By Cheryl L. Fulton
Mindfulness has garnered interest as a counselor development tool for enhancing the therapeutic relationship and increasing counselor trainee effectiveness, yet empirical study of counselor mindfulness is limited. A study of the relationship between mindfulness and client perceived empathy among 55 client-counselor trainee dyads is reported. The relationships between counselor trainee mindfulness, self-compassion and ambiguity tolerance, experiential avoidance, and session depth were also examined in this exploratory study. Counselor trainee mindfulness was associated with client perceived empathy and both mindfulness and self-compassion were associated with lower experiential avoidance and greater session depth as rated by the counselor trainee. Self compassion was positively related to tolerance for ambiguity. Implications for counselors, educators, and supervisors and suggestions for practical application of mindfulness for counselor development are discussed.