Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Lance T. Peterson

Abstract

Mindfulness has been proposed as a potentially important new approach for the treatment of anxiety and has been increasingly used in clinical practice. However, to date no studies have researched the approaches that clinicians use in practice with anxiety. The goal of this study was to qualitatively investigate these approaches for anxiety using interviews with therapists on the ways they incorporate mindfulness in their approach with clients with anxiety. Six therapists outside of the formal approaches of mindfulness were interviewed. The interviews were semi-structured and questions were asked about their use of mindfulness in practice with anxiety. The interviews were then transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory. The themes that were found in the data were: teaching awareness of self and anxiety, teaching openness and acceptance of anxiety, use of mindfulness exercises, taking mindfulness into everyday life, use of mindfulness in practice as an art, and introduction to mindfulness. The concrete discussion of mindfulness by research participants allows for practitioners to have specific examples of how mindfulness can be incorporated into practice.

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