Darby, M1. and Beavan, V2. (2016), Grist to the Mill: A Qualitative Investigation of Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Experienced Health Professionals. Australian Psychologist. doi: 10.1111/ap.12215
2Department of Psychological Sciences, Australian College of Applied Psychology
Objective: Mindfulness-integrated cognitive behaviour therapy (MiCBT) is a transdiagnostic psychological intervention for the alleviation of chronic mental health conditions. Although health workers utilise the approach in Australasia, Europe, and North America, the modality has been overlooked in the literature. Furthermore, few qualitative studies have investigated mindfulness training for experienced healthcare professionals. This study addresses these gaps and is the first investigation of an Australian sample in this field of study.
Method: The design comprises a two-stage qualitative analysis of the recorded experiences of six health professionals during introductory MiCBT training in Australia, using course workbooks and semi-structured interviews conducted at between 3 and 21 months’ follow-up.
Results: Results show a high level of agreement with the extant literature on other mindfulness-based approaches. Themes involve harnessing of personal challenges during training to one's advantage, gaining equanimity through exposure, and personal benefits linked to home practice. However, notable themes from the literature relating to group cohesion and professional self-care are absent. Novel findings include the reported ability of participants to regard personal difficulties as opportunities, rather than threats, to practice; and differences in how mindfulness training is implemented professionally by psychologists and social workers working with dissimilar client groups.
Conclusions: Results suggest that specifics of the training delivery, occupation of professionals, and level of client functioning could all play a part in determining perceived outcomes of mindfulness training for participants. The findings will be of interest to anyone who designs, implements, or participates in mindfulness-based training programmes.