What Is Trying to Happen Here? Using Mindfulness to Enhance the Quality of Patient Encounters

What Is Trying to Happen Here? Using Mindfulness to Enhance the Quality of Patient Encounters

 

Philip Knowles, PhD

Spring 2008 - Volume 12 Number 2

http://dx.doi.org/10.7812/TPP/07-043

Abstract

Mind can be considered as a process that regulates the flow of sensory inputs and information, much of it largely unobserved. Mindful self-awareness is a disciplined means of directing attention to the thoughts, affect, intentions, and physiologic shifts that occur moment to moment. These, along with the perception of signals observed from another person, shape behavior in an ongoing interaction. The flow of inputs and information has implications for the formation of an empathetic relationship. Empathy is known to be an essential aspect of successful clinician-patient communication. This article describes the characteristics and practices of mindful self-awareness as a way of promoting optimal outcomes in patient encounters.