Overall, forgiveness is an underrepresented topic in counseling psychology literature and Counseling Psychologists make up a small proportion of research on forgiveness. More specifically, in relation to forgiveness as it directly applies to nonviolence, counseling psychology is less represented compared to other subspecialties of psychology. Counseling psychologists and psychologists publishing in counseling psychology journals have published (1) outcome studies (or a review thereof) designed to promote interpersonal forgiveness, (2) papers and studies focused on elucidating forgiveness and reconciliation following intergroup conflicts, and (3) papers describing forgiveness in the non-western world. The majority of the counseling psychology literature is theoretical or positional in nature and a small minority of it is empirical.
First, providing additional support to findings in non-counseling literature, counseling psychology studies have shown that interventions to promote interpersonal forgiveness do in fact increase the likelihood of forgiveness and that empathy is a mediator of interpersonal forgiveness. A meta-analysis supports forgiveness as an intervention. Second, counseling psychologists and counselors have published papers describing forgiveness in the context of three well-known intergroup conflicts in Northern Ireland, Uganda, and South Africa. These papers highlight the complexity of using forgiveness as an intervention during and after large-scale intergroup conflict and call for increased attention of counseling psychology to forgiveness in intergroup and international conflicts. Finally, two papers have clarified the forgiveness construct in the Hmong culture and more broadly in collectivistic cultures.
Blocher, W. G., & Wade, N. G. (2010). Sustained Effectiveness of Two Brief Group Interventions: Comparing an Explicit Forgiveness-Promoting Treatment with a Process-Oriented Treatment. Journal Of Mental Health Counseling, 32(1), 58-74.
The present study is a two-year follow-up to an outcome study conducted by Wade and Meyer (2009) in 2004-05, in which participants were randomly assigned to an explicit forgiveness treatment, a processed-oriented treatment, and a wait list. The effectiveness of both treatments was maintained after two years. Participants' revenge ideation and psychological symptoms remained the same as when treatment terminated, but negative reactions to their offenders had continued to abate. Positive regard toward the offender was the same pre- and post-treatment but was reduced during the two-year period between termination and follow-up. No statistically significant differences in the outcome measures were found between the two treatment groups. However, in qualitative analyses of open-ended responses about their experiences with the treatments, participants seemed to favor the forgiveness-promoting one. Most participants, regardless of condition, identified group therapeutic factors as major contributors to their positive group experiences. Kagee, A., Naidoo, A. V., & Van Wyk, S. (2003). Building communities of peace: The South African experience. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 25, 225-233.
While political conflicts in many countries have resulted in large-scale destruction and loss of life, South Africa has been successful in avoiding a violent conflict following the demise of apartheid. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has been seen as an important mechanism contributing to South Africa’s successful management of its political challenges. Yet, the legacy of apartheid continues beyond the work of the TRC, and several social problems such as poverty, unemployment, crime, and substance abuse continue to affect many South African communities. Psychology is uniquely poised to assist in addressing these social problems and in contributing to the development of a community of peace. Academic psychology departments have responded by implementing an undergraduate programme aimed at training professional counsellors to respond to community needs in post-apartheid South Africa. This paper surveys the present political landscape in South Africa, examines the work of the TRC as a psychological change catalyst and peace building mechanism, and calls attention to the role of psychology in contributing to national development.
Anan, J. R., Amuge, A. P., & Angwaro, S. T. (2003). Counseling for peace in the midst of war: Counselors from Northern Uganda share their views. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 25, 235-245.
This paper describes the way that counselors in northern Uganda are working to promote healing and build peace in a region plagued by war since 1986. In this area where the entire community is affected by the armed conflict, the counselors work as part of a community program. This paper attempts to describe (1) the background and nature of the northern Uganda conflict, (2) how counseling was established as part of a network of community helpers, (3) the complexity of counseling in the context of conflict, (4) how counseling is contributing to building long-term peace in the area, and (5) the challenges faced by counselors and their implications for others working in areas of armed conflict. * Mentions self-forgiveness and reconciliation as well.
Moeschberger, S. L., Dixon, D. N., Niens, U, & Cairns, E. (2005). Forgiveness in Northern Ireland: A model for peace in the midst of the “troubles.” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 11, 199-214.
For the past 10 years, a robust body of empirical and theoretical literature has been devoted to forgiveness within interpersonal relationships. However, only a few studies have empirically examined forgiveness in intergroup settings. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine empirically the interpersonal determinants of intergroup forgiveness within Northern Ireland. University students (N = 297) were given questionnaires that measured religiosity, empathy, contact with the “other community”, hope, disposition to forgive, and forgiveness of the “other community”. Structural Equation Modeling was used to determine a theoretical model that best fit the data. Results provided empirical support for the use of interpersonal factors in examining societal forgiveness in Northern Ireland. Implications for future research and societal interventions are discussed.
Baskin, T. W., & Enright, R. D. (2004). Intervention studies on forgiveness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Counseling and Development, 82, 79-90.
A meta-analysis of 9 studies. Showed efficacy for forgiveness as an intervention.
Sandage, S. J., & Worthington, E. L. Jr. (2010). Comparison of two group interventions to promote forgiveness: Empathy as a mediator of change. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 32, 35-57.
A forgiveness intervention showing empathy mediated forgiveness regardless of condition.
Sandage, S. J., Hill, P. C., Vang, H. C. (2003). Toward a multicultural positive psychology: Indigenous forgiveness and Hmong culture. The Counseling Psychologist, 31, 564-592.
An exploration of the Hmong’s concept of forgiveness.
Hook, J. N., Worthington, E. L., Jr., & Utsey, S. O. (2009). Collectivism, forgiveness, and social harmony. The Counseling Psychologist, 37, 821-847.
Existing models of forgiveness and the strategies to promote forgiveness that draw from them are predominantly individualistic. As the United States becomes more diverse and counseling psychology becomes a more global field, counseling psychologists are increasingly likely to encounter clients who have a collectivistic worldview. The authors propose a theoretical model that clarifies the relationship between collectivism and forgiveness. The importance of maintaining social harmony in collectivistic cultures is central to this relationship. The model has two propositions. First, collectivistic forgiveness occurs within the broad context of social harmony, reconciliation, and relational repair. Second, collectivistic forgiveness is understood as primarily a decision to forgive but is motivated largely to promote and maintain group harmony rather than inner peace (as is more often the case in individualistically motivated forgiveness). Finally, the authors suggest a research agenda to study collectivistic forgiveness and provide guidelines for addressing forgiveness with collectivistic clients.
Worthington, E. L., Jr. (in press, due July 16, 2013). Moving forward: Six steps to forgiving yourself and breaking free from the past. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook/Multnomah.
Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2006). Forgiveness and reconciliation: Theory and application. New York, NY: Brunner/Routledge.
Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2005). The power of forgiveness. Philadelphia, PA: Templeton
Worthington, E. L., Jr. (Ed.). (2005). Handbook of forgiveness. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.
Non-Counseling Psychology Literature
Overall, forgiveness as it directly applies to nonviolence is a newly developing subtopic in the forgiveness literature. Non-counseling Psychologists have published (1) studies exploring forgiveness in couples and school-children, (2) studies focused on elucidating forgiveness and reconciliation following intergroup conflicts, (3) a paper describing forgiveness in the non-western world, and (4) a paper introducing a peacemaking psychometric. The majority of the literature is empirical.
First, forgiveness appears to relate to less bullying in school children and better conflict resolution between couples. Second, whereas two studies in Rwanda showed that forgiveness and reconciliation following genocide was associated with positive associations with offenders and better mental health, a study in Northern Ireland found that outgroup trust and contact, perspective-taking, and attitude were predictors of intergroup forgiveness. Third, a paper describes the indigenous Mäori of New Zealand’s concept of intergroup forgiveness. Finally, a study introduces the Peacemaking inventory, which includes a forgiveness subscale.
Staub, E., Pearlman, L., Gubin, A., & Hagengimana, A. (2005). HEALING, RECONCILIATION, FORGIVING AND THE PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE AFTER GENOCIDE OR MASS KILLING: AN INTERVENTION AND ITS EXPERIMENTAL EVALUATION IN RWANDA. Journal Of Social & Clinical Psychology, 24(3), 297-334.
This article describes a theory–based intervention in Rwanda to promote healing and reconciliation, and an experimental evaluation of its effects. The concept of reconciliation and conditions required for reconciliation after genocide or other intense intergroup violence are discussed, with a focus on healing. A training of facilitators who worked for local organizations that worked with groups of people in the community is described. The training consisted of psycho–educational lectures with extensive large group and small group discussion, as well as engagement by participants with their painful experiences during the genocide, with empathic support. The effects of the training were evaluated not on the participants, but on members of newly set up community groups they subsequently worked with. Two types of control groups were created: treatment controls, groups led by facilitators we did not train, using their traditional procedures, and a no treatment control group. We controlled for other variations in the type of groups the facilitators worked with (e.g. community building versus healing) by including them in all treatment conditions. Traumatic experiences, trauma symptoms, and orientation by participants to members of the other group were evaluated. The intervention was associated with reduced trauma symptoms and a more positive orientation toward members of the other group, both over time (from before the treatment to two months afterwards) and in comparison to control groups. Our observations suggest the importance and special meaning for people of understanding the origins of violence.
Mukashema, I., & Mullet, E. (2010). Reconciliation sentiment among victims of genocide in Rwanda. Conceptualizations, and relationships with mental health. Social Indicators Research, 99, 25-39.
In two studies that were conducted in Rwanda, we have examined the conceptualizations held by people who have experienced genocide with regard to reconciliation sentiment and quantitatively assessed the relationship between reconciliation sentiment and mental health. It was found that the participants have articulated conceptualizations regarding the nature of reconciliation sentiment. These conceptualizations are consistent with the way the genocide victims personally experienced reconciliation. More importantly, one type of reconciliation sentiment (the one corresponding to a renewed capacity to live together, hear each other, work together, and to forge compromises on a daily basis) was associated with mental health.
Hewstone, M., Cairns, E., Voci, A., Hamberger, J., & Niens, U. (2006). Intergroup contact, forgiveness, and experience of “the troubles” in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues, 62, 99-120.
Two studies used random sample surveys to test the “contact hypothesis” on intergroup attitudes of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. In Study 1, archival data from two different surveys in 1989 (N = 310 Catholics, 422 Protes- tants) and 1991 (N = 319 Catholics, 478 Protestants) showed that contact was positively related to attitudes toward denominational mixing. Study 2 (N = 391 Catholics, 647 Protestants) explored predictors of intergroup forgiveness, and also showed that intergroup contact was positively related to outgroup attitudes, perspective-taking, and trust (even among those who had a worse experience of sectarian conflict). These studies indicate that research in peace psychology can provide a deeper understanding of the conflict in Northern Ireland and, in due course, contribute to its resolution.
Braithwaite, J., & Ahmed, E. (2005). Forgiveness, shaming, shame and bullying. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 38, 298-323.
This study predicts self-initiated bullying from three variables: shaming, forgiveness and shame. Data were collected from 1875 Bangladeshi school children (60% girls; mean grade = 8.28) using the Bengali version of the Life at School Survey. Results demonstrated that reintegrative shaming and forgiveness were related to less bullying. High shame acknowledgment (accepting responsibility, making amends) and low shame displacement into anger or blaming others were also associated with less bullying. Liking school protected children who experienced (a) less reintegrative shaming, and (b) more stigmatising shaming at home. Equally, more reintegrative shaming and less stigmatising shaming protected children against bullying when liking for school was absent.The forgiveness main effect on bullying (22.4% reduction) was much bigger than the main effect of reintegrative shaming (I 1.3% reduction).These results are consistent with the view that forgiveness is a more powerful restorative practice than reintegrative shaming.
Fincham, F. D., Beach, S. R. H., Davila, J. (2004). Forgiveness and conflict resolution in marriage. Journal of Family Psychology, 18, 72-81.
Two studies examined whether forgiveness in married couples is associated with better conflict resolution. Study 1 examined couples in their 3rd year of marriage and identified 2 forgiveness dimensions (retaliation and benevolence). Husbands’ retaliatory motivation was a significant predictor of poorer wife-reported conflict resolution, whereas wives’ benevo- lence motivation predicted husbands’ reports of better conflict resolution. Examining longer term marriages, Study 2 identified three forgiveness dimensions (retaliation, avoidance and benevolence). Whereas wives’ benevolence again predicted better conflict resolution, hus- bands’ avoidance predicted wives’ reports of poorer conflict resolution. All findings were independent of both spouses’ marital satisfaction. The findings are discussed in terms of the importance of forgiveness for marital conflict and its implications for spouse goals. Future research directions on forgiveness are outlined.
Brown, S., Riemer, K. S., Dueck, A. C., Gorsuch, R., Strong, R., & Sidesinger, T. (2005). A particular peace: Psychometric properties of the just peacemaking inventory.
The development of a peacemaking measure, which includes a forgiveness subscale.
Rata, A., Liu, J. H., Hanke, K. (2008). Te ara hohou rongo (the path to peace): Mäori conceptualisations of inter-group forgiveness. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 37, 18- 30.
An exploration of the indigenous people of New Zealand’s concept of forgiveness.
Health and health disparity, health care injustice/justiceby Emily Mastroianni (Ball State University)
Counseling Psychology Literature (no summary)
Buki, L. P. (2007). Reducing health disparities: The perfect fit for counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(5), 706-715. doi:10.1177/0011000007303632
This reaction to the Major Contribution by K. Herman et al (see record 2007-12967-001), C. Tucker et al (see record 2007-12967-002), and C. Tucker et al (see record 2007-12967-003) presents a conceptualization of health disparities as another form of oppression of marginalized populations in our society. Consistent with this view, health disparities are then situated within a larger, national context, showing that counseling psychologists' involvement is an integral part of a multidisciplinary national effort. Examples of roles that counseling psychologists can take, beyond those related to patient-provider interactions, are presented in the context of cancer health disparities in Latina women. These roles include acting as staff trainer and consultant, patient and community health empowerment coach, patient advocate, and public policy analyst, as well as the traditional roles of health counselor, psychotherapist, and researcher. Finally, the author issues a call for action for counseling psychologists, for whom the amelioration of disparities is a perfect fit.
Non-Counseling Psychology Literature (no summary)
Dreeben, O. (2001). Health Status of African Americans. Journal Of Health & Social Policy, 14(1), 1-17.
The health status of African Americans identifies a higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and sexually transmitted infections when compared with Whites. However, more research is needed to identify socioeconomic variables and to establish needed health programs. The vestiges of early 20th century traditions of substandard housing and inadequate nutrition for African Americans are still apparent in many communities today. Most health care professionals are not educated and trained to be culturally sensitive. The struggle against the prevalence of diseases in African Americans must incorporate cultural sensitivity, community organization and empowerment. The need for a universal system of health insurance coverage is of utmost importance. The elimination of health disparities among African Americans requires a national effort, the involvement of public and private sectors, individuals and communities.
Nagai, M., Abraham, S., Okamoto, M., Kita, E., & Aoyama, A. (2007). Reconstruction of health service systems in the post-conflict Northern Province in Sri Lanka. Health Policy, 83(1), 84-93.
Public health problems in armed conflicts have been well documented, however, effective national health policies and international assistance strategies in transition periods from conflict to peace have not been well established. After the long lasted conflicts in Sri Lanka, the Government and the rebel LTTE signed a cease-fire agreement in February 2002. As the peace negotiation has been disrupted since April 2003, a long-term prospect for peace is yet uncertain at present. The objective of this research is to detect unmet needs in health services in Northern Province in Sri Lanka, and to recommend fair and effective health strategies for post-conflict reconstruction. First, we compared a 20-year trend of health services and health status between the post-conflict Northern Province and other areas not directly affected by conflict in Sri Lanka by analyzing data published by Sri Lankan government and other agencies. Then, we conducted open-ended self-administered questionnaires to health care providers and inhabitants in Northern Province, and key informant interviews in Northern Province and other areas. The major health problems in Northern Province were high maternal mortality, significant shortage of human resources for health (HRH), and inadequate water and sanitation systems. Poor access to health facilities, lack of basic health knowledge, insufficient health awareness programs for inhabitants, and mental health problems among communities were pointed by the questionnaire respondents. Shortage of HRH and people's negligence for health were perceived as the major obstacles to improving the current health situation in Northern Province. The key informant interviews revealed that Sri Lankan HRH outside Northern Province had only limited information about the health issues in Northern Province. It is required to develop and allocate HRH strategically for the effective reconstruction of health service systems in Northern Province. The empowerment of inhabitants and communities through health awareness programs and the development of a systematic mental health strategy at the state level are also important. It is necessary to provide with the objective information of gaps in health indicators by region for promoting mutual understanding between Tamil and Sinhalese. International assistance should be provided not only for the post-conflict area but also for other underprivileged areas to avoid unnecessary grievance.
Meditation byGunnar Örn Ingólfsson (Ball State University)
Counseling Psychology Literature
The review of meditation and counseling revealed that there is a little systematic research on the effects of meditation within the field of counseling. There does not seem to be a common operational definition. A popular alternative to meditation is mindfulness meditation. Meditation is commonly related to spirituality and spiritual growth with some research on self-care in training programs. Further research is needed on the impact of meditation as self-care for counselors and counselors in training as well as the purpose and effectiveness of using meditation in settings that are not obviously related to anxiety reduction.
Brown, A. P., Marquis, A., Guiffrida, D. A. (2012). Mindulness-based interventions in counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 91, 96-104.
Mindfulness is a relatively new construct in counseling that is rapidly gaining interest as it is applied to people struggling with a myriad of problems. Research has consistently demonstrated that counseling interventions using mindfulness improve well-being and reduce psychopathology. This article provides a detailed definition of mindfulness, including a discussion of the mechanisms underlying mindfulness practice; explores the implementation of mindfulness as a counseling intervention; and examines literature supporting its effectiveness.
Leppma, M. (2012). Loving-kindness meditation and counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 34, 197-205.
Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a type of mindfulness-based meditation that emphasizes caring and connection with others. LKM incorporates nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, which enhances attention, presence, acceptance, and self-regulation; it also entails directing caring feelings toward oneself and then others and emphasizes both self-care and interconnectedness. Thus, LKM is suitable for helping clients forge healthy connections with themselves and others. This article examines the use and implications of LKM in counseling.
Havermans, R. C. (2011). Mindfulnessmeditatiebehandelingen toepassen in de GGZ: Moeten we wachten op empirische rechtvaardiging?. Psychologie & Gezondheid, 39(2), 111-114. doi:10.1007/s12483-011-0023-7
Young, M. E., de Armas DeLorenzi, L., & Cunningham, L. (2011). Using meditation in addiction counseling. Journal Of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 32(1-2), 58-71. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1874.2011.tb00207.x
Meditation has been studied as a way of reducing stress in counseling clients since the 1960s Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and new wave behavior therapies incorporate meditation techniques in their programs. This article identifies meditation's curative factors and limitations when using meditation in addiction settings.
Tucker, C., Sloan, S. K., Vance, M., & Brownson, C. (2008). Integrated care in college health: A case study. Journal Of College Counseling, 11(2), 173-183. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1882.2008.tb00033.x
This case study describes 1 international student's treatment experience with an integrated health program on a college campus. This program uses a multidisciplinary, mind-body approach, which incorporates individual counseling, primary care, psychiatric consultation, a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy class, and a meditation group.
Kurash, C., & Schaul, J. (2006). Integrating Mindfulness Meditation Within a University Counseling Center Setting. Journal Of College Student Psychotherapy, 20(3), 53-67. doi:10.1300/J035v20n03_05
This paper documents the development of a mindfulness meditation component within a University Counseling Center setting. The specific focus is upon the inclusion of meditation as it pertains to both organizational structure and psychotherapy training. The integration of a meditation practice into any organization is a slow process that poses complex questions. We argue that the benefits provide a counterpoint to the complexities inherent when incorporating such training into an organization's structure and a psychology internship program.
Murphy, M. C. (2006). Taming the anxious mind: An 8-week mindfulness meditation group at a university counseling center. Journal Of College Student Psychotherapy, 21(2), 5-13. doi:10.1300/J035v21n02_03
This article describes an eight-week mindfulness meditation-based group that took place at a university counseling center. The group is patterned after the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Group members are taught various mindfulness meditation techniques and are encouraged to practice them daily. The group has met with much success and it is highly valued by group members.
Christopher, J., Christopher, S. E., Dunnagan, T., & Schure, M. (2006). Teaching Self-Care Through Mindfulness Practices: The Application of Yoga, Meditation, and Qigong to Counselor Training. Journal Of Humanistic Psychology, 46(4), 494-509. doi:10.1177/0022167806290215
Faculty in counseling training programs often give voice to the importance of self-care for students during the training period and into practice after training is completed. However, few programs specifically address this issue in their curricula. To address this perceived need, a course was developed to provide students with (a) personal growth opportunities through self-care practices and (b) professional growth through mindfulness practices in counseling that can help prevent burnout. A focus group assessed course impact on students who reported significant changes in their personal lives, stress levels, and clinical training.
Note; article is on counselor training yet not in a counseling journal or by counseling professionals. Murgatroyd, W. (2001). The Buddhist spiritual path: A counselor's reflection on meditation, spirituality, and the nature of life. Counseling And Values, 45(2), 94-102. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.2001.tb00188.x
The author describes her spiritual path from the perspective of a person who was raised in a Buddhist tradition and trained in a Western mental health profession. A foundation for the Buddhist concept of mental health is presented, and the relationship among counseling, Western developmental theory, and the development of a spiritual path is discussed. Strategies are presented for assisting clients with their search for spiritual development.
Schlecht, D. (2000). Returning to the feminine ground. Counseling And Values, 44(2), 118-123. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.2000.tb00162.x
Describes a case study of an adult male client who experienced spontaneous spiritual imagery while participating in a visualization meditation during a counseling session. His principal presenting concern was a lifelong pattern of conflicted and sometimes destructive intimate relationships with women. The symbolism of the imagery is discussed in light A. Deikman's (1997) concepts of receptive and instrumental consciousness. Halbrook, B. (1995). Integrating contemplative psychotherapy and counseling: Combining East and West. TCA Journal, 23(1), 21-27.
Outlines the tenets of contemplative psychotherapy, a discipline grounded in Eastern meditation principles, and makes suggestions for blending nontraditional techniques into counselor preparation and practice. Distinctions and parallels are made between Eastern meditation and Western psychotherapy, especially in terms of existential issues. Meditation is a technique for clearing the mind, and the goal is acceptance of all parts of self. It is suggested that Gestalt therapy can be used to combine both Eastern and Western techniques for clients. Contemplative techniques can also be applied to counselors so that they can recognize their own thoughts as they occur but not ruminate on them.
Sutorius, D. (1995). The transforming force of laughter, with the focus on the laughing meditation. Patient Education And Counseling, 26(1-3), 367-371. doi:10.1016/0738-3991(95)00760-W
Discusses the psychotherapeutic value and transforming force of laughter. The technique of laughing meditation, a structured exercise of 15 min with 3 stages: stretching, laughing, and silence, is described. The laughing meditation can be used as a supplement to other therapy and in coping strategies.
Brown, L. L., & Robinson, S. E. (1993). The relationship between meditation and/or exercise and three measures of self-actualization. Journal Of Mental Health Counseling, 15(1), 85-93.
Examined the relationship between regular meditation and/or physical exercise and 3 dimensions of self-actualization in 103 advanced graduate counseling students (aged 23–62 yrs) who had completed at least 1 semester of practicum. The 3 dimensions of self-actualization were inner-directedness, living in the present (time competence), and lowered anxiety. Ss who meditated or who both meditated and exercised had significantly greater inner-directedness than did those who only exercised or who did neither. Significantly lower anxiety was found for those Ss who both exercised and meditated. Findings are discussed with respect to A. H. Maslow's (1971) theory of self-actualization.
Laselle, K. M., & Russell, T. T. (1993). To what extent are school counselors using meditation and relaxation techniques?. School Counselor, 40(3), 178-183.
Investigated the extent to which meditation and relaxation techniques (MRTs) were being used for counseling groups of adolescents with behavior problems. Data were gathered from 57 school counselors (SCLs) via a postal survey. Fewer than 40% of the SCLs used MRTs. Three-fourths of the SCLs did not use MRTs in their group counseling, and only half would consider learning the techniques for use in group counseling. Some SCLs indicated specific MRTs that they used, including biofeedback, imagery, progressive relaxation, deep breathing visualization, transcendental meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and music therapy. Schopen, A., & Freeman, B. (1992). Meditation: The forgotten Western tradition. Counseling And Values, 36(2), 123-134. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.1991.tb00969.x
Discusses aspects of the history of the demise of meditation in the West and its recent reemergence as an Eastern system. Roots of Western meditation are traced to early Christianity, and its demise around the 17th century can be attributed to (1) an increase in religious emotionalism and (2) the beginning of the scientific revolution. The differences between Eastern and Western meditation involve freedom from thought vs concentration on an idea, respectively. The psychology of meditation, research in the field, and applications of meditation to counseling are discussed. Such applications involve the use of meditation for self-regulation to combat stress, anger, or anxiety. O'Connell, D. F. (1991). The use of transcendental meditation in relapse prevention counseling. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 8(1), 53-68. doi:10.1300/J020V08N01_04
Explores the use of transcendental meditation (TM) as an adjunctive treatment of chronic relapse through the case report of a 32-yr-old White male relapse prone patient. The S was involved in a 2-yr continuing care program following inpatient care for cocaine dependency. The S maintained daily practice of TM for approximately 30 mo and had been completely abstinent from all mood altering chemicals for that same time period. TM is described as a well researched cost effective program with social, physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits that can represent a holistic treatment for a holistic disease. Its easy access, availability, and ongoing nature make it highly attractive as a daily program for relapse prevention.
Brandon, D. (1990). Green crocodiles. British Journal Of Guidance & Counselling, 18(3), 261-268. doi:10.1080/03069889000760251
The essence of spiritual counseling lies in the formal or informal teaching of meditation, in which there is a turning away from the delusions of any psychological or material achievement. These delusions, deeply embedded in psychotherapy and counseling, are essentially destructive. Real counseling lies in giving up ambitions and ideologies, not in acquiring more. Meditation can help its practitioners to live more fully in the present time.
Vassallo, J. N. (1984). Psychological perspectives of Buddhism: Implications for counseling. Counseling And Values, 28(4), 179-191. doi:10.1002/j.2161-007X.1984.tb00668.x
Contends that the Buddhist will attempt to understand an individual's problems in terms of 2 basic human dilemmas—clinging and ignorance. The counseling process is concerned with enabling one to accept reality as it is, but immediate problems interfere with the greater goal of understanding the true nature of reality. Meditation techniques that can be applied to one who seeks help are discussed. It is suggested that both the counselor and client must be treading the path that leads to transpersonal actualization. As Ss progress in their ability to maintain energy and concentration to achieve their desired levels of attainment, the importance of individualism will become secondary to the knowledge of the path through direct experience.
Kristeller, J. (2011). Spirituality and meditation. In , Spiritually oriented interventions for counseling and psychotherapy (pp. 197-227). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/12313-008
Abstract: (from the chapter) The roots and techniques of meditation practice come from spiritual and religious traditions. Almost all religious traditions have incorporated elements of meditative or contemplative practice. Although most of the contemporary focus on the psychology of meditative practice has been on Hindu-based mantra meditations and on the multitude of Buddhist Zen, vipassana, and Tibetan practices, there is increasing recognition of the underlying similarities in process and experience of other traditions, including Christian contemplative prayer, Jewish Hasidic prayers, and Sufi mystical traditions (Goleman, 1988; Shafii, 1988). Common elements of meditative practice, such as repetition and detached awareness, appear to cultivate or facilitate spiritual experience across traditions, although the role that these practices play within given traditions varies tremendously. The conceptual and empirical literature on meditation continues to grow but remains problematic. In particular, a split continues between viewing meditation as somewhat esoteric, mysterious, and grounded in Eastern religious practice, and viewing meditation as being acceptable only when wholly secularized. As understanding of the role of spiritual and religious values in mental health grows, appreciation is developing for how meditation practice might help individuals engage spiritual resources more fully, in addition to improving emotional or behavioral regulation. Furthermore, appreciation is growing for Western meditative and contemplative traditions and the degree to which all contemplative practices incorporate similar, if not universal, processes. This chapter first provides a brief overview of how meditation has been understood as a therapeutic tool within a range of theoretical perspectives and within both a secular and a spiritually enhancing context. The essential elements of meditation practice are then considered, across a wide range of therapeutic applications, from emotional regulation and health care issues to treatment of addictions and cultivation of caring and compassion for others, with a particular focus on how each may link back into spiritual goals. Finally, clinical issues in bringing meditation practice into therapy are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) – uses 115 citations
Valente, V. G., & Marotta, A. (2011). Prescribing yoga to supplement and support psychotherapy. In , Spiritually oriented interventions for counseling and psychotherapy (pp. 251-276). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/12313-010
Abstract: (from the chapter) This chapter explores various methods for incorporating yoga into a psychotherapy treatment regimen to help psychotherapists achieve short-term symptom relief for their clients as well as long-term solutions for mental health and balance. The philosophical underpinnings of yoga, as they relate to the therapeutic process, are briefly described before current research on the psychological effects of yoga is addressed. Methods for using yoga classes in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy to enrich the therapeutic process and facilitate growth (e.g., enhanced self-awareness, self-understanding, self-acceptance), along with guidelines for its introduction to clients, are outlined. Next, the methods of Iyengar yoga, kundalini yoga meditation, and Sudarshan Kriya yoga are explored as potential techniques psychotherapists can learn to use during and in between psychotherapy sessions to help clients reduce anxiety and depression and address other psychological and psychiatric disorders. Finally, this chapter examines the utility of yoga for psychotherapists seeking professional development and burnout prevention strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) – 45 citations used in source Hirsch, M. S. (2008). Healing the body and mind: An overview of biopsychosocial foundations and applications. In U. P. Gielen, J. G. Draguns, J. M. Fish (Eds.) , Principles of multicultural counseling and therapy (pp. 115-134). New York, NY US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Abstract: (from the chapter) As a result of the impersonal nature of health care, many individuals have become dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in Western medicine. Data indicate that some of these disgruntled patients are choosing alternative, or complementary, therapies in addition to, if not in place of traditional, or Western, medicine. Subsequently, within the last 30 years, the (Western) scientific appreciation of the bi-directional relationship between our minds and our bodies has been renewed and has seen enormous growth. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview, based upon our current understanding of the mind-body connection, of how the disciplines of biology, psychology, and sociology intersect in the use of several healing applications. Indeed, there are many applications that have been shown to have positive influences on the mind and body. This chapter will focus on just a few (the manipulation of expectancies, the role of social support and interpersonal relationships, mindfulness meditation, and emotional disclosure through writing) whose efficacy has been demonstrated and replicated under controlled experimental conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) – uses 65 citations
Rubin, J. B. (2008). Deepening listening: The marriage of Buddha and Freud. In U. P. Gielen, J. G. Draguns, J. M. Fish (Eds.) , Principles of multicultural counseling and therapy (pp. 373-389). New York, NY US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
Abstract: (from the chapter) In this chapter the authors draws on the best of the Western psychotherapeutic and Eastern meditative traditions to delineate the two ingredients of optimal listening. The attempt is made to illuminate how therapists could use meditation to cultivate "evenly hovering attention" and deepen their ability to understand themselves and their clients. It is also suggested how to deepen one's practice of meditation. Then, it is examined how a Western psychotherapeutic understanding of the language and logic of the unconscious complements and enriches meditative attention. Although the focus is on perspectives and insights gleaned from classical and post-Freudian psychoanalysis, the remarks are applicable, with the appropriate changes, to other schools of psychotherapeutic thought, including Rogerian therapy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) – uses 34 citations
Horneffer, K. (2006). Embracing Emotional Pain As a Means of Spiritual Growth: Tools from the East. In K. B. Helmeke, C. Sori (Eds.) , The therapist's notebook for integrating spirituality in counseling: Homework, handouts and activities for use in psychotherapy (pp. 267-285). New York, NY US: Haworth Press.
Abstract: (from the chapter) Although it is commonly acknowledged that difficult experiences bring about positive growth and change, it can be challenging as psychotherapists to offer clients the assurance and tools necessary to embrace painful emotions. Several spiritual practices from the East, including mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga, and tonglen meditation, offer conceptual ideas and concrete methods that can assist in this process. The current chapter offers in-session activities and homework assignments that can be integrated into psychotherapy with clients holding diverse religious beliefs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) – 31 citations in source
Pankhania, J. (2005). Yoga and Its Practice in Psychological Healing. In R. Moodley, W. West (Eds.) , Integrating traditional healing practices into counseling and psychotherapy (pp. 246-256). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract: (from the chapter) In this chapter, I will endeavor to outline the historical background of yoga, identify the main sources of yoga, and offer an introduction to yoga and meditation. Yoga covers a vast field of philosophy, psychology, and practice, and in the section on the limbs and branches of yoga, I will outline Patanjalis eight limbs or steps of yoga and the main branches of yoga. Millions of people throughout the world currently practice yoga on a regular basis. This vigorous growth and blossoming of yoga across the globe raises the question, "What are people who practice yoga seeking through yoga?" The section on research into yoga will explore this question. Modern psychology has emerged as a distinct science in the last hundred years, whereas the systematic study of psychology in India has been evolving over a few thousand years. Yoga psychotherapy is more ancient than any other form of psychotherapy. In the section on yoga psychology, the yogic principles of psychotherapy will be explored within the context of yogic meaning and purpose of life. This leads to the central question of this chapter, that is, to what extent can Western-trained psychotherapists really utilize yogic principles and practice for their work with people who are seeking psychological healing? (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) – 25 citations in source
Kong, S. Y. (2008). Meditation as a coping tool for stress and well being among clinical and counseling psychology graduate students. Dissertation Abstracts International, 69,
Abstract: Entering graduate school may be an extremely stressful time for students and is often viewed as a transitional period of students' lives, one from student to professional adult. Often times, students are trying to balance personal and academic demands. The stressors could lead students to feel symptoms of depression, anxiety, and lowered self-esteem. This study examined whether meditation practitioners had lower perceived stress levels and better physical health and emotional well-being than non-meditators among Clinical and Counseling Psychology graduate students. Participants included 227 students in a Clinical or Counseling Psychology doctoral program. Of the 227 participants, one-third (n = 75) identified as a meditation practitioner. Perceived stress level was measured with the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and physical and emotional well-being were measured with the Medical Outcome Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36). To establish which coping methods participants used, the Brief COPE was used. Additionally, an adapted meditation questionnaire, and constructed stress questionnaire, and demographics questionnaire were used as measurements. Results did not indicate any significant differences between meditators and non-meditators for perceived stress levels, nor were there any significant differences between meditators and non-meditators for physical and emotional well-being. No data supported any significant differences between meditation frequency and experience when measuring for perceived stress level and physical and emotional well-being. Although, no significant results were found, results confirmed previous findings about stress and coping methods. Three recommendations for future research include (1) have a larger sample size for meditation practitioners when examining meditation frequency and experience, (2) compare physical health and emotional well being between Clinical and Counseling Psychology graduate students to the general population of meditation practitioners, and (3) have a larger sample size of meditators who do not utilize social support when comparing to non-meditators who use social support as coping tool to appropriately examine whether meditation or social is a more effective coping method. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) Glaser, T. (2007). Learning to look deeply: How mindfulness meditation can help counselors overcome bias in the counseling process. Dissertation Abstracts International, 67,
Abstract: This dissertation comprised a unique experiment examining the effects of a mindfulness intervention on stereotyping and empathy in a sample of university undergraduates. Participants were randomly assigned either to a 20-minute mindfulness meditation condition or to a 20-minute control condition. Post-intervention, participants watched a scripted videotaped counseling session between an elderly female client and a female counselor. The videotape was balanced for elderly stereotype-consistent, neutral, and elderly stereotype-inconsistent information. Individuals were asked to fill out measures on state mindfulness, memory, empathic identification with the client, attributions regarding the client's problems, an open-ended description of the client, and three individual client-orientation measures. Main hypotheses for this study related to group differences and individual differences in state mindfulness. Hypotheses regarding group differences were that the experimental group would demonstrate more state mindfulness, more accurately remember information about the client, remember more stereotype-inconsistent information about the client, show greater levels of empathic identification with the client, attribute the client's problems more to external forces, and show a more positive orientation toward the client than individuals assigned to the control condition. Hypotheses related to state mindfulness were that individuals with higher (versus lower) levels of state mindfulness would reflect the experimental group differences mentioned above. Results showed a main effect for group in state mindfulness, such that individuals assigned to the experimental (versus control) group demonstrated higher levels of state mindfulness. No other main effects were found for group on any of the outcome variables. State mindfulness was positively correlated with empathic identification and behavioral intention. Supplemental analyses showed that positive mood, experience with complementary and alternative medicine, trait mindfulness, and trait empathy moderated the effects of the intervention on some outcome variables. All moderator variables were significantly related to outcomes for individuals in the control group but not for those in the experimental group. Correlations between other trait and state measures and outcomes revealed that positive mood was most consistently related to outcomes. Implications of these results in terms of the impact of mindfulness training on the counselor-client relationship are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) Anyanwu, L. (1999, January). Meta-analysis of meditation outcomes in counseling and psychotherapy. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 59,
Abstract: Meditation inclues a variety of techniques that share a common conscious effort to focus attention in a non-analytic way. In terms of its goals, meditation is a state of completely focused attention devoid of external thoughts--a state of heighted choice-less awareness. This study was designed to: (1) Identify and critically review professional literature on the effectiveness of meditation; (2) Provide an overall measure of effectiveness through the statistical meta-analysis technique; (3) Provide a classification of findings through the voting method; and (4) summarize and integrate highlights and major findings for the purpose of generating implications for future research and practice in counseling and psychotherapy. Related goals of this study to: (1) Educate and clarify whether meditation deserves a wider acceptance and application in the pursuit of holistic well being, which is the ultimate goal of counseling and psychotherapy; and (2) To assess whether meditation addresses the holistic nature of the human person as mind, body and spirit and would, as such, be a needed complement to counseling and psychotherapy. Effectiveness of meditation has been studied on blood pressure/hypertension, EEG, respiratory systems, muscle tension, pain, perceptual/cognitive abilities and motor skills, self-actualization, anxiety, stress, and chemical dependency. Effectiveness of meditation has also been measured across gender, age and cultural background and has been found to transcend race, culture and belief systems. This research review offers support for on going calls, encouragement and challenges to counseling and psychotherapy to examine, develop and integrate meditation theories and goals as part of a comprehensive theory of and approach to counseling and psychotherapy. The need for integration is to respond and address clients' emerging world view and movement towards more holistic well-being--of body, mind and spirit. When meditation becomes fully integrated, it could also complement therapeutic eclecticism as currently practiced in counseling and psychotherapy. Several implications for research were generated. Research is needed to replicate previous studies using stronger scientific rigor to control identified methodological weakness in past studies. Studies are needed to measure the energy generated by meditation and to assess intuition and other levels of consciousness attainable via meditation. Research is also needed to tailor meditation to specific treatment goals or problems, as well as aspects of cost effectiveness. Longitudinal studies of most aspects of meditation are needed, as well. Central among implications for practice were these: Meditation might be useful in all modes of counseling, such as, individual and group counseling, as well as specialized practice, such as, marriage counseling and employee assistance counseling. Additionally, meditation might be useful in most settings, such as, universities, prisons, rehabilitation centers, and corporations. Meditation teachers might be more effective if they have direct and extensive personal experience in meditation, however there are a number of problems, such as over-meditation, that require attention from both meditation teachers and students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) Lawrance, W. (1993). Psychotherapeutic factors of naturally occurring long-term meditation. Dissertation Abstracts International, 54,
No abstract provided.
Lourdes, P. V. (1978, September). Implications of the Transcendental Meditation Program for counseling: The possibility of a paradigm shift. Dissertation Abstracts International, 39, 1343.
No abstract provided.
Dick, L. D. (1974, February). A study of meditation in the service of counseling. Dissertation Abstracts International, 34,
Keywords: meditation, experience of well-being as revealed in perception of locus of control of reinforcement & time competence & self suppport orientation, college student counselees
No abstract provided.
Non-Counseling Psychology Literature (not reviewed)