Use of loving-kindness meditation in counseling

Leppma, M. (2012). Loving-Kindness Meditation and Counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 34 (3), 197. Full text.

Excerpts: Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a type of mindfulness-based meditation that emphasizes caring and connection with others. LKM incorporates nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment, which enhances attention, presence, acceptance, and self-regulation; it also entails directing caring feelings toward oneself and then others and emphasizes both self-care and interconnectedness. Thus, LKM is suitable for helping clients forge healthy connections with themselves and others. This article examines the use and implications of LKM in counseling.

This article describes ways in which mental health counselors can infuse loving-kindness (metta, Sans.) principles into their work. These principles coincide with the general goals of counseling. Metta principles can also help counselors to foster a positive therapeutic alliance by increasing empathy, wellness, presence, and positive emotions. More than 30 years of research in mindfulness [meditation] and burgeoning research in loving-kindness and compassion provide solid support for using these principles in counseling.

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