Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, Post-traumatic stress disorder-Treatment, Veterans-Mental health, Mindfulness, Clinician perspectives, PTSD treatment, Alternative therapies, Psychotherapists-Attitudes


The purpose of this research study was to explore clinicians' perspectives on using mindfulness practices with veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other stress-related problems. While applying mindfulness techniques in clinical settings is not new to mental health fields, researchers have yet to agree on an explicit definition of mindfulness, and amid growing support for its efficacy, it remains to be categorized as evidence based practice for PTSD. Due to the high need for more widely available treatment interventions for veterans with PTSD, researchers are exploring the potential for mindfulness to be broadly applicable among populations seeking PTSD treatment. This exploratory study employed qualitative research methods to interview fourteen clinicians within the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System. The sample included licensed clinical social workers and clinical psychologists. Qualitative analysis indicated that mindfulness is seen and experienced as a helpful stand-alone intervention and also an adjunct to exposure therapies and clinical work in general. Naturally emerging themes in the interviews included discussion of the overarching impact mindfulness practices have had on participants' personal and professional lives, barriers that exist within the VA in some part due to large scale differences between VA and military culture and the culture of mindfulness. The study also generated discussion of opportunities for further use of mindfulness for veterans and clinicians with attention to the extent that mindfulness was already used. Limitations to the study were considered and questions for further inquiry stated.




iii, 118 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 104-110)