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Becoming mindfully mindful : counselling psychologists' use of mindfulness in their private lives and clinical practice

Mitha, F. (2018). Becoming mindfully mindful : counselling psychologists' use of mindfulness in their private lives and clinical practice. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Mindfulness has received growing interest. However, much of the research around the use and efficacy of mindfulness has been of a quantitative nature, which does not allow for a deep understanding of people’s experiences of it. Despite the growing popularity of mindfulness practices among clinicians, research documenting the experience of psychologists using or delivering mindfulness interventions has been limited, with only a handful of studies looking at counselling psychologists. However, the client-centred ethos underpinning counselling psychology aligns itself particularly well with the values of mindfulness. This study aims to add to the literature by exploring the lived experience of counselling psychologists who use mindfulness in their personal lives and professional practice. It focuses on novice mindfulness practitioners, those who use mindfulness but do not self-identify as skilled mindfulness practitioners and have received no formal training in the area, a group which has so far received little attention.

Semi-structured interviews were used to explore six-counselling psychologists’ experience of mindfulness, both in their private lives and clinical practice. The research took the form of a qualitative, idiographic inquiry. Data analysis was conducted using interpretive phenomenological analysis. The results of this analysis denote my interpretation, of the participants interpretation, of their own lived experience. The results highlighted four superordinate themes: ‘the Buddha pill’, ‘therapists’ engagement with mindfulness’, ‘emotive responses’ and ‘doing versus being’.

The research findings are considered in relation to the wider literature and links drawn. Implications for further research and clinical practice are outlined. It is hoped that the study will encourage counselling psychologists to reflect on their use of mindfulness in their practice and everyday lives.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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