Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 312–320 | Cite as

Agility in Adversity: Integrating Mindfulness and Principles of Adaptive Leadership in the Administration of a Community Mental Health Center

  • Ann Fisher Raney
Original Paper


The combination of mindfulness and adaptive leadership principles is a means by which a community mental health center has achieved program innovation and financial stability in an environment of decreased public funding. Mindfulness is present-oriented and reflective, is willing to cultivate uncertainty, and approaches operational and client care practices from a non-judgmental frame of mind. In addition, adaptive leadership, an approach developed by Ronald Heifetz and associates, considers crises to be opportunities and offers a set of guiding principles that help to direct the organization’s resilience while building mutual trust and creativity among administration, staff, and community. The case study focuses on how one community mental health center cultivates organizational agility in adversity, using mindfulness and adaptive leadership to guide the provision of resources for all stakeholders. As a result, staff members practice self-care at work, feel included in all administrative decisions, and participate in developing new and cost effective ways to serve the increasing needs of low-income clients in the midst of decreased funding. The relationship between administrators and clinicians is critical in creating a successful environment for serving clients.


Mindfulness Adaptive leadership Self-care Stress Community mental health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Turning Point Behavioral Health Care CenterSkokieUSA

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