Mindfulness Self-Care Practices for Counsellors: A Discussion of the Literature and Development of a Training Program
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Self-care practices are a vital component of professional development for counsellors. Self-care practices can be seen as career-sustaining personal maintenance skills. Without effective self-care strategies, counsellors are at increased risk for burnout. Additionally, counsellors who do not practice adequate self-care may be risking the well-being of their clients. Mindfulness practices have been shown to increase self-awareness and self-regulation, which are the two most important aspects of self-care. Because of this, mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga are an effective means of counsellor self-care. Unfortunately, self-care practices are seldom specifically addressed in the curricula of counsellor-training programs. This research has led to this author’s development of a mindfulness-based self-care training program for the counsellors at Citizens’ Counselling Centre in Victoria, British Columbia. It is this author’s hope that the program will be made available to others in the future as well.