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<p>Few counseling programs directly address the importance of self-care in reducing stress and burnout in their curricula. A course entitled Mind/Body Medicine and the Art of Self-Care was created to address personal and professional growth opportunities through self-care and mindfulness practices (meditation, yoga, qigong, and conscious relaxation exercises). Three methods of evaluating this 15-week 3-credit mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course for counseling students indicated positive changes for students in learning how to manage stress and improve counseling practice. Students reported positive physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and interpersonal changes and substantial effects on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships. Information from a focus group, qualitative reports, and quantitative course evaluations were triangulated; all data signified positive student responses to the course, method of teaching, and course instructor. Most students reported intentions of integrating mindfulness practices into their future profession.</p>
Faculty in counseling training programs often give voice to the importance of self-care for students during the training period and into practice after training is completed. However, few programs specifically address this issue in their curricula. To address this perceived need, a course was developed to provide students with (a) personal growth opportunities through self-care practices and (b) professional growth through mindfulness practices in counseling that can help prevent burnout. A focus group assessed course impact on students who reported significant changes in their personal lives, stress levels, and clinical training.