This deck is intended to help professionals approach the day with a fresh, compassionate and empowered perspective. Our aim is to help therapists stay attuned and empathic towards even the most challenging clients, let go of emotional residue and countertransference between sessions, and finish each day with a sense of satisfaction. You might select a card at random at any given time, or work from a specific category (like “Caring for the Self” or “Regaining Balance”) for a period of time. Cards may also be useful prompts for supervision and staff meetings, as well as in clinical practice-oriented coursework. Above all, use the cards to enhance and refresh your clinical work.
While most of these practices encourage a sitting posture, some are intended for use during your day, either while standing or in motion. Do what feels most comfortable for you, and adapt the practices to your needs. For sitting practices in particular, we recommend an upright and sustainable posture, sitting with a sense of dignity, allowing your gaze to soften and lower in front of you, or your eyes to gently close. Your hands can just rest in your lap or at your sides, and if you are sitting, you can focus on feeling both feet firmly on the floor beneath you. After each practice, and especially in practices where your eyes have been closed, you might want to gently open your eyes, and allow yourself to wiggle your toes and fingers a bit before bringing your awareness outward to the rest of your senses.
Organizing Your Mindfulness Practices
The topic groupings are designed to give you guidance in the nuances of cultivating your own mindfulness skills … in order to maximize your ability to reduce burnout, increase compassion, and enhance presence.
Caring for the Self
Enjoying the Work
Compassion for Self and Others
Countertransference: Managing Triggers
About the Author
Laura Warren, MD, is a psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) and is on the leadership team of CHA s Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. She is a part-time clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and has a private practice. Dr. Warren is a board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and her interests include burnout prevention, the mind-body relationship, and holistic approaches to mental health.
Mitch Abblett, PhD, is a psychologist and has served as the executive director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and before that as the clinical director of the Manville School at Judge Baker Children s Center, in Boston. He publishes, speaks and consults about mindfulness, professional development, communication effectiveness and family mental health. Dr. Abblett maintains a private psychotherapy and consulting practice and can be reached at drmitchabblett.com.
Christopher Willard, PsyD, is a psychologist, author and consultant based in Boston. He publishes and teaches nationally and internationally on mindfulness, professional development, mental health and education, in addition to teaching at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Willard serves on the board of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. Learn more at drchristopherwillard.com.