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Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience to be launched at conference

Mindfulness treatments will be among areas researched at new centre

by Ed Grover (Senior Communications Officer)

Academics and healthcare professionals will discuss the benefits and adaptations of mindfulness therapies in treating mental ill-health and neurological conditions at the launch of a new City University London research centre.

An all-day conference, on Friday 12th June, will introduce the Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience, which has been formed by City’s Department of Psychology alongside a local branch of the mental health charity, Mind.

It coincides with the launch of a new Masters programme – Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc – which will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2015.

The centre will allow researchers at City to collaborate on projects, forge stronger relationships with non-academic partners, such as practitioners and healthcare commissioners, and interact with individuals suffering from a range of mental health issues and neurological conditions.

Dr Corinna Haenschel, Co-Director of the centre and Programme Director of the new Masters course, explained the centre will bring together academics working in a wide range of fields.

She said: “Our increased understanding of the brain basis of cognition Portrait of Corinna Haenscheland behaviour has created a strong basis for the translation of this knowledge into personal and individual treatments and this is reflected in the huge variety of research projects currently taking place at City.

“This interdisciplinary centre is an excellent way of uniting academics working on related subjects while establishing strong links with local health practitioners and organisations to maximise the impact of our work.

“The conference will be a special event that brings together researchers and practitioners, such as GPs, community mental health professionals and teachers.”

Among the speakers at the event will be centre Co-Director Dr Bettina Forster, as well as fellow City researchers Dr Katy Tapper, Dr Sebastian Gaigg and Dr Angeliki Bogosian.

They will discuss the results of their research, which covers a broad spectrum of topics:the role of mindfulness in weight loss and the promotion of healthy lifestyles; why mindfulness training may help improve anxiety in people with autism; and the role of mindfulness for neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Dr Paul Flaxman, Programme Director of MSc in Organisational Psychology at City and the third Co-Director of the centre, will talk about his research into the effects of mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on workplace wellbeing and performance.

The event will also see a presentation from Dr Haenschel, whose work focuses on improving the quality of life of people with schizophrenia by identifying and treating underlying working memory problems.

Among the speakers from other institutions will be Jamie Bristow, Director of the Mindfulness Initiative, which has been influencing and training the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group through the Mindfulness Nation UK project.

He will be joined by Hana Villar, Clinical Director at City and Hackney Mind, Dr David Cox, Chief Medical Officer of Headspace, Dr Rhiannon England, GP Clinical Lead in Mental Health, City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, and Claire Kelly, Director of the Mindfulness in Schools Project.

For more information on the event, click here.

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