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24-03-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2020

Mindfulness 2/2020

(How) Do Therapists Use Mindfulness in Their Clinical Work? A Study on the Implementation of Mindfulness Interventions

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2020
Johannes Michalak, Kira Steinhaus, Thomas Heidenreich


Mindfulness-based and mindfulness-informed programs such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), or dialectic behavior therapy (DBT) have gained widespread attention over the past few decades. One way of bringing mindfulness programs into clinical practice is via a planned implementation process where empirically validated interventions are disseminated and implemented on a large scale. However, besides this planned process, it can be observed that mindfulness has diffused into current society as well as into psychotherapy practice in an unsystematic way. To date, however, little is known about the proliferation of mindfulness in clinical practice. We investigated a randomly drawn sample of German psychological psychotherapists with regard to their use of mindfulness in clinical practice using a web survey. Additionally, the psychotherapists’ personal mindfulness practice was assessed. The overwhelming majority (82%) of psychotherapists reported using mindfulness practices at least sometimes with their patients. Programs such as MBSR and MBCT are rarely applied. Rather, therapists use individual mindfulness practices in an eclectic way. Our results show that in addition to investigating the implementation of empirically underpinned mindfulness-based programs, mindfulness researchers should also investigate the ways in which mindfulness-based practices have diffused into clinical work with individuals. Guidelines on best practice for this work will support the future integrity of mindfulness programs.

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