Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 312–320

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

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mindfulness Adaptive leadership Self-care Stress Community mental health 

References

  1. Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2005). Resonant leadership: Renewing yourself and connecting with others through mindfulness, hope, and compassion. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  2. Breshears, E. M., & Volker, R. D. (2012). Facilitative leadership in social work practice. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Coltart, N. (1992). Slouching towards Bethlehem or thinking the unthinkable in psychoanalysis. In N. Coltart (Ed.), Slouching towards Bethlehem (pp. 1-14). New York, NY: Guilford Press. Google Scholar
  4. De Hert, M., Correll, C. U., Bobes, J., Cetkovich-Bakmas, M., Cohen, D., Asai, I., Leucht, S. (2011). Physical illness in patients with severe mental disorders. I. Prevalence, impact of medications and disparities in health care. World Psychiatry, 10(1), 52–77. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048500/.
  5. Del Vecchio, P. (2012, March 23). SAMHSA’s working definition of recovery updated [Web blog message]. SAMHSA Blog. Retrieved from http://blog.samhsa.gov/2012/03/23/defintion-of-recovery-updated/.
  6. Frankl, V. E. (2006). Man’s search for meaning, with a new foreword by Harold S. Kushner. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. (Original work published 1946).Google Scholar
  7. Goodman, L. A., Pugach, M., Skolnik, A., & Smith, L. (2013). Poverty and mental health practice: Within and beyond the 50-minute hour. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 182–190. doi:10.1002/jclp.21957.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Heifetz, R. A. (1994). Leadership without easy answers. Boston, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Heifetz, R., & Laurie, D. (2001). The work of leadership. In Harvard. Business (Ed.), Review on breakthrough leadership. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing Press.Google Scholar
  10. Heifetz, R. A., & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  11. Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009a). Leadership in a (permanent) crisis. Harvard Business Review, 87(7–8), 62–69.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009b). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hodgkin, D., & Karpman, H. E. (2010). Economic crises and public spending on mental health care. International Journal of Mental Health, 39(2), 91–106. doi:10.2753/IMH0020-7411390205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156. doi:10.1093/clipsy/bpg016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kaufman, E. A., McDonell, M. G., Cristafalo, M. A., & Ries, R. A. (2012). Exploring barriers to primary care for patients with severe mental illness: Frontline patient and provider accounts. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 33(3), 172–180. doi:10.3109/01612840.2011.638415.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2009). Immunity to change: How to overcome it and unlock the potential in yourself and your organization. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  17. McGarrigle, T., & Walsh, C. A. (2011). Mindfulness, self-care, and wellness in social work: effects of contemplative training. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 30(3), 212–233. doi:10.1080/15426432.2011.587384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. National Association of Social Workers & Center for Health Workforce Studies. (2006). Licensed social workers in behavioral health, 2004. Chapter 1 of 7: Overview. Rensselaer, NY: Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, University at Albany. Retrieved from http://workforce.socialworkers.org/studies/behavioral/behavioral_chap1.pdf.
  19. Nouwen, H. J. M. (1986). Reaching out to our fellow human beings. In H. J. M Nouwen (Ed.), Reaching out: The three movements of the spiritual life (pp. 65–109). New York, NY: Image Books/Doubleday.Google Scholar
  20. Parks, S. D. (2005). Leadership can be taught: A bold approach for a complex world. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  21. Santiago, C. D., Kaltman, S., & Miranda, J. (2013). Poverty and mental health: How do low-income adults and children fare in psychotherapy? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 115–126. doi:10.1002/jclp.21951.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Winnicott, D. W. (1965). Maturational processes and the facilitating environment: Studies in the theory of emotional development. London, UK: Hogarth Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Turning Point Behavioral Health Care CenterSkokieUSA

Personalised recommendations