulness meditation practice influences the cultivation of therapeutic presence within the relational space of the therapeutic encounter. The study used semistructured, in-person, and Skype video interviews with 11 clinical social workers with a daily mindfulness meditation practice to gather qualitative data and their reflections on the dynamic interplay between mindfulness meditation and preparing the ground for presence, the process of presence and the experience of in-session therapeutic presence. The findings indicate that all of the clinicians experienced a positive direction of association between daily mindfulness meditation and the cultivation of in-session therapeutic presence. In particular, many of the clinicians described an increased ability to remain grounded, attentive, as well as cognitively and affectively more flexible when confronted with strong client affect, given the influence of their daily mindfulness meditation practice. The intent of this study is to raise awareness of the gap in professional training and graduate social work curricula clinicians are receiving in terms of mindfulness meditation, and to highlight the usefulness of daily mindfulness meditation as a clinical tool for cultivating the clinically useful skill of therapeutic presence.




ii, 83 pages : color illustration. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 69-74)