Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Kym Spring Thompson
Yoga, successful psychotherapists, therapeutic outcomes, self-care
Yoga practice promotes awareness and acceptance, and serves as a body-centered medium for developing deepened self-understanding. Among patient populations, a growing body of evidence suggests that the benefits of yoga practice extend to both physical health and psychological well-being. However, the psychological impact of yoga practice on psychotherapists’ interpersonal responses, while potentially promising, has received little attention in the literature. This paper provides a historical overview of contemplative practices and discusses the role that yoga can play in developing certain interpersonal characteristics of the psychotherapist that are hypothesized to empower the therapeutic relationship and facilitate constructive behavior change on the part of the client, with a focus on acceptance, empathy, and compassion as core conditions. A model will be presented with emphasis on an epistemology of caring, developed through repeated exposure to the somatic field of experience as engendered through yogacentered mindfulness practice, and how this practice can help cultivate core characteristics of interpersonal responding that may benefit both the client and practitioner alike.
Paz, Jennifer, "Using Yoga Practice to Empower Psychotherapists’ Interpersonal Process" (2014). Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 20.