Impact of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on counseling self-efficacy: A randomized controlled crossover trial

Sunny H.W. Chan (Corresponding Author), Calvin Kai Ching Yu, Alex W.O. Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the impact of a structured eight-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program on counseling self-efficacy among counseling trainees. Methods: Undergraduate counseling trainees were randomized to an MBCT group (n = 25) or a waitlist control group (n = 25) with a crossover trial design. Psychological measurements regarding mindfulness, empathy, self-compassion, psychological distress, counseling self-efficacy as well as neuro-physiological measures including frontal midline theta activity, respiration rate, and skin conductance were taken at baseline (T1), after intervention (T2), and six-month follow-up (T3). Results: Mindfulness training could make significant positive changes in empathy, self-compassion, stress reduction, and counseling self-efficacy with this being backed up by both psychological and neuro-physiological evidence at T2. However, such differences between the two groups had greatly subsided after crossover in which carry-over effect and marked improvement were noted in the study and control group, respectively, at T3. In addition, mindfulness was the most significant determinant that contributed to counseling self-efficacy, followed by psychological distress reduction and self-compassion according to the regression models. Conclusion: Integrating mindfulness into counseling training is beneficial for helping profession trainees. Practice implication: Incorporating mindfulness into counseling training can enhance the necessary “being mode” qualities in counseling and address self-care issues during training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • counseling self-efficacy
  • crossover trial design
  • mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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