A super interesting conversation!

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

From Liam O'Donnell

"Welcome to another episode of BrainTainment, today I’m fortunate to be chatting with Dr Bruno Cayoun, a Clinical Psychologist and principal developer of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MiCBT).

This is a super interesting conversation! We explore some ideas around mindfulness & unpack the value of MiCBT - and perhaps most importantly; how this approach can be applied to every day life.

Among much more, we cover:

- Snapshot of what MiCBT is all about, and why it might be beneficial
- 4-stage therapeutic approach of MiCBT
- ‘Equanimity’ - what is this about and why important?
- What is Mindfulness at its essence, and why is it beneficial?
- is DESIRE a bad thing? Or is there a place for it?

Please enjoy!"

Published! Co-emergence Reinforcement and Its Relevance to Interoceptive Desensitization in Mindfulness and Therapies Aiming at Transdiagnostic Efficacy

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Congrats to Bruno Cayoun and Alice Shires on their latest publication - "Co-emergence Reinforcement and Its Relevance to Interoceptive Desensitization in Mindfulness and Therapies Aiming at Transdiagnostic Efficacy"!

Interoception, the ability to feel the body’s internal sensations, is an essential aspect of emotional experience. There is mounting evidence that interoception is impaired in common mental health disorders and that poor interoceptive awareness is a major contributor to emotional reactivity, calling for clinical interventions to address this deficit. The manuscript presents a comprehensive theoretical review, drawing on multidisciplinary findings to propose a metatheory of reinforcement mechanisms applicable across a wide range of disorders. We present a reconsideration of operant conditioning through the co-emergence model of reinforcement, which is a neurophenomenological account of the interaction between cognition and interoception, and its consequences on behavior. The model suggests that during memory processing, the retrieval of autobiographical memory (including maladaptive cognition) is dependent upon its co-emerging interoceptive cues occurring at the encoding, consolidation and reconsolidation stages. Accordingly, “interoceptive reinforcement” during emotional distress is a common factor to all emotional disorders and a major cause for relapse. We propose that interoceptive desensitization has transdiagnostic benefits, readily achievable through the cultivation of equanimity during mindfulness training and can be integrated in cognitive and behavioral interventions to permit a transdiagnostic applicability. We summarize the contributions of this approach into 10 specific and testable propositions.

Frontiers in Psychology, 22 December 2020 |

Mindfulness As An Exposure-Based Intervention: Dr Alia Offman

Monday, September 21, 2020

It's hard these days to pick up a magazine, browse the internet or peruse the self-help section without coming across "mindfulness"; however, there are frequently deep misunderstandings with respect to the correct definition, framing, application and utility of mindfulness in addressing mental health concerns as well as overall wellness. 

Co-director of the North American Chapter of the Mindfulness-Integrated CBT (MiCBT) Institute, Dr. Alia Offman, C. Psych, discusses 

  • the clinical path that led her to become interested in MiCBT
  • the operational definition of mindfulness
  • core-skills of mindfulness
  • the structured four-stage therapeutic approach employed by MiCBT
  • specific interventions where mindfulness and CBT skills are combined, reconceptualizing mindfulness as an exposure-based intervention
  • the evidence for MiCBT
  • the neurobiology of MiCBT. 

Dr. Alia Offman is a registered psychologist in Ontario, Canada providing counselling and professional training services using MiCBT. She obtained her doctorate in research psychology at Carleton University, a Master's in Education at the University of Ottawa, and post-doctorate training as a counselling psychologist. Alia is the Co-director of the North American Chapter of the MiCBT Institute. She has been a Contract Instructor at Carleton University for over ten years teaching in the psychology department. She has supervised their fourth year Honours Projects course, taught a fourth year seminar course in The Psychology of Human Sexuality and undergraduate courses in The Psychology of Women, Statistics and Social Psychology. She has also taught in the education department at the University of Ottawa as a sessional lecturer. She is currently teaching a fourth-year course in Mindfulness and Well-being. 

Alia is a published researcher with the majority of her work focused on adult populations, studying such diverse areas as workplace productivity, the impact of discrimination on health, communication in relationships and the effects of relationship violence on self-esteem. She was an Associate Researcher at Carleton University and a Research Associate with the Ottawa Health Research Institute. 

For many years she volunteered with Planned Parenthood Ottawa and she was recognized for her work in the field of human sexuality and was awarded the Norman Barwin Scholarship from the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada.

NEW! Mindfulness Meditation Retreat (for non-therapists)

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Mindfulness Meditation Retreat
...cultivating insight and wellbeing through guided mindfulness meditation...

A residential retreat for health professionals, business and community leaders.

Are you interested in developing inner resources to address stressful challenges and improving your sense of calmness and well-being? Would you like to cultivate insight and discover powerful life strategies? If so, join us in learning an evidence-based meditative practice with Dr. Cayoun in a three-day immersion into mindfulness. 
The retreat is suited for all levels of experience. You will: 

  • learn how to practise (or improve your practice of) mindfulness meditation 
  • learn the key principles of mindful living 
  • discover practical tools to incorporate into relationships, parenting and work 
  • understand how to break habitual patterns of reacting and learn how to respond rather than react 
  • learn how to work peacefully with challenging emotions and thoughts 
  • learn to live with greater purpose, wisdom and fulfilment

See here for more information and registration

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 24, 2019