Mindfulness-integrated CBT Workshop – Dublin 2013 Update
by Eoin O’Shea
March 23rd and 24th saw the first ever Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MiCBT) workshop to be held in Ireland. This took place at the Red Cow Moran Hotel and was delivered by Dr. Bruno Cayoun, based in Hobart, Tasmania. With the workshop lasting the entire weekend, participants included mental health professionals such as psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, and those from other relevant backgrounds.
An overview was provided of MiCBT as an approach. The presented model encompasses both ‘second’ and ‘third wave’ strategies in a trans-diagnostic programme for working with a broad range of presenting problems. Used with both individuals and groups, the material presented included video-taped sessions of the use of MiCBT with clients diagnosed with chronic pain, borderline personality disorder, and also a gentleman coping with Parkinson’s.
Key features of the MiCBT approach include the centrality afforded to reinforcement of bodily responses in the maintenance of difficulties, the use of between-session formal mindfulness practice, and the additional use of interoceptive exposure techniques in dealing with problematic experiences of clients. As distinct from Beckian CBT, more focus is placed in MiCBT on the introduction to, and further development of, ‘second order’ change strategies; that is, clients work more on changing how they relate to the bodily basis of conditioned responses as opposed to the same focus being placed on changes in thought/appraisal content.
Compared to MBSR and similar mindfulness-based approaches, the applicability of MiCBT to individual client work (as well as groups) seems a useful feature for psychologists working through the 1-to-1 format. The rationale and development of the intervention across a full, standard 8-week delivery seems more progressive in that therapeutic focus explicitly shifts from the development of personally-applied mindfulness skills (earlier in the programme) to interpersonally-applied ones (later on). In this manner, mindfulness skills utilised in the approach are progressively generalised from oneself to responding to others with both empathy but also equanimity, i.e. a calm, less reactive manner of responding to events and circumstances.
The event was hosted by City Colleges and was recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland for the purposes of CPD credits. It is the intention of Dr. Cayoun to provide further training in the MiCBT approach in due course, with certain sections of the full professional training in MiCBT being delivered face-to-face whilst others can be completed through video-based online training. (This training format has often been utilised in Australia generally, perhaps due to the spread of that country’s population over relatively large areas).
Dr. Cayoun also enjoyed the sights and sounds of Dublin’s city centre during his trip. He looks forward to returning in due course – although Eoin O’Shea (a Corkman), has advised a trip to the ‘true capital’ during any future visit!
Pictured are some members of the training workshop in March with Dr. Bruno Cayoun, MiCBT Institute (far left) and Eoin O’Shea, Director of Psychology, City Colleges (third from left, back row).