Thursday, July 9, 2009

Media Release

New center demonstrates UI&U’s commitment to cutting-edge research and practice

CINCINNATI - Union Institute & University (UI&U) today announced the launch of the Union Institute & University Center for Clinical Mindfulness and Meditation (CCMM), a resource for mental health professionals, researchers, and the general public. Maintained by the university’s doctoral program in clinical psychology (PsyD), the CCMM will serve the needs of clinicians, scholars, and other interested individuals, and demonstrates UI&U’s leadership and commitment to cutting-edge research and practice to both the professional community and to prospective learners.

“This is a very exciting time in the field of psychology,” said Richard Sears, PsyD, MBA, ABPP, a psychologist and a core faculty member of the PsyD program, who will serve as director of the new center. “Although mindfulness and meditation are ancient practices, research on their clinical applications is a rapidly growing field within the scientific community. The new center will provide an excellent forum through which professionals and the public can share information, link resources, and provide networking opportunities.” Sears is also forming an advisory board from within UI&U, other colleges and universities, and from the professional community.
Mindfulness is a rapidly growing area of research and practice in the field of psychology and mental health. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are cutting-edge, evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatments using mindfulness.

Basically, mindfulness involves systematically training to pay attention and work wisely with thoughts and emotions. It has a wide variety of applications, from helping business professionals to be more effective and find a happier work-life balance, to dealing with severe chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and depression. The use of mindfulness has been popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn and others through such books as Wherever You Go, There You Are, The Mindful Way through Depression, and Mindfulness at Work.

The center will post news, articles, resources, and links on its Web site, Future plans for the center may also include sponsoring workshops and meetings, creating a book and video library, and assisting in the creation of a peer-reviewed journal.

In addition to his clinical work as a psychologist, Sears has been studying and practicing mindfulness and meditation for over 20 years. He has traveled in India and Nepal, and has studied with a variety of Eastern teachers, including the Dalai Lama. He has a fifth degree black belt, and continues to practice martial arts with To Shin Do founder Stephen K. Hayes, the first American to learn the art of ninjutsu.

To learn more about Union Institute & University’s Center for Clinical Mindfulness and Meditation visit the website at or contact Dr. Richard Sears at