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UL Medical Research Forum Explores the Impact of Meditation for Bereavement Counselling


Professor William T O'Connor & Ursula Bates
Professor William O'Connor, Head of Teaching & Research in Physiology, UL & Ms Ursula Bates, Director of Psychosocial and Bereavement Services at Blackrock Hospice and keynote speaker at UL's 4th Annual Research Forum hosted by the Graduate Entry Medical School.

UL Medical Research Forum Keynote Address Explores the Impact of Meditation for Bereavement Counselling

Leading clinical psychologist explores therapies for bereavement counseling at UL Research Forum

The University of Limerick welcomes leading clinical psychologist and Director of Psychosocial and Bereavement Services at Blackrock Hospice, Ms Ursula Bates for a keynote address entitled "Mindfulness Based Interventions in Oncology and Palliative Care and Bereavement Research Advances". The address is part of UL's 4th Annual Research Forum hosted by the Graduate Entry Medical School. The address will take place at Wednesday 19th January, 2pm, Jean Monet Lecture Theatre, UL.

Speaking in advance of the lecture, Ms Bates said; "this lecture will address the relevance of mindfulness as a preventative and therapeutic intervention, recent research in the field and indicators for future developments."

Research has shown that training in mindfulness-based techniques improved mood and reduced stress in a wide variety of populations.  The standardised 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program is effective in reducing psychological symptoms in patients with anxiety and pain. The use of MBSR continues to be explored and developed in a wide range of clinical populations such as community adult mental health, recurrent personality disorders and medical populations. 

Professor William T O'Connor, Head of Teaching & Research in Physiology, UL and conference organiser said; ''Recent discoveries have shown that the practice of meditation changes the shape of the brain by allowing discrete areas in the brain to grow or change. This finding has established a new field of contemplative neuroscience, ' the brain science of meditation' and helps to explain how meditation acts to improve brain function and mental health.''

"The Annual Research Forum is a unique event in the university sector in Ireland. This type of forum provides a broad overview of the interdisciplinary and collaborative research in the field of healthcare undertaken across UL's student body, faculty and research community."

Ms Bates has over 20 years experience in the field of psycho-oncology and palliative care. Recent publications include The CANSURVIROR Project: Meeting the Post - Treatment Cancer Survivors' Needs HSE 2010 and she is a contributing author in Palliative Medicine Elsevier 2009. Having trained in Mindfulness at the University of Bangor she facilitates groups in palliative care and runs training days nationally.

Over twenty researchers from the University of Limerick are taking part in the forum covering research in the areas of pharmaceuticals, biomedical devices, medical technology, community health, gastrointestinal and vascular surgery, psychiatry and communications.


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