MiCBT Research (Selected Studies)

Research and Publications on Mindfulness-integrated CBT.

The Effects of Mindfulness Practice on Child and Parent Anxiety: A Multiple Baseline Case Series

Saturday, November 05, 2016

A report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Clinical Psychology at the University of Technology Sydney, October 2016.

Lauren Winney
Principle Supervisor: Alice Shires (1, 2)
Co-Supervisor: Bruno Cayoun (2)

1 Graduate School of Health, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW Australia
2 MiCBT Institute, 277 Macquarie Street, Hobart, TAS, Australia


 Anxiety is a common, normative experience for both children and adults. However, elevated anxiety in childhood is predictive of adult anxiety disorders, which can have a considerable impact at both the individual and societal level. There is substantial evidence that mindfulness interventions can alleviate adult anxiety, however less is known about mindfulness effects with children. Furthermore, many existing mindfulness interventions neglect the family system, despite its central role in children’s development and wellbeing. This study therefore investigated the effects of a parent-child mindfulness meditation program on child anxiety, with additional investigations into parental anxiety. An A-B-A multiple baseline case series design was used to achieve this aim. Three mother-child dyads participated in the study, and all children initially met DSMIV criteria for two or more anxiety disorders. Two of the three dyads completed the 8-week program, which was based on Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MiCBT). The program provided training in mindfulness of breath and body sensations, and required children to undertake daily mindfulness practice. Results showed that the two retained children no longer met criteria for any anxiety disorder at post-treatment and follow-up. Both children experienced clinically significant and/or reliable reductions in anxiety symptoms and life interference, however only one child achieved improvements in self-reported mindfulness. One mother experienced a reliable reduction in anxiety symptoms, however neither mother demonstrated improvements in self-reported mindfulness. These findings provide some support for mindfulness as a means of alleviating child and maternal anxiety, and have implications for interventions, theory, and future research.

The Effect of Mindfulness-integrated CBT on Depression and Anxiety among Pregnant Women: a Randomized Clinical Trial

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Reza Yazdanimehr(1), Abdollah Omidi(1), Zohreh Sadat(2), Hossein Akbari(3)

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
2 Trauma Nursing Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
3 Department of Biostatistics and Public Health, Faculty of Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran


Introduction: Pregnancy can be associated with different psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. These problems are often neglected and left untreated. This study aimed to examine the effect of mindfulness-integrated cognitive behavior therapy on depression and anxiety among pregnant women. 

Methods: A convenient sample of 80 pregnant women were selected. Participants were randomly allocated to either the experimental or the control groups. Participants in the experimental group received mindfulness-integrated cognitive behavior therapy while women in the control group only received routine prenatal care services. A demographic questionnaire, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory were used for data collection. Descriptive statistics measures such as frequency, mean, and standard deviation as well as the repeated-measures analysis of variance test were used for data analysis. 

Results: After the study intervention, the mean scores of anxiety and depression in the experimental group were significantly lower than the control group. 

Conclusion: Mindfulness-integrated cognitive behavior therapy can significantly alleviate pregnant women’s depression and anxiety. So implementation of this method alongside with other prenatal care services is recommended.

Full paper may be downloaded here: Yazdanimehr R, Omidi A, Sadat Z, Akbari H. The effect of mindfulness-integrated cognitive behavior therapy on depression and anxiety among pregnant women: a randomized clinical trial. J Caring Sci 2016; 5 (3): 195-203. doi:10.15171/jcs.2016.021.  

Effects of a Mindfulness Intervention on Sports- Anxiety, Pessimism, and Flow in Competitive Cyclists

Thursday, August 18, 2016

John Scott-Hamilton and Nicola S. Schutte*
University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Rhonda F. Brown
Australia National University, Canberra, Australia

* Address for correspondence: Nicola Schutte, Department of Psychology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia. Email: nschutte@une.edu.au

Background: This study investigated whether mindfulness training increases athletes’ mindfulness and flow experience and decreases sport-specific anxiety and sport-specific pessimism. Methods: Cyclists were assigned to an eight-week mindfulness intervention, which incorporated a mindful spin-bike training component, or a wait-list control condition. Participants completed baseline and post-test measures of mindfulness, flow, sport-anxiety, and sport-related pessimistic attributions.

Results: Analyses of covariance showed significant positive effects on mindfulness, flow, and pessimism for the 27 cyclists in the mindfulness intervention condition compared with the 20 cyclists in the control condition. Changes in mindfulness experienced by the intervention participants were positively associated with changes in flow. Conclusions: Results suggest that mindfulness-based interventions tailored to specific athletic pursuits can be effective in facilitating flow experiences.

APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, 2016, 8 (1), 85–103 doi:10.1111/aphw.12063

Download full article here: Effects of a Mindfulness Intervention on Sports- Anxiety, Pessimism, and Flow in Competitive Cyclists

Unlearning chronic pain with equanimity: Immediate and lasting pain reduction following a self-implemented mindfulness-based interoceptive exposure task

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Presented at the 2nd International Mindfulness Conference in Rome, May 2016

Submitted for publication

Bruno Cayoun (1), Akeesha Simmons (2) and Alice Shires (1,2,3)
1 Mindfulness-integrated CBT Institute, 277 Macquarie Street, Hobart, TAS, Australia
2 Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW Australia
3 School of Psychology, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia


Introduction: Recent neurological research shows that about 80% of people who transit from acute to chronic pain produce neuroplasticity linking pain pathways to learning areas of the brain, showing evidence that chronic pain is largely learned. This pilot study investigated the efficacy of a short self-guided mindfulness-based interoceptive exposure task (MIET) in extinguishing learned aversive responses to pain sensations. The MIET has been used routinely in Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for over a decade to decrease emotional distress and regulate emotions more generally, but its effects on chronic pain have never been empirically demonstrated.

Method: Fifteen (8 males, 7 females) diagnosed chronic pain patients, aged 26 to 73 (M = 47.33), individually underwent two 30-second exposures to pain sensations (pre-treatment) and were asked to self-implement this method aided by printed instructions each time their pain reached high intensity, for the following two weeks (post-treatment). Following post-treatment interview, participants were asked to continue practising the method on their own for another two months (follow-up).

Results:The results show large reductions in pain-related anxiety from pre- to post-treatment (p=.001; d=0.96) and further reduction at 2-month follow-up (p=.03; d=0.42), and large decrease in pain severity from pre- to post-treatment (p=.01; d=0.86), which was maintained at 2-month follow-up. Averaged dynamic data also show large reductions in pain intensity after each 30-second exposure (p<.001; d=1.37). Large reduction in emotional distress (depression, anxiety and stress) was also observed from pre-treatment to 2-month follow-up (p<.001; d=0.81). Participants rated the task as highly acceptable and some reduced their use of analgesic medication.

Discussion: These early results show the possible benefits of this method as a costless adjunct to traditional treatments of chronic pain and has the potential to change unhelpful habits and moderate the mechanism of brain reorganisation in pain chronification.

Grist to the Mill: A Qualitative Investigation of Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Experienced Health Professionals

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Darby, M1. and Beavan, V2. (2016), Grist to the Mill: A Qualitative Investigation of Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Experienced Health Professionals. Australian Psychologist. doi: 10.1111/ap.12215 

1Progress Psychology 
2Department of Psychological Sciences, Australian College of Applied Psychology


Objective: Mindfulness-integrated cognitive behaviour therapy (MiCBT) is a transdiagnostic psychological intervention for the alleviation of chronic mental health conditions. Although health workers utilise the approach in Australasia, Europe, and North America, the modality has been overlooked in the literature. Furthermore, few qualitative studies have investigated mindfulness training for experienced healthcare professionals. This study addresses these gaps and is the first investigation of an Australian sample in this field of study. 

Method: The design comprises a two-stage qualitative analysis of the recorded experiences of six health professionals during introductory MiCBT training in Australia, using course workbooks and semi-structured interviews conducted at between 3 and 21 months’ follow-up. 

Results: Results show a high level of agreement with the extant literature on other mindfulness-based approaches. Themes involve harnessing of personal challenges during training to one's advantage, gaining equanimity through exposure, and personal benefits linked to home practice. However, notable themes from the literature relating to group cohesion and professional self-care are absent. Novel findings include the reported ability of participants to regard personal difficulties as opportunities, rather than threats, to practice; and differences in how mindfulness training is implemented professionally by psychologists and social workers working with dissimilar client groups. 

Conclusions: Results suggest that specifics of the training delivery, occupation of professionals, and level of client functioning could all play a part in determining perceived outcomes of mindfulness training for participants. The findings will be of interest to anyone who designs, implements, or participates in mindfulness-based training programmes.