Book Review: A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness

Title: A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness
Author: Christiane Wolf (MD, PhD), J. Greg Serpa (PhD)
Year: 2015
Length: 226 pages
Topics: difference between mindfulness, compassion, and empathy; Buddhist origins of mindfulness; cultivating kindness; a curriculum for teaching mindfulness meditation; strengthening one’s practise
Narrative style: first-personAvailability: book (

This book offers so many incredible tips for those aspiring to teach the practice of mindfulness meditation. The beauty of the authors’ style of delivery lies in the accessibility of the material to all disciplines and settings (clinicians, entrepreneurs, educators, etc.). The book’s target audience is directed at care providers interested in introducing mindfulness to their clinical practise, who do not yet have the tools to do so, but anyone interested in teaching mindfulness can learn a great deal from this book. One passage that particularly struck me discussed the nature of the physician who will ultimately save many lives without necessarily having a meaningful impact on them. This raises an important question as to whether mindfulness teachings can help healthcare trainees better engage with their patients and offer opportunities for healing rather than treatment plans alone. The book is written from the perspective of both a clinical psychologist and that of an MD trained in the teachings of Vipassana Buddhism and both authors reinforce the importance of understanding the spiritual and historical background of mindfulness. This book is incredibly well written and offers so many pearls of wisdom for anyone interested in strengthening their practice and gaining the skills and confidence to teach a mindfulness program. I highly recommend it! – Madison

This review was written by Madison Le Gallee, a medical student at McGill University and a member of the McGill Med Mindfulness Team.

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