Mindfulness Practice In Social Work Education And Practice

Document Type : Primary Research paper


1 Ph. D Research Scholar, Department of Social Work & Student Counsellor, Student Counselling Centre, Bishop Heber College,

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Bishop Heber College,


In recent times, mindfulness-based approach has been an emerging area of study within social work and the research base for mindfulness in social work is relatively small and more research has been dedicated in understanding the impacts and mechanisms through which mindfulness training influences physical and psychological functioning and the application of mindfulness in various contexts of social work practice. Mindfulness is defined as the way of paying attention to the experiences in the present moment in an open, intentional and non-judgemental manner (Kabat – Zinn, 1994). Mindfulness is an approach to help people reduce stress and enhance self-care, compassion and well-being. Practicing mindfulness would inculcate awareness of thoughts, feelings, behaviour and stimulate change in self and enable people to become more familiar with their ways of being: their though processes and habits, how they experience and react to emotions and physical sensations and how these influence their behaviour and daily lives. Mindfulness is a practice of self-regulation and introspection and when this mindfulness practice is applied in social work settings, it is multi-functional, broad, inclusive and encompasses scope. The utility of mindfulness practice in social work reverberates in many perspectives of social relations and could effectively be applied by social workers at many levels of practice. A conceptual model proposed by Hick suggests that mindfulness practice in social work at three levels – micro, mezzo and macro and the role of mindfulness is multidimensional and multifunctional. At the micro level practice, the mindfulness practice could be harnessed as an internal source to strengthen the individual’s own capacity and development. At mezzo level, it could be utilized as a soft skill approach to create open – mindedness and flexibility and at macro level, analysis of structural causes of injustice could be done in the policy world to facilitate social change.