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Title: The antidote to burn-out The experience of MBSR as a form of self care for mental health counselors in Greece
Other Titles: The experience of MBSR as self-care
Authors: Versteeg, Stella Jacqueline
Keywords: Mindfulness
Mental health counselors
Issue Date: Jan-2023
Abstract: Mindfulness practice is focused on a heightened state of awareness, and it involves the observation of one’s thoughts and sensations without judgment. Prior research has demonstrated the positive outcomes of mindfulness including the cultivation of attentional skills, empathy and self-compassion, building emotional resilience, and disengaging from emotional reactivity. Built on these qualities, the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program was created as a short-term implementation of mindfulness skills. Research has exhibited findings that point to the MBSR as an effective intervention for mental health professionals to reduce stress, enhance self-awareness, and increase well-being. Limitations of past research include a lack of diversity in study populations, heterogeneous mindfulness measures, and a lack of long-term outcomes. The present study aims to answer the question, ‘how is the experience of MBSR as a form of self-care for mental health counselors in Greece’? Three mental health professionals with prior experience of MBSR were recruited and semi-structured interviews were conducted. Ethical considerations were fulfilled, and interviews were analyzed according to IPA methodology to comprehend the participants’ experiences. The following themes are presented: (I) burn-out: more than an occupational phenomenon, (II) an antidote: positive outcomes of the MBSR, and (III) the reality of a continued practice: mindfulness post-MBSR. Mindfulness was described as an impactful form of self-care, with positive outcomes in professional and personal presence. Obstacles and intentions for a continued practice are shared and the emerging themes are discussed in relation to prior literature. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are deliberated.
Appears in Collections:Program in Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy

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