MiCBT Foundation Course
Develop a sound understanding of MiCBT principles, theory and practice
Mindfulness involves paying attention to what is being experienced in the present moment, with a non-judgmental and non-reactive attitude. Research has led to the recognition among CBT researchers and clinicians that integrating mindfulness training with cognitive and behavioural interventions contributes to the treatment of a wide range of disorders. There is also evidence that the practice of mindfulness by therapists decreases their mental fatigue and the frequency of burnout and increases therapist effectiveness.
Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MiCBT) is an established evidence-based integration of traditionally-taught mindfulness training (Burmese Vipassana tradition of Ledi Sayadaw, U Ba Khin and Goenka) with solid and well-established principles of cognitive and behavioural methods. MiCBT consists of a four-stage transdiagnostic treatment approach; i.e., it is applicable to a wide range of clinical conditions and ages.
For mental health therapists to successfully implement mindfulness-based therapies, such as MiCBT, it is essential that they first develop their own skills before learning to implement them with their clients/patients. This comprehensive course aims to introduce MiCBT to improve our way of addressing acute and chronic conditions and assist in preventing relapse in a wide range of psychological disorders. During the Foundation Course, you will develop a sound understanding of MiCBT principles, theory and practice. Following this course, you may enrol in the Applied Course and learn under supervision to implement Mindfulness-integrated CBT with your clients/patients.
This foundational course involves didactic, practical and experiential means of learning, including:
- A range of mindfulness meditation practices (as traditionally taught in Burmese Vipassana)
- Implementation of the four stages of MiCBT, including mindfulness-based exposure and relapse prevention strategies
- Masterclasses delivered online
- The opportunity to role-play core implementation skills with colleagues in online break-out rooms
- Real case demonstrations on video
You will learn:
- the personal practice of core and advanced mindfulness meditation skills
- recent findings on theoretical underpinnings of mindfulness practice and its effects
- the neurophenomenological foundations of behaviour maintenance and change
- how to engage the client in the treatment plan
- the use of MiCBT for attention- and emotion-regulation
- the use of MiCBT for behavioural regulation and decreasing avoidance
- the use of MiCBT for interpersonal regulation and improving conflict resolution
- the use of MiCBT for transpersonal regulation and relapse prevention strategies
No prior knowledge of mindfulness is assumed, but basic skills in cognitive and behavioural techniques are required. MiCBT is a mindfulness-based therapy specifically designed to address clinical and subclinical conditions.
Australian Therapists: Registered and currently practising psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners (mental health – level 2), mental health social workers, mental health occupational therapists, mental health nurses and ACA-registered (Level 3) or PACFA-registered (Clinical Member) counsellors and psychotherapists may apply. Proof of membership from registering body required.
Therapists outside Australia: Registered and currently practising psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners (mental health), mental health social workers, mental health occupational therapists, mental health nurses, counsellors and psychotherapists may apply. Proof of membership from registering body required.
The MiCBT Foundation Course is a 12-week training course with ten 3-hour online lessons.
This class will introduce the four-stage structure and theoretical underpinnings of MiCBT—the Co-emergence Model of Reinforcement. This will include the neurobehavioural bases underlying mindfulness meditation and the rationale for using mindfulness in the Vipassana tradition in MiCBT. You will be asked to practise mindfulness of the body (attending to posture and movements non-judgementally in daily actions in order to anchor attention in the present).
You will also practise a pre-mindfulness relaxation method called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) twice daily and do some reading from materials provided to you as part of this course.
This week’s class will demonstrate how to address possible difficulty keeping a regular home practice of mindfulness meditation. The teacher will demonstrate the use of Socratic dialogue to clarify possible difficulty with daily practice.
The class will also describe the practice of mindfulness of breath and provide you with a rationale for its practice to improve attention regulation and executive functions in daily life.
This week’s class will guide you to develop your own emotion-regulation skills with the practice of mindfulness of body sensations, using a method called unilateral part-by-part body-scanning (from the original Burmese Vipassana tradition of U Ba Khin and S. N. Goenka).
This week’s class will also demonstrate the delivery of the rationale for integrating mindfulness of body sensations in therapy. The trainer will explain how equanimity in mindfulness meditation acts as an exposure (to sensory stimuli and memories) and response prevention method. You will have the opportunity to role-play the skills in breakout rooms and discuss your implementation.
This week’s class will discuss the effects of neuroplasticity on your meditation practice. It will also emphasise the role and practice of equanimity, both during mindfulness meditation and applied in daily life, to increase your ability to recognise the deeper and usually subconscious characteristics of emotional experiences.
You will learn to apply the meditative skills in everyday life and regulate emotions more efficiently with the Mindfulness-based Interoceptive Exposure Task (MIET) when faced with common stressors.
This week’s class will introduce the role and practice of mindfulness-based exposure methods in MiCBT. It will guide you to use these methods in your own life, using skills acquired in the preceding weeks. This increases one’s levels of equanimity and creates a sense of increased self-confidence.
You will also learn the first advanced body-scanning method, called symmetrical scanning, which involves a simultaneous bilateral allocation of attention.
There is no online teaching this week as more time is needed to implement and further develop the previous week’s skills. During this week, you will be asked to repeat last week’s symmetrical scanning method of meditation without audio instructions.
You also learn to do your own review of your early progress with exposure.
This week’s class will guide and assist you in addressing the most avoided situations and resolve potential difficulties you may have with exposure methods. You will learn to review progress with the results of exposure systematically.
The class will also introduce you to a more advanced and deepening mindfulness meditation method called partial sweeping. This body-scanning method enables earlier detection of more subtle experiences, including early distress cues, with which you will learn to apply equanimity.
This week’s class will teach you the first skillset to develop your own mindfulness-based interpersonal skills, called “experiential ownership, ” enabling you to take “ownership” of your experience and disown that of others, thereby setting healthy interpersonal boundaries. This method also teaches you to “see suffering” for what it is when someone reacts to you negatively, rather than seeing malice and spite.
You will also learn the next advanced body-scanning method, sweeping en masse, which enables deep perception of early onset of emotional processing, including early detection of distress cues.
This week’s class will teach you the second mindfulness-based interpersonal skillset, which teaches you to integrate the interpersonal mindfulness skills learned last week with seven steps of assertive communication.
You will also learn one of the most advanced body-scanning methods taught in MiCBT called transversal scanning. This method will allow you to feel the inside of the body and neutralises deep-rooted schematic modes of emotional reactivity.
This week’s class will teach you the principal of relapse-prevention methods of MiCBT. It will teach you to self-implement compassion training, grounded in thoughts, emotions and daily actions, through the practice of loving-kindness meditation and ethical living. You will learn to increase your level of compassion by integrating the empathic state produced by loving-kindness meditation with mindfulness of ethical intentions and actions. This will create and maintain a greater sense of connectedness with others and a sense of increased well-being.
You will also learn to use the most advanced body-scanning technique in MiCBT, which enables you to scan your body in its totality, eventually in a single breath, with a method called sweeping in-depth.
There is no online teaching this week, as it is an extension of the previous week’s skills, which require more time to integrate into daily life. You will be learning to further cultivate compassion for yourself and others through loving-kindness meditation and ethical living in as many daily situations as possible.
You will also start the maintenance practice, which is recommended to clients/patients following the completion of the programme. This consists of practising once daily only for 45 minutes (provided no crisis is encountered), with 10 minutes of mindfulness of breath at the start, followed by 25 minutes of sweeping in-depth, and 10 minutes of loving-kindness at the end.
This week’s class will reinforce your proficiency in compassion training and link mindfulness of ethical intentions and actions to a sense of self-worth. The class will summarise the course and review your overall outcomes. It will describe future training and use of the Institute’s resources will be discussed.
It will also present the opportunity and procedure for MiCBT accreditation. You will be guided through the procedure to access the online learning outcome form and obtain your certificate of completion.
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