I have an article published in the Summer 2016 edition of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) quarterly magazine on mindfulness skills in social work.
You can read an excerpt below:
Interest in mindfulness has risen over recent years and its application has extended from clinical populations in the health and mental health areas to a range of professional fields in the health and human services sectors, as well as the enthusiastic adoption by so called ‘high performance’ organisations such as Google. Much of this interest is driven by an exponential increase in the level of scientific research in this field, and excitement at how these ancient practices might contribute positively to the social and emotional challenges we currently face.
Mindfulness can simply be understood as a capacity to bring a present moment awareness to what is happening both within us and around us. This seemingly simple quality has now been shown to confer a broad range of mental and health benefits, including a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety, decreased stress reactivity, enhanced emotional regulation and improved immune function and attentional control, among other things. However, the field of social work is only now starting to turn its attention to how the principles and practices underpinning mindfulness may be applied beyond direct work with clients, to the social work profession itself. Mindfulness skills have much to contribute to effective social work practice, particularly in the areas of self-care and enhanced resilience.