Insights from Pastors on Christian Mindfulness: What Social Workers Can Learn about Spiritual Integration in Mindfulness

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Regina Chow Trammel, PhD, LCSW
Serena Lee, MSW


Christian Mindfulness, Burnout, Spiritually Integrated Interventions, Pastoral Burnout, Social Work Practice


Social workers often work alongside community leaders, including pastors, especially in mezzo and macro practice (Garland & Yancey, 2014). Pastors, like social workers, also face high rates of burnout due to role stress (Adams & Hough, 2017). While mindfulness has been relatively well-researched in social work to address stress and burnout (Crowder & Sears, 2017; Leake et al., 2017; Trammel et al., 2021), it has not been investigated among the pastorate. Pastors may benefit from learning more about how mindfulness can improve well-being, while social workers may benefit from learning more about the spiritual practices that pastors use toward a religious integration of mindfulness. Social workers who incorporate religious and spiritual practices that pastors use might increase fluency toward a more robust and effective mindfulness intervention in practice. Evidence of the efficacy of spiritually integrated interventions are necessary and needed in our profession (Canda et al., 2020). Results of this descriptive qualitative study of a majority-BIPOC sample of pastors can inform social workers who use Christian mindfulness in practice.

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