A brief report Meg wrote for her publishers (Sage) on the thinking behind her forthcoming book on mindful counselling and therapy:
Mindfulness has become a major buzz-word in recent years, filtering into domains including eduction, the workplace, and the criminal justice system. Its prevalence in psychology and psychotherapy is such that it would be impossible to keep up with all of the publications in this area (over 40 per month).
Mindfulness is a form of wakeful attention. Buddhists practice meditation in order to cultivate this way of being in their lives. When we approach things mindfully we see more clearly that our struggles are rooted in grasping hold of the things we want, and trying to eradicate the things we don’t. Some have argued that the reason mindfulness has become so popular in the west of late is because our consumer culture has exacerbated this tendency to crave fulfilment and to avoid any unpleasant experiences. The radical message of Buddhism is that we need to face the inevitable suffering in life rather than trying to escape from it.
Most of the writing on mindfulness in counselling and psychotherapy has come from the cognitive-behavioural approach. Continue reading