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Article

Edward R. Canda and Sherry Warren

This entry provides an introduction to mindfulness as a therapeutic practice applied within social work, including in mental health and health settings. It describes and critiques mindfulness-based practices regarding definitions, history, current practices, best practices research, and ethical issues related to using evidence-based practices, acquiring competence, addressing social justice, and respecting diversity.

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Salome Raheim, Sue Tebb, Mo Yee Lee, Collina D. Cooke, Chang Liu, and Siu-Man Ng

Integrative body–mind–spirit social work is a client-centered, strength-based holistic approach that blends the conventional social work professional practice base with Eastern philosophies. This whole person approach views harmony, balance, and awareness of connectedness among body, mind, and spirit and between the individual and larger significant systems as fundamental to health, mental health, and well-being. Acknowledgment of the body, mind, and spirit as sources of power and wisdom and attention to each of these domains in treatment are distinguishing features of this approach. Research findings during the past 20 years in the fields of neuroscience, psychoneuroimmunology, psychosocial genomics, epigenetics, health, and behavioral health support this more nuanced understanding of the biopsychosocial spiritual perspective. The unique features of this approach are based on selected aspects of several Chinese traditions—philosophical Buddhism and Daoism, traditional Chinese medicine, and the yin–yang perspective. Beyond problem-solving and symptom elimination, the focus of intervention is creating long-term healing and spiritual growth. Treatment techniques include meditation, other mindfulness exercises, and body movement therapies such as qi gong to deepen awareness of the body, mind, and spirit and their interconnection, restore balance and energy flow, and nurture the body.