, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 650–656 | Cite as

Therapeutic Presence and Mindfulness: Mediating Role of Self-Compassion and Psychological Distress among Psychologists

  • Maxime BourgaultEmail author
  • Frédérick Dionne


Therapeutic presence refers to the capacity to bring one’s whole self into encounters with clients by being present on multiple levels: physically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually. It has been suggested that mindfulness influences therapeutic presence in various ways, for example through the fostering of self-compassion or through the reduction of anxiety and depression symptoms in the psychologist. The main objective of this research is to examine the mediating roles of self-compassion and psychological distress in the relationship between mindfulness and therapeutic presence. Questionnaires were administered online to a sample of 178 French-Canadian psychologists. Results show that mindfulness is significantly correlated with self-compassion (r = 0.72) and psychological distress (r = − 0.41), while therapeutic presence is positively correlated with self-compassion (r = 0.54) and negatively correlated with psychological distress (r = − 0.41). Therapeutic presence is significantly correlated to all facets of mindfulness. In the mediation model, the self-compassion pathway indicates the indirect effect of self-compassion (b = 0.184), with a 95% confidence interval (CI = 0.040 to 0.336). The psychological distress pathway shows the indirect effect of psychological distress (b = 0.074), with a 95% confidence interval (CI = 0.004 to 0.163). These results support the mediation model with significant indirect effects. The results also support the link between mindfulness and therapeutic presence in psychotherapists, and offer a better understanding of the ways in which therapeutic presence and mindfulness interact. Avenues for future research are discussed.


Mindfulness Psychotherapist Therapeutic presence Mediation Self-compassion Psychological distress 


Author’s Contribution

MB: Designed and executed the study, conducted data analyses and wrote the paper. FD: Collaborated in recruiting, design, writing, and editing the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

Funding Information

This study is financially supported by the Fonds d’animation et de diffusion de la recherche from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with and received the approval of the Ethical Committee of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada

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