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The current study explored the potential benefits of clinician mindfulness within the therapeutic relationship by investigating the mediating effects of self-reported empathy on the relationship between mindfulness and clinician-reported therapeutic alliance. This study sampled from licensed clinicians though professional psychology list serves (n = 96; 89% doctoral level psychologists) actively working in a clinician’s role. Participants completed an online survey battery assessing trait mindfulness, clinician empathy, and therapeutic alliance. A mediation model correlational analysis utilizing PROCESS bootstrapping analysis software macro was used. It was found that personal distress empathy partially mediated the relationship between clinician mindfulness and therapeutic alliance. Results indicated that clinicians who reported higher amounts of mindfulness are less likely to experience negative emotions when their clients experience negative emotions, thus potentially reducing the likelihood of experiencing emotional contagion, which in turn is related to higher levels of perceived therapeutic alliance. The findings of this study, if confirmed in future ecological research, may indicate that mindfulness may serve as a protective factor of experiencing client’s negative emotions, thus facilitating therapeutic alliance and effectiveness.
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- The Relationships among Clinician Self-Report of Empathy, Mindfulness, and Therapeutic Alliance
Hugh D. Leonard
Vivian M. Gonzalez
- Springer US