"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.
Foreword (Joan Halifax Roshi, PhD).
1. A Spiritual Framework for Our Clients and Ourselves (Beyond Spiritual Neutrality).
2. Sitting with Clients on Uncertain Ground: Strong Back, Soft Front (Beyond Evidence–Based Practice).
3. Radical Acceptance of Clients, Context and Self (Beyond Carl Rogers′ Positive Regard).
4. Mindfulness: Steadying the Mind and Being Present (Beyond Empathy Skills and Counter–Transference).
5. Curiosity, Compassionate Caring, and Inspiration (Beyond Professional Warmth).
6. Bearing Witness to Trauma and Pain (Beyond Clinical Distance).
7. The Middle Way: Embracing Contradiction and Paradox (Beyond Dualistic Thinking).
8. Having the Conversation: Making Space for Client Spirituality (Beyond the Great Taboo).
9. Dealing with Failure (Beyond Cognitive Solutions and the Paradigm of Blame).
10. Swimming Upstream with a Warrior′s Heart (Beyond Working a Human Services Job).
Appendix: Brief Introduction to Buddhism and Zen.