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 including discussion of specific interventions where mindfulness and CBT skills are combined, reconceptualizing mindfulness as an exposure-based intervention, the evidence for MiCBT as well as 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. https://self-balance.ca