The mindfulness-based social work and self-care programme: A focus group study

Alan Maddock*, Karen McGuigan, Pearse McCusker, Jane Kellock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The evidence for the potential of mindfulness-based programmes (MBPs) to support improved stress coping and feelings of burnout in social workers is growing. MBPs which are specifically designed for social workers might help to enhance social work practice, whilst simultaneously supporting reductions in stress, burnout, and attrition in the profession. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experience of twelve social workers who completed the Mindfulness-based social work and self-care programme (MBSWSC). Thematic data analysis resulted in six key themes being identified: professional motivation, mindfulness practice challenges and facilitators, benefits of increased self-awareness, impact professionally, use of mindfulness practices in direct work, the importance of having a social work tailored programme. This study provides further promising evidence of the acceptability and effectiveness of MBSWSC as a social work self-care and reflective practice programme. It is becoming increasingly clear that social workers are more likely to enrol in and fully engage with MBPs, which are specifically designed to support their social work practice and stress processing skills, if they are offered by their organisation. The increased access to MBPs of this nature is likely to lead to reduced burnout, and retention issues within the social work profession.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Early online date7 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Oct 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • burnout
  • mindfulness
  • reflective practice
  • self-care
  • social work
  • stress


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