Jennifer Paz

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeil

First Committee Member

Peter Buirski

Second Committee Member

Kym Spring Thompson


Yoga, Successful psychotherapists, Therapeutic outcomes, Self-­care

Publication Statement

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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.


39 pages

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