Learning and Applying Mindfulness to Relational Client Systems: A Phenomenological Analysis of CMFT Students’ Experiences in a Mindfulness Course

Jared M. Hawkins, Douglas P. McPhee, Carissa D’Aniello, Derek Holyoak, Danielle Lauricella, Greg Hall, Clover Noel, Lorena Posadas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The benefits of mindfulness have been well established in mental health research, and many couple, marriage, and family therapists (CMFTs) incorporate mindfulness techniques into clinical practice. Despite its widespread use, there is a dearth of literature examining CMFTs’ experiences with mindfulness education within the MFT field. Using a participatory research design, our study analyzed 35 journal entries of seven CMFT graduate students (N = 7) enrolled in a 5 week, summer mindfulness course within a COAMFTE-accredited program. Data were analyzed using the immersion/crystallization phenomenological technique. Findings illuminated 12 themes, all relating to CMFTs’ experiences of learning and applying mindfulness techniques in clinical practice. These themes were grouped within three categories that corresponded with our research questions (Role of the Mindfulness Class, Personal Mindfulness Experience, and Application of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice). Clinical and training implications for CMFTs are discussed throughout.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-393
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Keywords

  • Clinical training
  • Couple, marriage, and family therapy
  • Mindfulness

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