Synopses & Reviews
Welcome and much-needed addition to the literature for psychotherapists, therapists-in-training, and occupational therapists and other types of teachers. Mindful Therap
y offers to them ways to bring the teachings of Buddhism into a psychotherapeutic practice - and a thorough explanation of the benefits of doing so. The book will be of value to therapists of every variety, in the way that Medicine and Compassion
, while molded for caregivers in general, was applauded by medical journals.
Author Tom Bien offers an energizing an expansive perspective. Grounded in his understanding of Buddhist teachings, his book suggests a model of integration of particular value to beginning therapists or those still in training, offering ways in which the therapist can mindfully care for themselves amid the challenges of their practice. Tools useful to clients, as well, are discussed.
Bien sees therapists as practicing in the ancient traditions of various healers of spirit, whose greatest skill and gift to others is, above all, the mindful presence.
Mindful Therapy is comprised of a useful, highly-readable balance of theoretical groundwork, personal experience, case studies, and practice exercises.
"This book is particularly for and about therapists, pastors, and counselors-those who seek to alleviate mental and emotional suffering. Replete with stories and metaphors, it is less about how to do therapy than about the process of being a healer. Mindful Therapy is complementary, not contradictory to scientific psychology, manifesting compassion, love and wisdom as an antidote to the mindless application of therapy techniques. Furthermore, though writing in the language of psychotherapy, Dr. Bien has a pastor's heart. The essence of this book is not in reading, but in doing and being what it contains."
"For both therapists and clients, this clear and engaging book makes the Buddha's teachings, and the practices of mindfulness and compassion, directly applicable and relevant to psychotherapy."
"The practice of mindfulness meditation is receiving increased attention among therapists who are interested in integrating a spiritual approach in their work with a wide diversity of clinical problems. I highly recommend Dr. Thomas Bien's most recent book on this topic. Mindful Therapy is unique in that it offers instruction in mindfulness for both the therapist's own balanced lifestyle as well as teaching how to apply this approach with clients. Case studies are presented throughout the text to illustrate the use of mindfulness practice in therapy."
"In an accessible and simple-yet very powerful-way, Tom Bien shows us how practicing compassion, openness, and genuine presence, both in the therapy room and throughout our day, can enhance our therapy and deepen our connection to our lives, our work, and our clients. Mindful Therapy focuses less on what we do than on how we do it-and so this book is an excellent supplement for therapists whose practice is based in a wide range of theoretical orientations, and for people both new to therapy and in practice a long time. There are reminders here beneficial to all of us."
"In Mindful Therapy, clinical psychologist Thomas Bien presents a clear approach to psychotherapy with an exquisite singleness of purpose: to help put an end to suffering. Using the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path as a template for therapeutic interventions, Bien provides clear examples to help guide practitioners through the many complex issues that today's clients present. Mindful Therapy is an elegant guide for both novice and veteran therapists alike."
"This is a gem of a book. While many books in recent years have explored the interface of mindfulness practice and psychotherapy, this book is unique in its emphasis on the importance of mindfulness practice for psychotherapists. In a skillful fashion, Bien reminds us that all disease, both physical and psychological, is at least in part a spiritual problem, and that therapists are both teachers and healers. We cannot heal our patients unless we ourselves are on the path of self-healing, and this book provides us with an invaluable orientation to this path."
"Something interesting and exciting is happening in the field of psychotherapy, and this book is an example of it. Mindfulness is taking hold. The predominant view that psychological well-being is characterized by harnessing and directing our thoughts and feelings is giving way to an older and wiser but largely neglected view that the struggle to control life and our reactions to it is not only not a viable solution, but is itself the problem. Of course, this insight has been around since Buddha, but it is only now that it is finding it's way into mainstream psychotherapy. Its implications are profound and will eventually change in fundamental ways our views of psychopathology, psychological diagnosis and classification, the goals, objectives, and methods of psychotherapy, and our definition of psychological well-being. Perhaps ironically, given its roots in spiritual approaches, there is a growing body of literature that not only provides a scientific account of mindfulness and it's underlying processes, but demonstrates the validity and even superiority of mindfulness-based therapies for an ever increasing range of clinical problems. In this book, Tom Bien explains in a very understandable way the essence of mindfulness and describes how it can be immediately applied in practice and in everyday life. This book will be valuable not just to psychotherapists, but to anyone searching for peace and understanding."
"This is the voice of a wise and sincere practitioner of the twin paths of emotional healing-mindfulness and psychotherapy. Tom Bien reminds helping professionals to fully embody mindfulness in their lives-to be present-if they wish to share it with others. He explains the core ideas of Buddhist psychology in language that is likely to make sense to beginners and seasoned practitioners alike, and he provides a wealth of insights and techniques to make the teachings more accessible to clients. This book is a rich and timely contribution to our understanding of how to integrate the ancient practice of mindfulness into modern-day psychotherapy."
"Book of the Month! If, as Henry Thoreau says, 'An honest book is the noblest work of man' then Thomas Bien has produced a noble work. Dr. Bien skillfully weaves through his book the essentials of Buddhism, of which he has an excellent understanding. Dr. Bien's writing is ardent and personal. Because it is in an unusually personal tone the reader connects with the writer without the barrier that is often present in books for professionals. It has an easy flow. It is an engaging read. Replete with exercises for the therapist outside of the consulting room, as well as practical suggestions for the therapeutic interaction itself, the book covers a wide territory. Mindful Therapy has a kinship with Carl Rogers and On Becoming a Person. The general reader will easily appreciate from this book the salutary effects of the practice of mindfulness, and the interconnection of mindfulness and emotional well-being. The book is especially targeted to mental health professionals and any psychotherapist reading Dr. Bien's book, and taking it to heart, can only benefit. The practice of mindfulness, and the peace, respect and kindness that it brings, in psychotherapy and in life, is an ennobling endeavor. This is Dr. Bien's message, and it is unpretentiously expressed in this fine book."
"Using theoretical groundwork, personal experience, case studies and practice exercises, Mindful Therapy offers ways to bring the teachings of Buddhism into a psychotherapeutic practice, and provides a thorough explanation of the benefits of doing so."
Mindful Therapy is a welcome addition to the literature for psychotherapists, occupational therapists, therapists-in-training, and other types of teachers. A highly readable balance of theoretical groundwork, personal experience, case studies, and practice exercises, the book offers ways to bring the teachings of Buddhism into a psychotherapeutic practice, and provides a thorough explanation of the benefits of doing so. Grounded in his understanding of Buddhist teachings, Tom Bien's suggestions are particularly valuable to beginning therapists or those still in training, offering ways that therapists can care for themselves amid the challenges of their practice.
About the Author
Tom Bien is an author and licensed clinical psychologist. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.