MiCBT Research (Selected Studies)

Research and Publications on Mindfulness-integrated CBT.

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.

A Pilot Investigation of Mindfulness-integrated CBT for PTSD

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Investigator: Nicholas Laurence, Doctorate of Clinical Psychology Candidate, Massey University, Wellington New Zealand 

Supervisor: Dr Ian de Terte, Massey University, Wellington New Zealand

Co-supervisors: Dr Bruno Cayoun, MiCBT Institute; Dr Chris Stephens, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand    


Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MiCBT) contains a number of treatment components that evidence indicates to be efficacious in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): exposure, mindful non-reacting, mindful nonjudging, loving-kindness meditation and cognitive reappraisal, which in MiCBT is enhanced by mindfulness training. For these and other reasons, MiCBT may be effective in treating PTSD. The present study aims to provide a preliminary investigation of MiCBT’s efficacy in the treatment of PTSD. A multiple baseline single-case experimental design across participants will be used, as it is a recommended design for initial treatment research before progressing to a randomized controlled trial. Baseline measures will be taken over at least three weeks before the four participants are allocated to begin treatment. The co-ordinating investigator will administer the treatment under the supervision of Dr Ian de Terte, an experienced clinical psychologist with expertise in the treatment of PTSD, and Dr Bruno Cayoun. Measures of PTSD and related symptoms will be taken before, during and after the intervention and in a follow-up assessment three months after the end of treatment. Results will be analysed with visual inspection of graphs and accompanying statistical analyses will determine whether or not an effect was observed, the size of the effect, and whether the effect size can be attributed to the intervention. 

Effectiveness of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive-Behavior Therapy on depression, adherence and blood glucose control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Monday, May 26, 2014

Authors: Sohrabi, F 1; Sohrabi, A 2; & Shmas-alizadeh, N 3.

1. M.Sc of Clinical psychology, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.,Email: F.sohrabi20@gmail.com  Mob: +98-9189926805    
2. Psychologist. Department of psychology, Kurdistan university, Sanandaj, Iran. Email: Sohrabya@gmail.com
3. Psychiatrist, Department of psychiatry, Kurdistan University of medical sciences, Sanandaj, Iran. Email:Nshamsalizadeh@yahoo.com

This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effects of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MiCBT) on depression, adherence to medical treatment, and control of blood glucose in patients with Type II Diabetes Mellitus. Measures included the Beck Depression Inventory, the Adherence to Therapy Scale, and the Glucosilated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) test. Twenty-five patients who met the entrance criteria were randomly assigned to either the 8-session MiCBT program or a control condition. The results showed that participants who attended the MiCBT reported a significant decrease in symptoms of depression (p < .001) and greater adherence to medical treatment (p < .001) than those in the control group. MiCBT participants also showed a degree of reduction on the HbA1c test than the controls, but no statistically significant between-group effect was found (p < .127). Despite our limitations in the application of the MiCBT program, we conclude that MiCBT is a helpful program for the psychological impairment of patients with Type II Diabetes mellitus

Comparison between Effectiveness of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MiCBT) and Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (REBT) on procrastination, perfectionism and worry in students

Friday, May 23, 2014

Authors: Dr.Banafshe Farzinrad, Mina Nazari Kamal

Institution: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences

Title: Comparison between Effectiveness of Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MiCBT) and Rational Emotional Behavior Therapy (REBT) on procrastination, perfectionism and worry in students


Introduction: procrastination is common (20-70%) between university students especially in exams season and results in academic failure. Perfectionism leads to procrastination and the worry about procrastinating in doing tasks causes more procrastination. 

Objective : The aim of this research was to compare the efficacy of MiCBT and REBT on procrastination, perfectionism and worry in university students. 

Materials and methods: This study employed quasi-experimental method with pre- test & post-test and follow up. In this research, the independent variable was psychotherapy methods (MiCBT & REBT) and dependent variables were psychotherapy consequences. Population consisted of students who were referred to counseling center of Tehran Universities and sample included 30 students of Iran University of Science and Industry that were randomly divided into two experimental groups (N=15). Convenient Sampling method was used. (MiCBT & REBT packages consists of 13 weekly sessions, each sessions was 150 minutes). Then MiCBT & REBT packages were carried out over weekly 13 sessions of 150 minutes. In this research, the test-takers filled out 4 questionnaires (general procrastination, decision making procrastination, Hill perfectionism and worry domain questionnaires which were developed based on 3times intervals(before psychotherapy, after psychotherapy and 3 months after psychotherapy) to compare effectiveness of the two treatment method. The data was analyzed by Kruskal Wallis test, Wilcoxon & Mann-Whitney U-test and the results were demonstrated in graphic charts.  

Results: The results showed a significant difference (p≤0.05) between pre-test & post-test, post-test & follow up on behavioral, decision making procrastination, negative perfectionism and worry and in favor of MiCBT’s higher effectiveness. But the difference between pre-test & post-test, post-test & follow up on positive perfectionism was not significant (p≤0.05). 

Conclusions: the effectiveness of MiCBT on decreasing of behavioral, decision making procrastination, negative perfectionism and worry, was higher compared to REBT. But both of them had equal effectiveness on positive perfectionism.

Presentation: Poster, presented at 6th International Congress on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry