Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness: Integrating the Latest Research into your Clinical Work

New! Filmed Spring 2020

Presented by Richard W. Sears, Psy.D., Ph.D., MBA, ABPP

Available On-Demand | Available Now


6 Hours | Pre-approved for 6 CEUs


This is an On Demand course. Participants can watch, pause, and re-watch the sessions at their convenience.

All course content (quiz, certificate, videos) will be available until April 1, 2021. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on March 1, 2021. 

Revitalize your practice by integrating cutting-edge research into classic techniques!

Avoid the traps that actually make clients worse!

Clarify the top 5 misconceptions about mindfulness!

In psychotherapy, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. As I have traveled around the world giving workshops, I continue to see well-meaning therapists taking a small piece of truth and using it in a way that actually harms clients. Teaching “coping” or “distress tolerance” skills may be fine for surviving a crisis, but in the long run, they subtly reinforce avoidance of thoughts and feelings, and can actually make clients worse.

The behavioural approach is considered the first wave of CBT. These principles are still very important to all therapists, but further research brought to light the importance of cognitive techniques, which became the second wave. Now, third wave approaches have greatly expanded our understanding of the human mind and the process of how people get caught in the traps of psychopathology. Component analyses have revealed that classical CBT techniques did not quite work for the reasons we thought they did.

We all know that changing our thinking can change the way we feel, but do you ever find yourself arguing with clients? The more you try to change their thinking, the worse it gets? Third wave approaches like Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy incorporate mindfulness and acceptance. They have shown us the power of relating differently to distressing thoughts and emotions rather than struggling to “fix” them.

Unfortunately, people are often using mindfulness and acceptance techniques in a way that accidentally reinforces avoidance. Also, mindfulness is often taught in a way leaving therapists wondering how to practically apply the material. In this workshop, you will learn to incorporate the scientific principles of mindfulness into what you are already doing in your clinical practice. You will also learn to incorporate mindfulness techniques that can transform your clients’ suffering in the very first session.

This cutting-edge workshop will cover all the classic, powerful cognitive and behavioural principles through the clear lens of modern third wave research. Expert trainer Dr. Richard Sears presents the latest research as well as practical techniques with passion and humour.

Online Course Format

  • 3 Session Online Training – 2 hours per session
  • 6 CEUs
  • Each session will consist of 2 hours of teaching content
  • Non-Interactive – registrants will have access to lectures, PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, video clips, and experiential exercises.

First Wave – Behavioural Principles

  • Classical conditioning – how emotional reactions automatically get attached to situations
  • Operant conditioning – how behaviours and feelings become automatic and how to break the cycle
  • Chain analysis – breaking the cycle of feeling stuck in automatic patterns of behaviour

Second Wave – Cognitive Principles

  • Principles of cognitive therapy – and why it works for different reasons than we first believed
  • How to discover and work with automatic thoughts and core beliefs
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD – why it is so effective after years of other therapies fail

Third Wave – Mindfulness Principles

  • What mindfulness is and what it is not
  • Clinical mechanisms
    • exposure to thoughts, emotions, and sensations
    • decentering versus disputation
    • filling attentional channels versus avoidance
    • self-compassion versus struggle
  • Neurological evidence – how mindfulness changes the brain
  • Avoiding the traps that make clients worse
  • Top 5 misconceptions about mindfulness
    • not relaxation
    • not getting rid of thoughts
    • not changing consciousness
    • not just sitting still
    • not getting rid of emotions

Evidence-Based Interventions

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) & Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
    • The power of structured programs for learning CBT and mindfulness
    • Why prevention is so much more effective
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    • Cognitive defusion: Stepping back from thoughts
    • Acceptance:  Letting go of control
    • Mindfulness:  Fostering the ability to stay present
    • Observing the self:  Developing a bigger sense of who you are
    • Identifying values:  Finding the “why”
    • Taking committed action
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Radically Open DBT
    • Balancing the extremes
    • Under-controlled versus over-controlled clients

Effective Mindfulness Exercises

  • Quickly coming into the present – the 3 Minute Breathing Space
  • Letting go of the struggle with distressing thoughts and feelings
  • How breathing is connected to the autonomic nervous system

Implementation Considerations

  • Mindfulness as dialogue in the very first session
  • Mindfulness in action in one’s daily life
  • Bringing mindfulness alive with daily practice
  • How mindfulness improves clinician self-care and client outcomes
  • Diversity issues – being culturally sensitive and avoiding microaggressions

Applications for CBT & Mindfulness:

  • Trauma/PTSD
    • How going into details can re-traumatize clients
    • Taking a top-down cognitive approach – assimilated and over-accommodated beliefs
    • Mindfulness to reduce fear of thoughts and emotions vs. avoidance
  • Anxiety (Phobias, Generalized Anxiety, Health Anxiety, & Panic Attacks)
    • Avoiding the avoidance cycle
    • Moving directly into distressing thoughts and emotions
  • Mood Disorders (Depression, Bipolar)
    • The problem of long-term recurrent cycles
    • Decentering from depressive thinking
    • Creating an Early Warning System and an Action Plan
  • Substance Abuse/Addictions
    • Chain analysis vs. “I can’t help it”
    • Urge surfing – riding the waves vs. struggling with cravings
  • Chronic Pain
    • The cost of distraction and struggle
    • Separating thoughts from actual present moment sensations
    • Creating a life worth living
  • And more!
  • How even the most frustrating, maladaptive emotions and behaviors get conditioned and reinforced over time (and what to do about it)
  • How recognize and interrupt unhealthy thinking patterns
  • Strategies to help free clients of struggles with thoughts, feelings, and unhealthy behaviors
  • How to effectively use mindfulness in the very first session
  • Recognize the top 5 misconceptions about mindfulness
  • Apply the most recent research findings to effectively integrate CBT and mindfulness.

Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, School Counsellors, Behaviour Specialists, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Richard Sears, PsyD, PhD, MBA, ABPP, is a board-certified, licensed psychologist in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Dr. Sears runs a private psychology and consultation practice, and is Director of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation. He holds a number of academic appointments, including at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is author of over a dozen books, including Mindfulness: Living Through Challenges and Enriching Your Life in this Moment (Wiley-Blackwell); Building Competence in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (Routledge); Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for PTSD (Wiley-Blackwell); and The CBT & Mindfulness Workbook (PESI).

Dr. Sears is also a fifth-degree black belt in Ninjutsu, and once served briefly as a personal protection agent for the Dalai Lama with his teacher. He has studied the Eastern Wisdom traditions for over 35 years, receiving ordination in three traditions, and received transmission as a Zen master. His website is

“There is no better way to learn mindfulness and MBCT than to experience it for yourself. Richard Sears has the expertise to immerse you in these concepts and skills to improve your clinical work as well as your own self-care.” -Zindel Segal, co-founder of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits