The Zen of Helping: Spiritual Principles for Mindful and Open-Hearted Practice

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9780470333099: The Zen of Helping: Spiritual Principles for Mindful and Open-Hearted Practice

Bring compassion, self-awareness, radical acceptance, practitioner presence, and caring to the relationships you have with you patients by utilizing the advice in The Zen of Helping: Spiritual Principles for Mindful and Open-Hearted Practice. As a mental health professional, you will appreciate the vivid metaphors, case examples, personal anecdotes, quotes and poems in this book and use them as a spiritual foundation for your professional practice. Connect Zen Buddhism with your human service and address issues like dealing with your own responses to your client’s trauma and pain.

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From the Back Cover:

"The Zen of Helping is a must-read, must-have book for anyone who is serious about helping those in need of care, understanding, and comfort. It is relevant across the spectrum from the novice student to the experienced therapist. Detailed case examples and personal narratives breathe life into this nuanced and revealing, well-crafted, multidimensional book."
—Shauna L. Smith, MSW, MFT, cofounder, Therapists for Social Responsibility

"Andrew Bein's The Zen of Helping provides a wonderfully insightful, compassionate, and practical resource. Few publications provide the helping professional with guidance on how to develop the presence, nonjudgmental acceptance, compassion, and connection that are at the heart of helping relationships. Dr. Bein fills this gap in a compelling volume that reflects his extensive experience as a teacher and helping professional, combined with his deep grounding in Zen practice, and his compassionate caring in response to human suffering. I highly recommend this book."
—Alfred W. Kaszniak, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neurology,Head, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona

A thoughtful and pragmatic guide rooted in Zen thought, designed to help mental health professionals develop an inclusive, spiritually oriented approach and specific skills for greater effectiveness with clients

Written by a therapist and dedicated Zen Buddhist practitioner, The Zen of Helping is a pragmatic and self-caring guide that deals with the realities of practice, taking professionals beyond familiar and formulaic responses, to a practice defined by courage and a sense of calling.

Steeped in Zen thought and filled with vivid yet practical metaphors, case examples, personal anecdotes, and poems, this inspiring book serves as a vehicle for practitioners to understand and embrace uncertainty, and move beyond their doubts, to further develop and share their compassion as a helping professional.

The Zen of Helping enables practitioners to enter the uncertain world of the helping professions and creates an environment where clients thrive, with discussion of how to:

  • Develop one of the book's main principles, "strong back, soft front," to embody the experience of helping

  • Practice radical acceptance: a nonjudgmental, kind atmosphere of acceptance that prepares the practitioner to take constructive action

  • Embrace practical mindfulness and its potential for helping practitioners

  • Understand the importance of caring, manifested through a genuine curiosity for clients' lives

  • Make use of the power of the wounded healer—the helping professional's experience of personal pain and suffering

Informed by over twenty years of professional experience, author Andrew Bein's The Zen of Helping is a call to the heart that addresses questions common in the real world of practice and directs readers to the heart of helping relationships, involving compassion, self-awareness, radical acceptance, practitioner presence, and caring.

About the Author:

Andrew Bein, PhD, LCSW, has twenty-three years of experience as a clinician, consultant trainer, and researcher. His professional experience includes work in child welfare, public schools/special education, youth programs, multiservice centers, substance abuse, and private practice. Dr. Bein has been a Zen student for ten years and is a Full Professor with the Division of Social Work at California State University, Sacramento.

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