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Journal of Mental Health Counseling
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Volume 34, Number 3, July 2012

1. Mindfulness and Mastery in Counseling: Introduction to the Special Issue (Pages 189-196)

Richard F. Ponton

This introduction to the special issue on mindfulness integrates concepts of mindfulness with the counselor development literature. Discussing the elements of mindfulness, especially the choice to attend to the experience of the present moment with nonjudgmental acceptance, it outlines how mindfulness skills can be applied to the practice of counseling and how the mental health counselor develops from novice to expert.
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2. Loving-Kindness Mediation and Counseling (Pages 197-205)

Monica Leppma

Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a type of mindfulness-based meditation that emphasizes caring and connection vnth others. LKM incorporates nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, which enhances attention, presence, acceptance, and self-regulation; it also entails directing caring feelings toward oneself and then others and emphasizes both self-care and interconnectedness. Thus, LKM is suitable for helping clients forge healthy connections with themselves and others. This article examines the use and implications of LKM in counseling.
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3. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Part of the "Third Wave" in the Behavioral Tradition (Pages 205-212)

Joseph M. Springer

As described by Hayes, Strosahl, and Wilson (1999), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
(ACT) is one of several methods for integrating mindfulness concepts into mental health treatment Unlike many counseling approaches, ACT does not assume that the goal of treatment is to better control thoughts, feelings, or other private events. Individuals are taught to notice phenomena and take a nonjudgmental stance toward them rather than trying to control, avoid, or otherwise minimize them. Although relatively netv, ACT has increasing support for its effectiveness in addressing a variety of problems (Pull, 2009). This article addresses the theoretical foundation and basic principles of ACT, reviews the research, presents a case study to illustrate how it can be applied, and discusses the counseling implications.
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4. Teaching Mindfulness to Create Effective Counselors (Pages 213-226)

Jennifer Chrisman Campbell and John Chambers Christopher

Over the last decade a number of researchers have proposed that therapeutic presence can be fostered through training in mindfulness practices. Most counseling training programs focus on teaching students a set of skills, although the common or contextual factors movement contends that the quality of the therapeutic relationship and the personal characteristics of the therapist are the key determinants of positive therapy outcomes. For the past 10 years we have been teaching mindfulness practices to counseling students in a CACREP-accredited program. Our research suggests that training in practices like mindfulness meditation, yoga, qigong, and bodyawareness can help counselors to realize and embody the personal characteristics that foster therapeutic presence. This article provides a detailed description of our mindfulness-based course, proposes recommendations for counseling coursework in mindfulness, and discusses the impact of the course on the ability to cultivate therapeutic presence.
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5. Mindfulness Competencies for Counselors and Psychotherapists
(Pages 227-239)

Mark D. Stauffer and Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson

This article examines the results of a survey about mindfulness competencies in the area of counseling and psychotherapy; it specifically addresses competencies needed for training clients in the use of mindfulness methods. The stiidy investigated whether experts on mindfulness (N = 52) agreed with a proposed set of 16 competency statements. It also asked about recommended levels of personal mindfulness practice for those new to the specialty. In general, participants agreed on the proposed 16 competencies. Here we offer recommendations about mindfulness practice for counselor preparation, cultural competency, continuing education, and clinical applications, and surest questions for future research.
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6. Strong Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness and Character Strengths (Pages 240-253)

Ryan M. Niemiec, Tayyab Rashid and Marcello Spinella

This article explores the integration of mindfulness meditation and character strengths. Beyond simply focusing attention, mindfulness involves the cultivation of attention infused by an unconditional friendliness and interest Universally valued character strengths (Peterson ó Seligman, 2004) are useful cotistructs for such an infusion. Most mindfulness approaches and programs deal with managing a problem or psychological disorder; far less discussion, empirical work, and scholarly papers have addressed mindfulness from a positive psychology perspective that explicitly attempts to increase what is good. We review research and practice considerations for such an integration and discuss how character strengths enhance mindfulness (i.e.. Strong Mindfulness) by dealing with barriers to mindfulness practice and augmenting mindful living in walking, driving, consuming, speaking, and listening.
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7. The Use of Mindfulness in Trauma Counseling (Pages 254-268)

Rachael D. Goodman and Angela M. Calderon

Although there is increasing support for the use of mindfulness-based interventions in counseling, there has been little discussion of its use in trauma counseling. We explore the use of mindfulness interventions within trauma counseling, with particular attention to how mindfulness can address the neuropsychological aspects of trauma. A case example explicates the application of mindfulness in trauma counseling. Implications for counseling practice and counselor training and recommendations for future research are discussed.
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8. Mindfulness Based Approaches to Obesity and Weight Loss Maintenance (Pages 269-282)

Karen L. Caldwell, Michael J. Baime and Ruth Q. Wolever

Counselors may encounter clients who wish to make such lifestyle changes as healthy eating and weight management. Mindfulness, defined here as the practice of nonjudgmentally attending to the present moment while monitoring reactivity, has been adapted for use in treating many self-regulation disorders; mindfulness-based eating approaches support intuitive or attuned eating, an approach to weight management that helps individuals recognize internal cues in support of enhanced self-regulation. One program for developing mindfulness skills in individuals who want to maintain weight loss is the Enhancing Mindfulness for the Prevention of Weight Regain (EMPOWER) Program. Participants report changes in eating behavior, thinking patterns, emotional reactions, and physical activity and increased acceptance of personal responsibility for making choices, planning, asserting needs, and accomplishing personal goals. The article reviews key mindfulness skills for clinical practice.
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