The Clinician as Neuroarchitect: The Importance of Mindfulness and Presence in Clinical Practice
- 2.4k Downloads
Interpersonal neurobiology provides a framework from which to examine the incorporation of mindsight and mindfulness into clinical practice, employing the brain’s capacity for neuroplasticity to move oneself and one’s clients toward greater well-being. Through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology, this article will examine the benefits of mindfulness for clinicians, clients, and the therapeutic relationship. Lasting changes associated with mindfulness practices, including the hypothesized potential to alter one’s previously insecure attachment patterns, will also be discussed. An explanation of how to cultivate mindfulness by starting with presence and sustaining the practice with compassion will then be presented. Finally, practices that cultivate growth within the therapist–client relationship will be explained, along with clinical applications and recent research demonstrating the neural correlates of these practices and how they are effective at the level of the brain itself.
KeywordsInterpersonal neurobiology Mindsight Mindfulness Presence
- Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Christopher, J. C., Chrisman, J. A., Trotter-Mathison, M. J., Schure, M. B., Dahlen, P., & Christopher, S. B. (2011). Perceptions of the long-term influence of mindfulness training on counselors and psychotherapists a qualitative inquiry. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51(3), 318–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Condon, P., Desbordes, G., Miller, W., DeSteno, D., Hospital, M. G., & DeSteno, D. (2013). Meditation increases compassionate responses to suffering. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2125–2127.Google Scholar
- Craig, A. D. (2008). Interoception and emotion: A neuroanatomical perspective. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. F. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 272–292). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Davidson, R. J., & Begley, S. (2012). The emotional life of your brain: How its unique patterns affect the way you think, feel and live—and how you can change them. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
- DiNoble, A. (2009). Examining the relationship between adult attachment style and mindfulness traits. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, California Graduate Institute of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.Google Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Germer, C. K. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Greater Good Science Center. (2013). How to cultivate compassion? Retrieved from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/compassion/definition.
- Grepmair, L., Mitterlehner, F., Loew, T., Bachler, E., Rother, W., & Nickel, M. (2007). Promoting mindfulness in psychotherapists in training influences the treatment results of their patients: A randomized, double-blind, controlled study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 76(6), 332–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Iacoboni, M. (2007). Face to face: The neural basis of social mirroring and empathy. Psychiatric Annals, 37(4), 236–241.Google Scholar
- Krasner, M., Epstein, R., Beckman, H., Suchman, A., Chapman, B., Mooney, C., et al. (2009). Association of an educational program in mindful communication with burnout, empathy, and attitudes among primary care physicians. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(12), 1284–1293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Neff, K. (2011). Self-compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. New York: HarperCollins e-books.Google Scholar
- Neff, K. D. (2012). The science of self-compassion. In C. Germer & R. Siegel (Eds.), Compassion and wisdom in psychotherapy (pp. 79–92). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Nelson, B. W., Parker, S. C., & Siegel, D. J. (2013). Interpersonal neurobiology, mindsight, and the triangle of well-being: The mind, relationships & the brain. In E. Tronick, B. Perry, & K. Brandt (Eds.), Infant & early childhood mental health (pp. 129–144). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.Google Scholar
- Parker, S. C, Nelson, B. W., Epel E., Siegel, D. J. (in press). The science of presence: A central mediator of the interpersonal benefits of mindfulness. In K. W. Brown, J. D. Creswell, & R. M. Ryan (Eds.), Handbook of mindfulness: Theory and research. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Salzberg, S. (2004). Lovingkindness: The revolutionary art of happiness. Boston, MA: Shambhala.Google Scholar
- Santorelli, S. F., & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction professional training resource manual: Integrating mindfulness meditation into medicine and health care. Worcester: University of Massachusetts Medical School.Google Scholar
- Shapiro, S. (2013). Does mindfulness make you more compassionate? Retrieved from http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/does_mindfulness_make_you_compassionate.
- Siegel, D. J. (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. J. (2010a). The mindful therapist: A clinician’s guide to mindsight and neural integration. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. J. (2010b). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. J. (2012a). The developing mind, second edition: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. J. (2012b). Pocket guide to interpersonal neurobiology: An integrative handbook of the mind. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Siegel, D. J., & Hartzell, M. (2003). Parenting from the inside out: How a deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive. New York: Tarcher.Google Scholar
- Sroufe, L. A., Egeland, B., Carlson, E., & Collins, W. A. (2005). Placing early attachment experiences in developmental context: The Minnesota longitudinal study. In K. E. Grossmann, K. Grossmann, & E. Waters (Eds.), Attachment from infancy to adulthood: The major longitudinal studies (pp. 48–70). New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
- Sroufe, L. A. & Siegel, D. J. (2011). The verdict is in: The case for attachment theory. Psychotherapy Networker, March–April.Google Scholar
- Standen, A. (2012). Through meditation, veterans relearn compassion. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2012/11/21/165667696/through-meditation-veterans-relearn-compassion.