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Mindfulness Training Program

Dear Residents,
We would like to invite you to a 6 week Mindfulness Training Program. This is an opportunity to develop a fundamental capacity of mind that is relevant to both professional competence and personal health. The 6 week course in Mindfulness Training has been offered since 2008.

What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of what we are doing, while we are doing it. It is an essential capacity that we use constantly, including both the ability to pay attention as we read this page and the aspect of mind that notices when our attention has drifted away.  Pause for the next 3 breaths and just notice your experience, without judgment.
This capacity to shift our attention from thoughts and tune into our experience, openly and honestly, is simple yet helpful. Among other benefits, it allows us to see more clearly what is actually occurring and to act with more precise intention. Mindfulness is also is also the basis of empathy, which is noticing what we, and others, are feeling.
Why has mindfulness training become relevant to physicians?
The CanMEDS curriculum highlights multiple competencies that physicians need to develop and practice. These include the abilities to communicate effectively, to balance our personal and professional priorities, and to self-reflect. Each of these requires mindful awareness. Patient safety, communication skills, compassion and professionalism are some of the curricular domains in which mindfulness training has been shown to be of clear benefit.

Mindfulness practice is frequently used to help discover a deeper sense of balance in our multilayered lives.  Research has shown that mindfulness training can improve physician well-being and reduce the stress that leads to burnout.
Mindfulness has become a key therapeutic tool in the management of many stress-related illnesses including chronic pain, addiction and mood and anxiety disorders. Physicians often take courses like this one in order to be able to offer this office-based tool to their patients, knowing that the personal experience of mindfulness practice is essential if one hopes to be able to teach it to others.  Consequently this training is offered and integrated in the curricula of many North American medical schools.
What is the program being offered?
The program teaches the rationale and the science behind mindfulness training and, more importantly, introduces several experiential mindful strategies. These include exercises in self-reflection, meditation, mindful movement and communication. The group meets for 8 weekly sessions including the introduction and one 4-hour weekend retreat.
The program is an adaptation and extension of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course founded at the University of Massachusetts in 1979. In addition to the MBSR program we will introduce aspects of the Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) curriculum formulated by Germer and Neff.
What is the cost?
Program fee is $200, which includes enrollment fee, course materials, half day intensive program fee and lunch. The rest of the cost of participation is covered by OHIP. (This program would typically cost $800 if not covered by OHIP.)
Who will be attending?
Faculty and Residents with Queens School of Medicine are given application priority. Other health care professionals associated with the University may also attend.
Who are the teachers?
Beverly Blaney is a member of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at the Hotel Dieu Hospital. She has worked in the field of psychiatry for the past 20 years and has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Mindfulness and Yoga.  She has developed an integrated body/mind methodology for the treatment of Eating Disorders and Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Beverly completed teacher training in Mindful Self Compassion in 2014. She is a certified yoga instructor and leads workshops in mindful living.

John Smythe is a Queen’s faculty member and practicing pediatric cardiologist who has studied and practiced mindful meditation techniques for over 25 years and taught meditation for the past 20 years. He has completed numerous meditation and mindfulness instructor programs including an internship in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts in 2006 and the Teacher Training curriculum in Mindful Self Compassion in 2014.
Additional Information.
Below please find the timetable for the course and selected articles on mindfulness including relevant evidence-based research.  Feel free to contact Beverly or John if you have any questions. In the meantime we’d suggest that if interested you register early by indicating your intention by email to either of us. NB Space is limited.
With kind regards,
Beverly Blaney BA MEd 
John Smythe MD FRCPC
Mindfulness Training Program 
Queens University Faculty of Medicine
Session Dates- Fall, 2015
Information Session:    Oct 6th  
6:30 pm, Richardson Amphitheatre.
Program Dates:   Oct 13th, 20th, 27th, Nov 3rd, 10th,17th
Program Times:   Tuesday 6:30-8:10 pm
Retreat “1/2 Day”:   Sunday Nov 8th, 12:00-4:00 PM
Program Location:   Sydenham 5, OT Room, Hotel Dieu Hosp

To Enroll: Please Contact:    John Smythe {} or
                                             Beverly Blaney {}
 NB:  Enrollment is limited

Selected Bibliography 

By being with yourself, by watching yourself in daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind.  Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence. 
N. Majaraj, 1971

Winbush, N. Y., Gross, C. R., & Kreitzer, M. J. (2007). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on sleep disturbance: A systematic review. Explore, 3(6), 585-591.

Chiesa, A. & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(5), 593-600.

Dekeyser, M., Raes, F., Leijssen, M., Leysen, S., & Dewulf, D. (2008). Mindfulness skills and interpersonal behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(5), 1235-1245.\

Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits. A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57(1), 35-43

Bohlmeijer, E., Prenger, R., Taal, E., & Cuijpers, P. (2010). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy on mental health of adults with a chronic medical disease: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 68(6), 539-544.

Ledesma, D. & Kumano, H. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: A meta-analysis. Psycho-oncology, 18(6), 571-579.

Vago, D.R. & Nakamura, Y. (2011). Selective attentional bias towards pain-related threat in fibromyalgia: preliminary evidence for effects of mindfulness meditation training. Cognitive Therapy Research, 35(6), 581-594.