In U.S. culture, there is increasing interest in using complementary therapies (CT), which the National Institutes of Health also refer to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In clinical mental health counseling, there has been little research on CT use, though there is potential for CT practices to illuminate perspectives on professional identity, ethical practices, and responsiveness to client needs. This grounded theory study examined the use of CT by 16 professional counselors across the United States to increase understanding of how and why practitioners use CT. The findings revealed four key categories that delineate the use of mind-body practices in counseling: (a) experiences with CT; (b) beliefs creating openness to CT; (c) development of CT competence; and (d) reinforcement of CT use in professional practice. Implications for exploring CT in clinical counseling are discussed (see also Nichols, 2012).

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