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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Time: 2:30-4:00PM

Room: KTH 109

Speaker: Lance L. Hawley, Ph.D., C. Psych. (Assistant Professor), is the Clinical Lead (Outpatient Psychological Services) and Co-Director of Training for the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Title: “Mindfulness Based Interventions for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

 Meta-analyses demonstrate the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), across a broad range of outcomes in clinical and non-clinical samples, including reducing stress, reducing depressive symptoms, and reducing risk of relapse in recurrent depression (e.g., Chiesa & Serretti, 2009; Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010; Piet & Hougaard, 2011). Although Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the most efficacious treatment intervention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), there is a growing literature indicating the mindfulness based approaches can be beneficial in terms of managing acute mood and anxiety symptoms as well as reducing relapse risk following treatment.

This lecture will involve an interactive discussion of Mindfulness Based interventions for OCD, considering how mindfulness concepts may help clients better manage their symptoms. We will also discuss our longitudinal study which examines the benefits of using a consumer grade EEG-based biofeedback device (called “Muse”) that allows clients to engage in home based mindfulness meditation practices. Specifically, this study will investigate the effects of meditation home practice on symptom alleviation, as related to specific OCD related cognitive processes (e.g., meta-cognition, strategic vs. non-strategic mind wandering). EEG correlates of “Mind Wandering” will be examined in relation to symptom severity and cognitive variables. This EEG analysis will explore spectral band power differences in alpha waves have been closely associated with meditative state changes as a result of engaging in mindfulness meditation.

Further, we will discuss linguistic analyses that examine subject’s perceptions of their meditation practice. This involves a computational linguistic approach to identify recurring semantic themes involving experiential acceptance and decentering, related to the “three circles of mindfulness inquiry” following a mindfulness practice over the course of 8 weeks. This utilizes a “network analysis” statistical approach in order to determine how semantic themes (e.g., approach, avoidance, valence, arousal) may be associated with OCD symptom change.