The Meaning of Mindfulness Practice for Therapists' Therapeutic Presence
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This study elucidates the parallels between Rogers concept of the core conditions, that he felt needed to be present in order for psychotherapy to be therapeutic, and the process of mindfulness that occurs when therapists practice this type of meditation outside of the therapeutic setting. This inquiry was executed utilizing a phenomenological approach in order to extract the meaning(s) that therapists give to their meditation practices within their therapeutic relationships. Key findings are that mindfulness is experienced as a process by the research participants and that mindfulness serves as a way of bringing about Rogerian core conditions of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. Further meanings were found in the participants’ descriptions of mindfulness and included remembering, discriminating awareness, friendly curiosity, wisdom and loving kindness. This study provides pilot data and validity checks for a larger scope of inquiry into the sources of therapeutic presence. Discussion emphasizes the need for further inquiry into the effects of therapist’s personal inner work on their ability to be therapeutically present. The process of mindfulness is discussed as a way of being present with self and other that parallels the work of Freud and Rogers.