Wisdom and Compassion
Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice
Edited by Christopher K. Germer and Ronald D. Siegel
Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Bringing together leading scholars, scientists, and mindfulness-oriented clinicians, this compelling volume explores how therapists can cultivate wisdom and compassion in both themselves and their clients. Chapters describe how combining insights from ancient contemplative practices and modern research can enhance the treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, couple conflict, and parenting stress. Seamlessly edited, the book features numerous practical exercises and rich clinical examples. It examines whether wisdom and compassion can be measured objectively, what they look like in the therapy relationship, their role in therapeutic change, and how to integrate them into treatment planning and goal setting.
"I am very happy to see that ancient teachings and practices from
the Buddhist tradition can be of benefit today when they are employed by
Western scientists and therapists. In today's world, many people turn to
psychotherapy to understand what is making them unhappy, and to discover
how to live a more meaningful life. I believe that as they come to understand
compassion and wisdom more deeply, psychotherapists will be better able
to help their patients and so contribute to greater peace and happiness
in the world."
~from the Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"The essential message of this book is one of hope. Ably guided by
the contributors to this important volume, therapists are invited to peer
beyond therapeutic tools and techniques and glimpse the vast potential that
compassion and wisdom hold for healing and self-transformation."
~Zindel V. Segal, PhD, CPsych, Cameron Wilson Chair in Depression Studies and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
"The deep message of the movement toward acceptance- and mindfulness-based
methods is that the world without and the world within are interlinked.
We need to begin to treat ourselves as we would want others to treat us:
with kindness, patience, and wise attention. This book explores profound
issues and describes powerful new methods for clinical practice that will
carry far beyond the doors of our consulting rooms."
~Steven C. Hayes, PhD, Foundation Professor of Psychology, University of Nevada
"A rich introduction to—and rigorous exploration of—the
current dynamic convergence of Buddhist psychology and Western psychotherapy.
Thoughtful and eminently practical, this timely volume will be a key reference
for counselors and psychotherapists, and is also important reading for students
preparing for careers in the field. It will serve those looking for ways
to offer the fruits of their personal mindfulness practice to their clients
~Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Lovingkindness
"This book examines the nature of wisdom and compassion in psychotherapy
from every conceivable perspective. Buddhist psychology, neurobiological
foundations, psychological research, and clinical applications all receive
thoughtful and comprehensive treatment. Clinicians, scholars, teachers,
and students interested in the alleviation of human suffering will appreciate
this volume, especially its emphasis on the cultivation of mindfulness and
loving-kindness skills as paths toward the wisdom and compassion that are
so essential to effective psychotherapy."
~Ruth A. Baer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky
"With this enlightening volume, Germer and Siegel bring the dialogue
between contemporary psychotherapy and Buddhist psychology to a new level,
proposing that compassion and wisdom—like mindfulness—are capacities
that can be deliberately cultivated to promote health and well-being. Enlisting
contributions from fields as diverse as neuroscience, theology, trauma studies,
and positive psychology, Germer and Siegel have put together a book that
is stimulating, scholarly, and, above all, clinically relevant. This book
illuminates fresh directions and resources for psychotherapy, bringing an
inspiring sense of possibility to the 'impossible profession.”
~David J. Wallin, PhD, private practice, Mill Valley and Albany, California
The Mindful Path to
Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions
Germer, C. (author), Sharon Salzberg (foreword); Guilford Press, 2009
From the Back Cover
“Buck up.” “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” “Don’t ruin everything.” When you are anxious, sad, angry, or lonely, do you hear this self-critical voice? What would happen if, instead of fighting difficult emotions, we accepted them? Over his decades of experience as a therapist and mindfulness meditation practitioner, Dr. Christopher Germer has learned a paradoxical lesson: We all want to avoid pain, but letting it in—and responding compassionately to our own imperfections, without judgment or self-blame—are essential steps on the path to healing. This wise, and eloquent book illuminates the power of self-compassion and offers creative, scientifically grounded strategies for putting it into actions. You’ll master practical techniques for living more fully in the present moment—especially when hard-to-bear emotions arise—and for being kind to yourself when you need it the most.
Library Journal – Best Consumer Health Books, 2009
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies - Self-Help
Book of Merit Award, 2011
"A superb introduction to mindfulness meditation....This brilliantmanual
demonstrates how by accepting and embracing emotions, one can move to a
higher plane of harmony with oneself and others. Interspersed with supporting
data from psychology experiments, this book provides practical, life-changing
self-help techniques and suggestions for further readings and practice.
"Self-compassion is the ground of all emotional healing, and Dr. Germer
has produced an invaluable guide. Written with great clarity, psychological
wisdom, and warmth, this book will serve anyone seeking practical and powerful
tools that free the heart."
~Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance
"In this important book, Christopher Germer illuminates the myriad synergies between mindfulness and compassion. He offers skillful and effective ways of making sure that we are inviting ourselves, as well as others, to bathe in and benefit from the kind heart of awareness itself, and from the actions that follow from such a radical and sane embrace."
~Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
author of Arriving at Your Own Door and Letting Everything Become Your Teacher
"Loving-kindness and compassion are the basis for wise, powerful,
sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference—in
our own lives and those of others....In the following pages you will find
a scientific review, an educational manual, and a practical step-by-step
guide to developing greater loving-kindness and self-compassion every day."
~from the Foreword by Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
"Explains both the science and practice of developing kindness toward
ourselves and others. Dr. Germer offers powerful and easily accessible steps
toward transforming our lives from the inside out. It's never too late to
start along this important path."
~Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Mindful Brain
"An elegant and practical guide to cultivating self-compassion, by a dedicated and wise clinician and meditation teacher. The author offers time-honored practices and exercises with the potential to illuminate and transform the background chatter of our minds that determines so much of the course of our lives."
~Samuel Shem, MD, author of The House of God
"Those of us treating people who struggle with addictions know all
too well how clients' feelings of shame or self-blame often undermine efforts
to achieve effective interventions. In this remarkable book, Germer shows
readers how to use mindfulness and self-compassion to open up to their pain
and treat themselves with kindness. Ideal for recommendation to clients
who have fallen off the wagon or who are blaming themselves for failed relationships,
lost jobs, and scattered lives, this book offers a way out of a vicious
~G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director,
Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington
• To order a copy please visit: Guilford
Press or Amazon.com.
• To earn CE’s for reading Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, please visit this link.
• For free download of Chapter 1 (“Mindfulness: What is it?”), please visit: Guilford Press. (pdf)
Responding to growing interest among psychotherapists of all theoretical orientations, this practical book provides a comprehensive introduction to mindfulness and its contemporary clinical applications. Within a coherent conceptual framework, chapters present a range of clear-cut procedures for practicing mindfulness techniques and teaching them to patients. The editors and authors—most of whom have been practicing both mindfulness and psychotherapy for at least two decades—skillfully blend clinical wisdom, research findings, the spiritual roots of mindfulness, and personal reflections on the therapists’ craft. The resulting volume is an essential resource for anyone interested in meditation and other scientifically grounded approaches to augmenting psychotherapy.
Part I offers a concise, clinically oriented introduction to mindfulness meditation and Buddhist psychology, exploring their connections to contemporary psychotherapeutic theory and practice, and what may lie beyond. Chapters in Part II shine a spotlight on the therapeutic relationship, showing how cultivating mindfulness can increase acceptance and empathy and give patients—and therapists—a new sense of emotional freedom. Part III then details innovative applications for specific problems and populations. Bringing their approaches to life with vivid case examples, contributors show how mindfulness can give the clinician additional traction in understanding and treating depression, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain. Also included is a special chapter on working with children. Following a review of relevant clinical research, Part IV outlines the historical underpinnings of mindfulness and looks ahead to the future of this fast-growing and immensely promising field.
"A landmark contribution to the emerging field of mindfulness-based
interventions in psychology, psychiatry, and medicine. Contributors include
psychotherapists with longstanding personal commitments to mindfulness meditation
practice and its clinical applications, as well as a neuroscientist and
a Buddhist scholar. Comprehensive, accessible, and full of illuminating
case studies and mindfulness-based exercises, this book is likely to catalyze
interest in mindfulness for years to come. It opens a range of different
doors for mental health professionals interested in applying mindfulness
in the clinical domain and in the cultivation of well-being, happiness,
compassion, and wisdom. It will serve as a useful text in undergraduate-
and graduate-level courses in positive psychology, clinical practice, psychotherapy,
and human performance."
~Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Coming to Our Senses, Wherever You Go There You Are
and Full Catastrophe Living
“One of the best books yet on mindfulness and psychotherapy. Well
informed, clinically sound, thoughtful, practical, and provocative."
~Jack Kornfield, PhD, author of A Path With Heart
"When the history of 21st-century psychology is written, the introduction
of mindfulness as an adjunct to psychotherapy will stand out like a beacon.
This seminal volume is an expert's guide to the field, while still being
fully accessible to the beginner. It is invaluable both to therapists and
to anyone interested in developing awareness, presence, and compassion.
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy is bound to become a classic text."
~Joan Borysenko, PhD, author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and
Inner Peace for Busy People
"Over the past decade, the concept of mindfulness has captured the
imagination of psychotherapists. This impressive volume catalogs the clinical
applications and relevance of mindfulness across the spectrum of emotional
disorders, offering an evenhanded discussion of both theory and praxis.
The unique perspective provided by editors and authors whose personal practice
of mindfulness suffuses their work with patients makes this text a valuable
addition to any classroom or clinic library."
~Zindel V. Segal, PhD, Center for Addiction and Mental Health and Department of Psychiatry,
University of Toronto, Canada
"Mindfulness and Psychotherapy shines a light on a fundamental and
powerful element in the process of human healing and transformation. With
clarity and sensitivity, this book reveals how the cultivation of mindfulness
can lead us to freedom in the midst of pain, anxiety, depression, and a
host of other human difficulties. The editors and authors explore the theoretical
and empirical basis for applying mindfulness in clinical settings, establishing
it as a model of psychotherapy that is complementary to major contemporary
schools of therapy. And then, with clear case examples, treatment methodologies,
and exercises, they show us how mindfulness works! In addition to being
an invaluable guide for mental health professionals, this book would serve
well as required reading for undergraduate- or graduate-level courses in
~Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha