Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Herbert Shon


This study explored the self-rated proficiency of social workers in teaching mindfulness-based practices as part of treatment. It paid special attention to what they feel is the benefit to incorporating mindfulness-based practices (MBPs) into treatment and as their own personal practice. Participant responses of what has helped to develop their perceived expertise are highlighted. The literature on mindfulness reveals that mindfulness-based interventions have been effective at decreasing psychological distress caused by mental illness. MBPs help individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder to gain a sense of control when it comes to their mental health.

The study employed an exploratory qualitative research design, non-probability sampling, and the data were collected through in-depth one-to-one interviews. The participant sample consisted of ten Master of Social Work professionals, with at least one year of post-MSW practice experience, and had some level of experience with mindfulness practice. Thematic analysis was applied to evaluate the data.

The data indicates that mindfulness-based practices are being employed by social workers on a regular basis for social work practice with clients. Data also concluded that there is an interest in learning about mindfulness-based practices but a perceived lack of expertise in teaching mindfulness-based practices. Implications for social work education, social work research, social work practice, and suggestions for future research are discussed.