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Mindfulness meditation and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship: A small-scale exploration of therapists’ experiences using grounded theory methods

Millon, Guy; Halewood, Andrea

Mindfulness meditation and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship: A small-scale exploration of therapists’ experiences using grounded theory methods Thumbnail


Authors

Guy Millon

Andrea Halewood



Abstract

© 2015 British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Background: Difficulties with containing or processing emotions brought up in the countertransference response have long been understood as having the potential to cause a rupture in the therapeutic relationship, often with damaging results for the client. As increasing numbers of psychotherapists are becoming interested in mindfulness meditation, and as evidence is building to suggest that mindfulness meditation is an effective way of relating to one’s thoughts and emotions in a non-judgemental and non-reactive fashion, the effect this may be having on the processing of countertransference material seems a worthy area of investigation. Method: This study explores the countertransference experiences of five psychotherapists who practised mindfulness meditation, using semistructured interviews. Data were analysed using a grounded theory methodology. Results: A tentative conceptual understanding of the data was developed, indicating that therapists who practised mindfulness meditation were relating to countertransferential responses with an observing stance, a compassionately curious attitude and a holding of emotion, which brings them into the present moment, resulting in the experience of a deeper therapeutic relationship. Discussion: The implications for training and practice are discussed, through the potential of practising mindfulness to cultivate a therapeutic attitude towards countertransference responses.

Citation

Millon, G., & Halewood, A. (2015). Mindfulness meditation and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship: A small-scale exploration of therapists’ experiences using grounded theory methods. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15(3), 188-196. https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12020

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2014
Publication Date Sep 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 27, 2017
Journal Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Print ISSN 1473-3145
Electronic ISSN 1746-1405
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 188-196
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12020
Keywords mindfulness, countertransference, therapeutic relationship, grounded theory, meditation
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/843505
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/capr.12020/abstract
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Millon, G. and Halewood, A. (2015) Mindfulness meditation and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship: A small-scale exploration of therapists' experiences using grounded theory methods. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 15 (3). pp. 188-196, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/capr.12020/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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