Mindfulness Integrated Therapies and research clinic
Mindfulness involves paying attention to each experience in the present moment, with a non-reactive and accepting attitude. Mindfulness training helps you realise that body sensations, thoughts and all other experiences, are impermanent by nature no matter how pleasant or unpleasant they are, and training ourselves to not react to them helps us accept and let go of emotions, rather than suffer from them.
The UTS MiCBT program
The MiCBT program involves 8 -10 weekly sessions with a four-stage therapy approach which integrates Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), in order to help you improve the way you think and feel, and change any unhelpful behaviours. As a client of the clinic you will be treated by provisional psychologists, supervised by clinical psychologists, who have had comprehensive training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies including Mindfulness-integrated CBT (MiCBT).
Benefits of mindfulness training
Mindfulness training is recognised as a way to counter everyday suffering such as stress, anxiety, pain and depression, as you learn to experience events in a more impersonal, calm and detached manner.
It aims to help you change the process of thinking and pattern of thoughts while at the same time training you not to react.
Make an appointment
The MiCBT program is open to adults experiencing a wide range of emotional, behavioural and psychological difficulties. Self-referrals are welcome.
Phone: 02 9514 7339
Mindfulness Integrated Therapies Research Clinic MITRC
Director Alice Shires
Positions: Senior Lecturer/UTS Psychology Clinic Director, UTS Clinical Psychology Program, University of Technology Sydney
After a number of years as a child protection social worker in the UK I undertook Clinical Psychology training and received an MSC Clinical Psychology from the University College London. I went onto complete additional training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy and completed advanced Mindfulness Integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MICBT) training.
I completed psychology internships in sexual health, trauma, child and family and adult neuropsychology settings before going on to work as a Senior Clinical Psychologist in Child and Family services, Acute Mental Health and Pain services in London.
After positions, as Psychology Clinic Director at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales I was privileged to commence as Psychology Clinic Director at the University of Technology Sydney at a time that it was developing and setting up its first clinical psychology training course.
In addition to directing a busy psychology-training clinic at UTS, I oversee the Mindfulness Integrated Therapies Research Clinic where I develop and supervise research in the area of Mindfulness and its application in psychological therapy.
I am interested in the underlying processes that maintain and develop forms of psychopathology and emotional suffering. I am particularly interested in the integration of evidence-based western psychological theory and practice with traditional Buddhist psychology. This integration allows us to gain insights about the nature of the human condition, about the maintenance of distress of suffering and the reduction of suffering via interventions applicable to psychology.
In addition to the supervision and guidance of those undertaking clinical psychology, training and associated research, I am also involved in teaching a number of courses including advanced clinical skills, mindfulness integrated cognitive behavioural therapy and skills-based workshops including the application of ethics in clinical training, socratic dialogue, case formulation and treatment planning
Mindfulness Integrated Therapies Research Clinic Mission
The aim of the clinic is to combine research and practice. It is dedicated to researching ways in which suffering can be amplified and maintained by our own reactive habits. By exploring the impact of thoughts on how we feel and thus react to these feelings, and how these reactions change, can become situations that further reinforce difficulties. Buddhist psychological models can assist to understand this pattern of reactivity and the ways in which our mental health and health are shaped.
MiCBT represents the integration of psychological knowledge and Buddhist psychology and represents a working model from which we can develop methods to optimise well-being and reduce the maintenance of suffering.
We are specifically focused on developing measures for the important components of our experience and the dynamic which maintains distress. It is important to identify key processes which are responsible for change during mindfulness training. These mindfulness skills such as changes in attention and awareness and emotional regulation are underpinned by mechanisms such as meta awareness, interoceptive awareness, decentring, self-referential processing and equanimity.
We also want to develop and apply methods which can be applied therapeutically and effectively in order to increase mental health.
In addition to developing research associated with the MiCBT treatment model will also researching the efficacy of teaching mental health professionals such as clinical psychologists and trainee clinical psychologists.
Recent MiTRC studies have included:
- The impact of very brief mindfulness techniques on chronic pain
- The application of the Mindfulness interoceptive exposure task (MIET)
- Comparisons of the impact of mindfulness versus distraction on acute experimental pain
- The relationship between attentional bias and the effects of mindfulness on chronic pain
- Mindfulness treatment for conditions such as anger and grief
- The relationship between interceptive awareness and anxiety
- The development of equanimity measure
- The application of mindfulness integrated cognitive behavioural therapy with children
- The efficacy of yoga treatment for trauma
- The impact of MiCBT training on clinical psychology trainees.
Alice Shires' research was cited in: Psychology Today, How-To: Mindfulness-Based Interoceptive Exposure For Pain
Alice Shires was interviewed for:
Alice Shire's research was cited in Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Nadine Neukirch, Sophie Reid, Alice Shires. Yoga for PTSD and the Role of Interoceptive Awareness: A Preliminary Mixed Methods Case Series Study. European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation. Accepted Oct 2018
Shires A, Newton John T, Sharpe L. The relative efficacy of mindfulness versus distraction: the moderating role of attentional bias. 2018 European Journal of Pain
Cayoun, B., Simmons, A., & Shires, A. (2017). Immediate and Lasting Chronic Pain Reduction Following a Brief Self-Implemented Mindfulness-Based Interoceptive Exposure Task: a Pilot Study. Mindfulness, 1-13.
Osborn, Raphaella, Mary Girgis, Stephanie Morse, Jovana Sladakovic, Ian Kneebone, Alice Shires, Seeta Durvasula, and Lynette Roberts. "Mindfulness-Integrated CBT (MiCBT) for Reducing Distress in Parents of Children with Intellectual Disability (ID): a Case Series." Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities (2018): 1-10.
Brady, B., Kneebone, I. I., & Bailey, P. B. ( 2018). Validation of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Mindfulness.
Cayoun, B. A., Francis, S. E., & Shires, A. G. (2018). The Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy: A Step-by-Step Guide for Therapists. Wiley-Blackwell.
Mindfulness integrated cognitive behavioural therapy (MiCBT)
Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or MiCBT (pronounced M-I-C-B-T) offers a practical set of evidence-based techniques derived from mindfulness training together with principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to address a broad range of psychological disorders and general stress conditions. See the Mindfulness Institute for further information on MiCBT.
MiCBT can be accessed via the Psychology training clinic at UTS
For inquires about MICBT or mindfulness approaches to chronic pain please contact Alice Shires Alice.firstname.lastname@example.org