Document Type


Publication Date

November 2012


Mindfulness can be most comprehensively defined as a multifaceted, present-moment awareness intervention that capitalizes on self-perceptions (Gehart & McCollum, 2007; Nanda, 2009). Native American practices can be easily translated into counseling mindfulness techniques to aide in the healing journey of multicultural clients (Burks & Robbins, 2011; Durtschi,Rybak & Decker-Fitts, 2009; Garrett et al., 2011; Turner & Pope, 2009). A Medicine Wheel, or Sacred Hoop, is just one of the many ways to help individuals heal through mindfulness practices. Through the use of creating and discussing a healing wheel with clients, counselors can promote a context for understanding, respecting, and valuing both self and others.

As clients grow in personal awareness, they simultaneously increase academic or career performance, social skills, and coping mechanisms to enhance their personal quality of life (Hamiel, 2005; Semple, Reid, & Miller, 2005; Thompson & Gauntlett-Gilbert, 2008). By helping clients learn to embrace and practice self-awareness, counselors also empower clients to take ownership of their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Implementing mindfulness through the use of a Healing Wheel with clients of various developmental levels may be one way counselors can help individuals realize their strengths and achieve their fullest potential.

The escalating need for counselors to become and remain proficient regarding multifaceted interventions correlates to the ever-increasing diversity in communities (Constantine & Sue, 2005; Hill, 2003; Tadlock-Marlo et al., 2012). As counseling-related nuances immerge from the adolescent population, there is an ever emergent need for counselors to be both multiculturally competent and creative in their techniques. Currently there is little research on the use of Healing Wheels in counseling. Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to provide information regarding both the process and the outcomes of building and discussing a personal Healing Wheel with clients.