GOLD COAST: MiCBT Group for Clients

Sunday, December 11, 2011

An 8-week group therapy course to help you deal with Stress, Anxiety and Depression

What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness involves paying attention to each event experienced in the present moment within our body and mind, with a non-judgmental, non-reactive and accepting attitude. In learning to be mindful, we can begin to counter many of our everyday sufferings such as stress, anxiety and depression because we are learning to experience events in a more impersonal, detached and acceptable way.

There is a growing number of therapy approaches that incorporate mindfulness training. Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MiCBT) is one of these approaches. It offers a practical set of evidence-based techniques derived from mindfulness training together with principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to address a broad range of psychological disorders and general stress conditions.

This 8-week group therapy, offered with 8 individual supplemental sessions, will follow the principles of MiCBT and involve active mindfulness training as well as psychological interventions. It will be offered to adults experiencing stress, anxiety or depression by a clinical psychologist, Mikako Naito, at her Tugun clinic on the Gold Coast. The number of participants will be limited to 8. Child minding service can be arranged on site for a fee.

  • Bulk billing for both group and individual sessions ($30.00 per session if without a GP Mental Health Care Plan)
  • A one-off payment of $40.00 to cover the cost of the two mindfulness training CDs used for this program
Days and Time:
  • Group sessions: 10.15am – 12.15pm 8 Tuesdays beginning on 7 February 2012
  • Individual supplemental sessions: 8 Thursdays or Fridays beginning in the same week (by appointment)

Enquiry/Application: Please contact Mikako at (07) 5559 5391 or to make an appointment for a pre-group assessment session.


Group Brochure Feb 2012 Group Brochure Feb 2012 (145 KB) 

Enrol Now for MiCBT Training and Courses 2012!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our training calendar for 2012 is finalised ... Places are limited and early registration is advised to avoid disappointment.

All of our courses can be taken independently or as part of the Voc. Graduate Diploma of MiCBT.

Introductory Workshop – April and August

8-week Foundation Course – April and August

8-Week Applied Course – July

Intensive Residential 5-day Retreat – March and November

Click here for more information…

Snapshot: Glenn Bilsborrow

Friday, July 29, 2011

Registered Psychologist, Macquarie Psychology – Hobart Australia

Psychology has always been a fascination for me but we didn't really find each other properly until later in my life. When I left school I was going to be a mechanic! But my employer told me that he had decided not to take on another apprentice, so that was that. Needless to say, I didn't stay there long. After a few more years working, I went to university and started studying a bachelor of arts with the intention of doing psychology. I really enjoyed anthropology and English, but found first year psychology a bit dry! Overall, it seemed too far removed from everyday life, let alone people. So I changed to business.

After completing a business degree I went to work in the real world and slowly realised that it was a world of conformity and rules. The aim was to make money and everything was about making more of it. At this time I was living and working in Sydney, Australia. I worked in various capacities such as financial planner and as an advisor to small business. So eventually, in 1991, my partner and I decided to move to Tasmania where her family was and where we could raise our two boys in a place that was a little more removed from the rat-race.

During all these years of work, I had always been interested in the journey of self-understanding as well. In my early 20s I discovered self help books teaching such things as Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy. I read as many books as I could find. I wanted to know about myself and my role in this world. I went to see therapists. The first one was good. The second was not as good. I wasn’t sure that therapists were able to offer anything substantial and I was concerned that it perhaps wasn’t really a 'science'. Maybe we just turn out to be who we were going to be despite 'psychology'?

But I was a scientist at heart, and business and science are worlds apart. So, one day I decided to go back to psychology. I had decided by this time that psychology did have something to offer when done properly. I wanted to do it properly. I restarted the arts degree part-time and got into honours at the University of Tasmania. I spent a few years working on my Doctorate and became a registered psychologist.

My philosophy in life had always been that of a generalist. I wanted to gather knowledge about a wide range of things and apply that to my vocation, whatever that was. Being a psychologist was a way of utilising that experience; use my own journey and the variety of things I learned in life, and at university, to help those who are in need. So I became a specialist, which now actually sits well. To that role I bring all the differing perspectives of living and working in various places. Since working as a psychologist, I have felt fulfilled and happy. There is not a day that goes by where I don't feel grateful for my life. I used to worry that one day it would all go pear-shaped and not last. But over time I learned to trust that it wouldn't. Of course there have been bad times. But overall, life has really been good to me.

In all those early years where I was learning about life and myself, funnily enough, I was never drawn into mindfulness in a formal way. Back in the 80s I read a book called "The relaxation response" and I was intrigued by how meditation affected the mind and body. I also read and absorbed books on visualisation and many other techniques that helped to still the mind. I applied these to my life in a casual way. One outlined a technique that I tried and found affected me profoundly. It started off small, only a slight change. Over time, as I practiced it, I was able to ‘hold’ this sensation of letting go. I had learned to be equanimous for short periods in a focused way by letting go of an attachment to sensations in the body. I still use it and it led me to have an affinity later with the practice of mindfulness. I also learned a long time ago, of the impermanence of emotion and the notion that we are often rooted in the present by emotion, but have to also have an eye to the fact that this will change.

I met Bruno in 2000 and was struck by his calm, his dedication and the clarity he brought to things. He wanted me to understand mindfulness in a deeper way by practice. His view was that if you have found something this good, you want others you care about to also benefit from it. I resisted. “What was the point of working hard on something designed to make you happier in your life when you are already happy?” I thought. Over time, we had chats about his methods and I could see a definite advantage in utilising a more pervasive mindfulness approach with clients.

I heard others, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, talking about the benefits of mindfulness and I had read much on it. So I began to practice it more formally. Since then, it has been imbedded in my work with clients. What I like about this approach is that it is experiential. It is one's own experience and not that of another who may be trying to help you change your understanding of what you experience. It asks you to do it to yourself, without a 'middle man'. In MiCBT, mindfulness is not on the periphery, it is central. When I thought about it, I realised that traditional CBT is often simply trying to put a wedge between someone and their troublesome thoughts. Why not start deeper; why not work on it yourself through the practice of mindfulness? Above all, being mindful really does impact on what you bring to therapy. I think Bruno has truly brought mindfulness to psychotherapy in a unique and powerful way and I am grateful for his wisdom.

MiCBT Institute Newsletter: Vol 2.4 August 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope this finds you well and trust you will appreciate reading the bimonthly newsletter of the MiCBT Institute. I welcome everyone who recently attended a course, workshop or master class in MiCBT and joined the institute’s Affiliate Membership. I hope that all of you will find the information and the peer-reviewed article linked to the August newsletter interesting and informative (click on link to download). Please do not hesitate to send us your comments.

Warm regards,

Bruno Cayoun

MiCBT Institute Newsletter Vol.2.4 MiCBT Institute Newsletter Vol.2.4 (235 KB) 

Mindfulness in Meditation and Everyday Life

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Venue: Bruny Island Community Health Centre. 16 School Rd, Alonnah.

Course Dates: Preliminary interview on 26 July. The course runs from 23 August to 11 October 2011. 11.00am to 2.00pm, including a light lunch.

The last session will be Tuesday, 13 December.

Please book on 62931143 at Bruny Island Community Health Centre.

Cost: $5.00 for lunch per session. You will also need to purchase two CDs at $10.00 each for your daily practice.

Tutor: Dr Peter Davies

This 8-week course is based on the one developed by Dr Bruno Cayoun, an internationally recognised Psychologist and Mindfulness practitioner, who regularly teaches in Australia and abroad.

For further information please contact Peter Davies: Email and mobile 0417528375 after 18 June.

What does a Mindfulness course involve?

Mindfulness is a mental state that is experienced as a heightened awareness of our senses in the present moment, free from judgement, reactivity and identification to the experience. As a training method, mindfulness requires paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, from moment to moment, with unconditional acceptance of the current experience. In a Mindfulness course, participants meet together as a class with an instructor for 8 weekly 2-hour classes, with an additional one half-day session 2 months after the 8th session.

The skill of mindfulness is taught through formal and informal mindfulness practices. Formal mindfulness meditation practices include mindfulness of breath, and body-scanning meditation, which help regulate attention and emotion. Informal mindfulness meditation practice involves integrating mindfulness into everyday life. In each class, participants have an opportunity to talk about their experience of the home practices, the obstacles that inevitably arise, and how to deal with them skillfully. Each class is organized around a theme that is explored through mindfulness practice, group inquiry and other relevant exercises.

As mindfulness training is primarily experiential in nature, the main ‘work’ of the course is done at home between classes, using CDs with guided meditations that support participants developing practice outside of class. This requires devoting approximately 30 minutes twice each day to home practice. In many ways this commitment to daily practice is the most important aspect of the course. It is through personal experiencing of mindfulness that we come to understand the possibilities it opens for us in our daily lives.

Over the eight weeks of the program, the practices help you to:
  • become familiar with the workings of your mind
  • notice the times when you are at risk of getting caught in old habits of mind that re-activate downward mood spirals
  • explore ways of releasing yourself from those old and unhelpful habits
  • get in touch with a different way of knowing yourself and the world
  • notice small beauties and pleasures in the world around you instead of living in your head
  • be kind to yourself instead of wishing things were different, or driving yourself to meet impossible goals
  • improve your sense of self-worth
  • accept yourself as you are, rather than judging or blaming yourself
  • decrease stress and gain some peace of mind
  • be able to exercise greater choice confidently in life.

Effects of developing mindfulness include:   

  • Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem
  • An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations
  • Enhanced interpersonal relationships
  • Increased ability to manage anxiety and depression and/or low mood
  • Reduced tension
  • Better sleep
  • Greater sense of meaning and purpose in life