Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Family Therapy

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Anne Rambo

Committee Member

Ronald J Chenail

Committee Member

Christine A. Beliard

Abstract

This research study was designed to record and consider lived experiences from marriage and family therapists (MFTs) who have experience with mindfulness as a form of selfcare in sustaining productive professional practices. The primary focus of this project was to understand, through interviews, reports from marriage and family therapists about how they utilize such mindfulness as a form of self-care for their professional practice. This research study has sought insight into whether mindfulness self-care could be helpful in maintaining effective resiliency in professional practice. I used a phenomenological approach, specifically Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) interviewing, to gather reports from participants who identify with practicing mindfulness self-care. This study inquired, among various indicators, about whether or not, in their experience, a select group of family therapists’ professional practice is different, and in what way, when they use mindfulness self-care. This research study has elicited lived experience accounts in interviews to inquire whether these accounts can suggest any benefits, personal or professional, from strategies of mindfulness self-care. In addition to statements that specify benefits these family therapists found for themselves, such as enhanced gratitude for the unique positive qualities in their personal lives, they also indicated a circular benefit in that they were able to better handle the stressors of professional practice and even teach the mindfulness self-care practices that worked for themselves to their clients. These benefits of mindfulness self-care in their professional practice further enhanced their understanding that mindfulness self-care helped fulfill them in their personal lives

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