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Becoming Mindful

Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Psychiatric Practice

Edited by Erin Zerbo, M.D., Alan Schlechter, M.D., Seema Desai, M.D., and Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-075-7
  • Item #37075
Highly Commended in the 2017 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards in Psychiatry

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According to a 2012 National Institutes of Health survey, 18 million adults in the United States—8% of the adult population—practice some type of meditation. What are the possible applications of meditation—and mindfulness in particular—in psychotherapy and psychiatry? Becoming Mindful: Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Psychiatric Practice tackles this issue in a down-to-earth manner designed for immediate applicability. Whereas most other books on the topic focus on the benefits of mindfulness either for the clinician or for the patient, Becoming Mindful offers chapters on both, providing advice on how clinicians can establish a personal mindfulness practice and encourage their patients to do the same, both during sessions and at home. For clinician and patient alike, the handbook discusses the practical aspects of mindfulness, from the most effective postures to specific practices, and offers solutions for overcoming common obstacles, including restlessness and boredom, sleepiness, and sensory craving.

Several chapters feature embedded exercises and guided meditations, and an appendix with audio guided meditations and a resource list provides psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric residents, social workers, counselors, and nurse practitioners, among others, with readily accessible tools to use in sessions with patients.

Key takeaways summarize each chapter's content, making it easy for busy clinicians to quickly reference the information they need to most effectively treat patients, even those in special populations, including children and adolescents; patients battling substance addiction; and patients suffering from such disorders as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. With additional sections on mindful eating, mindfulness and technology, and the growing field of positive psychiatry, this book introduces readers to the full scope of benefits that mindfulness has to offer.


  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. What Is Mindfulness?
  • Chapter 2. Plasticity and Integration
  • Chapter 3. The Practice of Mindfulness
  • Chapter 4. Practice What You Preach
  • Chapter 5. Mindfulness in Practice
  • Chapter 6. Mindfulness as an Intervention in the Treatment of Psychopathology
  • Chapter 7. Finding Wellness Through Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Chapter 8. Promoting Mindfulness in Children and Adolescents
  • Chapter 9. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Substance Use Disorder Treatment
  • Chapter 10. Mindful Eating
  • Chapter 11. Mindfulness and Technology
  • Index


    Andrea Brandon, M.D.
    Oscar G. Bukstein, M.D.
    Doris F. Chang, Ph.D.
    Matthew Diamond, M.D., Ph.D.
    Elizabeth Foskolos
    Rebecca Hedrick, M.D.
    Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.
    Mari Kurahashi, M.D.
    Joseph Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D.
    Abigail Mengers
    Cory Muscara
    Kayleigh Pleas
    Kacy Richmond, M.D.
    Allison K. Ungar, M.D.
    Eleni Vousoura, Ph.D.
    Kerry Ellen Wangen, M.D., Ph.D.
    Patricia Zheng, M.D.
    Sarah Zoogman, Ph.D.

About the Authors

Erin Zerbo, M.D., is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey.

Alan Schlechter, M.D., is Director of the Bellevue Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic and Clinical Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine in New York, New York.

Seema Desai, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine in New York, New York.

Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Chief of Service at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

With remarkable rapidity, meditation has transformed from a little-known practice to the psychotherapy with the most research, the widest array of demonstrated benefits, and proven ability to benefit both patients and therapists. We can all be grateful that this fine book so ably summarizes this practice and its benefits for the mental health community.—Roger Walsh M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Anthropology, University of California Medical School, Irvine, California

As professionals in medicine and other clinical fields, the knowledge and practical suggestions included here, grounded in science and articulated with stunning clarity and everyday utility, will be hugely beneficial to the well-being of both the reader and any patient fortunate enough to have that individual caring for them. Reading this work is a win-win experience. Bravo!—Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, Founding Co-Director, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute

Becoming Mindful is reader-friendly, it does not require previous formal training in mindfulness, and it provides clear examples of application. This book seems less philosophical and more concrete and clinically applicable than some of the more popular mindfulness books I have encountered. Another strength of the book is that it includes guidelines for how to use mindfulness, including detailed scripts for practicing mindfulness either clinically with patients or for clinician self-carea valuable starting point for a clinician wanting to explore the world of mindfulness and feel empowered to apply it in practice. It is concise and well organized, offers an appealing blend of science and practice, and is rich in resources and relaxing to read.—Katherine D. Daly, Ph.D., Director of Counseling and Wellness Services and Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL, Journal of Psychiatric Practice Vol. 23, No. 6, 11/01/2017

A rapidly growing body of medical literature suggests far-reaching health benefits from mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness-based interventions can be useful tools in the management of most psychiatric conditions; moreover, mindfulness practice is described as an important element in fostering therapeutic alliance and minimizing burnout in healthcare providers. Many clinicians find themselves both curious to learn more about mindfulness and overwhelmed by the prospect of beginning what feels like a daunting journey. This book offers the perfect place to start. Readers will come away with not only an appreciation for the simplicity and difficulty inherent in mindfulness practice, but also with specific strategies, language, and resources for introducing mindfulness to patients. A highly rewarding read!—Alexandra E. Hedberg, M.D., Doody's Book Review

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