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Mindfulness techniques include a variety of activities designed to place counseling clients in full contact with their experiencing. Mindfulness itself has been described as a practice of offering one’s full mental and sensory attention to what is unfolding in the present moment both internally (i.e., emotional, cognitive, and physical sensations) as well as externally (i.e., relationally and in one’s physical environment). Additionally, this attention is placed within a basic attitude of nonjudgmental acceptance and compassion for self and others.

Historical Context

Mindfulness and mindfulness techniques, as they are used in counseling practice today, were first described by the Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. Although Sigmund Freud was unimpressed with Buddhist psychology and meditation, later psychoanalysts, such as Karen Horney, were intrigued. For example, Horney communicated regularly ...

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