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The Ethical Space of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice
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Mindfulness is a burgeoning field of study and practice within mental health care and medicine. Yet ethical codes, and the philosophy of the therapist-client relationship, differ greatly between disciplines, and even more between those disciplines and mindfulness-based approaches. The potential for ethical dilemmas is therefore significant. Donald McCown breaks new ground by taking a focused look at an ethics derived from contemporary clinical mindfulness practice itself. What does a secular ethics of mindfulness look like? Who is competent to work therapeutically with mindfulness, and how does one delimit areas and levels of competence? How do clinicians ethically understand the therapist-client relationship from the therapeutic position of mindfulness? And how do clinicians respond when the necessary restraints of their professional role and ethics code come into conflict with the mindfulness-based relationship and therapeutic position? This book makes a vital contribution to the understanding of ethics as the cornerstone of mindfulness-based practice, and will be of interest to all those involved in delivering mindfulness-based interventions, including psychologists, counselors, spiritual directors, occupational therapists, physicians, nurses, and educators.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Kenneth Gergen. Start Here: A Final Scene as a Prologue. Part I: In Search of What's Already There. 1. The Unique Situation of the MBIs. Growth and Proliferation of Identities. Place and Person of the Teacher. 2. Potential Approaches to Ethics in the MBIs. Professional Codes. The Health Care Ethos. The Temptation of Buddhist Ethics. Moving Toward a Deeper Understanding of the MBIs. Part II: Where Something Ethical Happens. 3. Definitions of Mindfulness in the MBIs. A Scientific Definition. A Western Social Psychology Definition. An "Eastern" Definition. A Definition from Neuroscience. Turning Definitions Upside Down, or Inside Out. A Definition for Co-creation. Not Mindfulness, but its Pedagogy in the Practice. 4. Investigating the Curriculum and Pedagogy. Defining the Metastructure of the MBIs. Qualities Revealed in the Curriculum. Describing the Pedagogy of the MBIs. Qualities Revealed in the Pedagogy. Toward a Model of Ethical Space. Part III: Dimensions of an Ethical Space. 5. Describing How an MBI Gathering "Works". Mapping the Work of the Gathering. None of these Maps are the Territory. A Review of the Relational View. 6. Building a Multidimensional Model. The Doing Dimension. The Non-doing Dimension. The Third Dimension. The Model of Ethical Space. Part IV: Always Room for More Implications. 7. Putting First-order Morality First. Bringing the Gathering Together. Letting the Ethical Space Work. Tensions in the Ethical Space. Maintaining the Ethical Space. Using the Ethical Space. 8. Addressing the Urgencies of the Community. First: Defining Mindfulness. Second: Ensuring Teacher Quality. The View from the Ethical Space. Clarifies the Urgency. Approaching Conclusions. Don't Stop Now: Ongoing Practice as Epilogue. References. Index.

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Interrogates the big cross-disciplinary ethical questions around working with mindfulness in different settings

About the Author

Donald McCown is Assistant Professor of Integrative Health at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and has held positions as Lecturer at Thomas Jefferson University, and Director of Mindfulness at Work programs at Jefferson's Mindfulness Institute. He holds a PhD from Tilburg University, a Master of Social Service degree from Bryn Mawr College, and a Master of Applied Meditation Studies from the Won Institute of Graduate Studies. He has completed the advanced Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) trainings through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the primary author of Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators, the first text of its kind.

Reviews

...what we find here is a sparkling and highly innovative addition to both the history of ethical thought and an action-relevant contribution to both a particular community of practice, and its broader potentials. These are estimable accomplishments indeed, and they furnish a compelling model for other communities to explore the forms of ethics they implicitly embrace, and their place in the world more generally. I am enveloped by appreciation and admiration for this fine work. -- from the foreword by Kenneth J. Gergen, Ph.D., President, The Taos Institute, and Senior Research Professor, Swarthmore College With tremendous attention to detail, Donald McCown brings to life and names the ethical space that is created through the pedagogy of mindfulness-based courses. This is a wonderful contribution, offered in the spirit of starting a conversation. Given the current context of widening interest in the integration of mindfulness into the mainstream, it is an important and much-needed conversation. -- Rebecca Crane, Director, Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, School of Psychology, Bangor University, UK The Ethical Space of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice provides valuable lessons for both educators and clinicians in the fast-growing MBI community. It is an insightful exploration, rich in discerning dialogue about a relational view of the ethical in the mindful profession. The author brings alive the dialogue in a practical and accessible way. -- Dr. Heyoung Ahn, Executive Director, The Korea Center for MBSR Just as you cannot put the sky in a box, the teachings and learnings in McCown's latest book extend far beyond its title! This self-described 'essay' is an offering to everyone risking the excitement of exposure to new perspectives and opportunities to re-imagine ways of Being. -- Darlyne Bailey, Ph.D, LISW, Dean and Professor, Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, PA

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