The Use of Mindfulness in Psychotherapy

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The Use of Mindfulness in Psychotherapy

by Gregory J. Johanson, Ph.D., DAPA, FAAIM, LPC

Hakomi Educational Resources

Submitted for possible publication to the

Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association
January 2006
Key words: mindfulness, psychotherapy, clinical applications, Buddhism-therapy dialogue

Explores the possible uses of mindfulness in therapeutic processes that have engaged psychotherapists since at least the post-WWII period when interest in Buddhism arose, (Fromm, Suzuki, and DeMartino, 1960). Examines the spectrum of usage from considering mindfulness as another way of conceptualizing the phenomenon of the observing ego, to suggesting mindfulness training as an adjunct to therapy for the client and/or therapist, to including it as an essential aspect of a therapeutic protocol, to using it as the main therapeutic tool throughout a therapy session. Notes that the use of mindfulness is growing in clinical settings, and an increasingly substantial bibliography on mindfulness and therapy is developing. Begins with some classic Buddhist perspectives on mindfulness, and then examines how it has increasingly found its way into contemporary psychotherapeutic practice in a number of areas. Examples of possible clinical applications are interwoven with theoretical perspectives.

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