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Mindful Therapy: A Guide for Therapists and Helping Professionals [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Bien
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Welcome and much-needed addition to the literature for psychotherapists, therapists-in-training, and occupational therapists and other types of teachers. Mindful Therapy 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.

Editorial Reviews


"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." (William R. Miller, PhD, Co-author of Motivational Interviewing and Practical Psychology for Pastors)

"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." (Dr. Jeff Brantley, Duke Medical School, author of Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic)

"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." (G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, author of Relapse Prevention: Maintenance Strategies in the Treatment of Addictive Behaviors)

"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." (Dr. Lizabeth Roemer, co-editor of Acceptance- and Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Anxiety, associate professor of clinical psychology at University of Massachusetts-Boston)

"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." (Mark Brady, PhD, editor of The Wisdom of Listening)

"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." (Jeremy D. Safran, PhD, Director of Clinical Training at the New School for Social Research, and editor of Psychoanalysis and Buddhism: An Unfolding Dialogue)

"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." (Michael J. Dougher, PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico)

"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." (Christopher K. Germer, PhD, Harvard Medical School, and co-editor, Mindfulness and 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." (Wildmind Newsletter)

"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." (The Albuquerque Tribune)

About the Author

Tom Bien is an author and licensed clinical psychologist. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Product Details

  • File Size: 534 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (March 17, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004URP9PK
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good as an intro to the subject May 27, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book revolves around a therapists explanation of mindfulness and its place in psychotherapy. I liked this book because it is a good introduction with case examples to the subject. he explains how the therapist can be more mindful which in turn benefits the client. i found this book to be helpful in my work as i was more present and 'mindful' of clients. its a good book as it is clear, well written, simple and useful.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars useful guide April 17, 2008
Thomas Bien provides an accessible, useful guide to using mindfulness in therapy that will be helpful for novice, as well as seasoned, clinicians. It provides a particularly excellent foundation for new therapists - I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most useful clinical book I've read April 1, 2012
I'm a private-practice psychotherapist and have done much reading on mental health. I've returned to "Mindful Therapy" many times over the years; it is honestly the most useful clinical book I've read. There are now a slew of psych-related mindfulness books on the market, but this one stands out in for its simplicity, beauty and utility. Thank you, Thomas Bien, for writing a book that is helpful and inspirational.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This text provided clear guidance and inspiration for changing my daily experience of therapy with my patients--to our mutual benefit. For those unfamiliar with the basics of buddhist thought, the book may be more of a challenge to integrate with a therapist's specific approach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true gem July 30, 2010
Trust me, this is a great book. I've been in the mental health field for 40 years..Have a Ph.D. in psychology... read this excellent book and incorporate some of the ideas and practices. I've read alot (100's) of books on mindfulness, therapy, psychology, spitituality, buddhism, Zen meditation,etc. This book will get you to think, to feel and to evolve, hopefully...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bien's Mindful Therapy December 21, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Needs to be in all helping professionals libraries in my opinion. this coupled with jon kabot zinns work is very helpful in idenfying the need for mindfulness as a professional and educating clients. really gave me insight as a budding professional.
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5.0 out of 5 stars CHANGED THE WAY I VIEW THE WORLD September 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gave me greater inner peace and really taught the principles behind mindfulness. Without the knowledge of this book to help me understand the purpose and different ways to experience mindfulness; it would be unfair for me to attempt to "practice mindfulness" as I was unaware of what it truly meant. I also could've done harm to clients rather than good without being enlightened by such a great book that explains some complicated processes in very simple terms. The PERFECT BOOK for a beginning mindfulness individual; someone who has been practicing and not reaping the FULL benefits; or any individual who is ready to forgo the stress of living the same way when internally they feel some type of turmoil; whether overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or unhappy. I'm ready to move forward in my life; and help my clients receive the same peace and surpassing understanding that comes with mindfulness every second of every day.
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More About the Author

Thomas Bien is a practicing psychologist in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers College summa cum laude, a master's of theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of New Mexico. He teaches professional and non-professional audiences alike, topics including Mindful Living, Mindful Therapy, Life-Changing Insights of the Buddha, and others. His work is in the vanguard of the integration of psychology, mindfulness, and spirituality. Dr. Bien presents internationally. He is currently at work on his sixth book.


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