People at the Center

Lone Overby Fjorback

 

PhD, MD, Psychiatrist, Associate Professor of medicine and Director of the Danish Center for Mindfulness, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark 

My aim is through research to implement evidence-based programs in mindfulness, compassion and relational competences in healthcare, education, business and politics. I work to build healthy communities and increase society’s ambitions in regards to health and wellbeing. My work with stress, pain, fatigue, anxiety, PTSD and depression has demonstrated that even patients with chronic disorders and low social economic status and resources can benefit from mindfulness and compassion training and reduce healthcare costs. 

I lead the professional training leading to certification in MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction), MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy), CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training) and mindfulness for children. We collaborate with Brown University as well as the Mindfulness in Schools Project.

We also collaborate with the Compassion Institute at Stanford University.

I authored several books and am part of the Persona film documentaries: ‘Healthy habits of mind’, ‘Mindful Medicine’ and ‘Styr på det hele’ - also featuring Richard Davidson, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Daniel Siegel. You can find the films at Mind-online.dk 

Key areas of expertise:

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
  • Mindfulness in Schools
  • Certification and international MBSR teacher-training
  • Mindful Nation and mindfulness in politics and health care

Current projects:

  • Head of mindfulness project promoting a Stress-free Everyday Life for Children (SELF-Care)
  • Supervisor and clinically responsible for the PhD-project: Neural Mechanisms of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder
  • Supervisor and clinically responsible for the PhD-project: Compassion Cultivation Training for Caregivers
  • MBSR for Military Veterans

Connect:

Email 

Jacob Piet

Psychologist, PhD, CFM-certified MBSR-teacher

Jacob Piet (Piet) leads the internationally certified teacher-training in MBSR at Aarhus University. During his PhD, he studied at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School, with the founder of MBSR Jon-Kabat Zinn and director Saki Santorelli. Piet translated several of their books into Danish and is one of the leading Danish teachers of MBSR.

Apart from teaching MBSR teachers, Piet holds open MBSR courses at the Danish Center for Mindfulness, as well as holds retreats and seminars. 

Areas of expertise:

  • MBSR 
  • Internationally certified MBSR teacher and teacher-trainer and supervisor
  • Retreat leader and organizer 

Contact:

Research profile

Email: jacobpiet@clin.au.dk

Lise Juul

Master of Public Health, PhD, Associate Professor

Through research, I aim to contribute to evidence-based health promotion and prevention in Denmark.

I find it important to apply scientifically valid methods to investigate mechanisms and effects of well-defined complex interventions. 

I develop and evaluate complex health-promoting and preventive interventions in Danish health-care settings (schools, general practice, and municipal healthcare centers). I hold courses and lectures about complex interventions, stress, and mindfulness for the Master ́s degree programme in Public Health Science, Aarhus University.

Areas of expertise:

  • Public health
  • Health promotion and prevention
  • Complex interventions
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction

Current projects:

  • Investigation of mechanisms of complex interventions by use of structural equation modelling in RCT-designs. The project is financially supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Tryg Foundation.
  • Stress-free everyday life for children and adolescents. A cluster-randomised trial about the effectiveness of training Danish school-teachers to teach a school-based mindfulness programme (.b) on teacher and pupil well-being. The project is financially supported by the Danish Government through “Satspuljemidler”.
  • A three-armed randomised pilot trial comparing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Locally-developed Stress Reduction and Wait-list control in a real-life community setting. The project is financially supported by the Tryg Foundation. 

Contact

Research profile

Mail: lise.juul@clin.au.dk

Karen Johanne Pallesen

Associate professor, PhD, 

Karen Johanne is associate professor at the Institute of clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, and the Danish Center for Mindfulness. She studies and lectures about stress and stress reduction. 

Current projects:

  • Mental health promotion for healthy, work-active seniors (with Niels Viggo Hansen)
    This research project is made possible by a 3 mio DKK grant from “Velliv Foreningen”. 
    The project will assess short and long term effects of offering an MBSR course to work-active Danes approaching the age of retirement, as a mental health promotion intervention. It is designed as a randomized controlled trial with 2 years’ follow-up and a waitlist control group.

    Participants are 2 x 92 healthy persons aged 60-65 employed in the private sector. Observations include immediate effects (stress, quality of life, sick leave) and physiological markers of long term mental health risks and prevention. In addition, a qualitative substudy will explore perspectives for work satisfaction and plans of retirement. The study is based on a hypothesis of a broad coherent effect profile ranging from immediate stress reduction to a healthier, later and more satisfactory senior phase of life.

    Study start in spring 2019, recruitment via cooperation with local businesses. Baseline measurements and MBSR interventions planned for autumn 2019.

Contact: 

Research profile

Email: karen.johanne.pallesen@clin.au.dk 

Niels Viggo Hansen

Philosopher, physicist, PhD, MBSR teacher

Niels Viggo Hansen is a researcher in humanistic and cross-disciplinary health science. He studies the interactions between mindfulness and social/existential aspects of everyday life.

Currently, he works on an intervention trial to investigate the potentials of MBSR as a mental health promotion intervention for healthy 60-65 year-old citizens. The study will evaluate and explore effects in three dimensions:  a healthy and meaningful late working life, a transition to a healthy and active senior life, and a later retirement.

Previously, Niels Viggo has studied mindfulness in relation to habits and lifestyle changes, ways of cooperating in teams, and experiences palliative patients have in dream- and nightmare-like states. 

With his strong experience in cross-disciplinary research, teaching research methodologies and research designs, Niels Viggo offers advice in the development of new research projects - often as collaborations between the Danish Center for Mindfulness and other researchers and institutions.

Current projects:

  • Mental health promotion for healthy, work-active seniors (with Karen Johanne Pallesen)
    This research project is made possible by a 3 mio DKK grant from “Velliv Foreningen”.
    The project will assess short and long term effects of offering an MBSR course to work-active Danes approaching the age of retirement, as a mental health promotion intervention. It is designed as a randomized controlled trial with 2 years’ follow-up and a waitlist control group.

    Participants are 2 x 92 healthy persons aged 60-65 employed in the private sector. Observations include immediate effects (stress, quality of life, sick leave) and physiological markers of long term mental health risks and prevention. In addition, a qualitative substudy will explore perspectives for work satisfaction and plans of retirement. The study is based on a hypothesis of a broad coherent effect profile ranging from immediate stress reduction to a healthier, later and more satisfactory senior phase of life.

    Study start in spring 2019, recruitment via cooperation with local businesses. Baseline measurements and MBSR interventions planned for autumn 2019.

Contact:

Research profile

Email: nv@nielsviggo.net

Nanja Holland Hansen

Psychologist, PhD-student, senior Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) teacher 

The intention and purpose with my research into the potential benefits of Compassion training for informal caregivers, is to help change the way we perceive mental health. If we want to combat the increasing number of people suffering from poor mental health, we need to think of mental health as a trainable skill - just like we do our physical health. My research is therefore at the intersection between psychology and public health, attempting to shed light on how training a skill like compassion may not only benefit the individual but also society as a whole.

Current projects: 

  • Assists in arranging Thupten Jinpa’s European Tour in collaboration with the Compassion Institute, USA. https://www.compassioninstitute.com
  • Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Teacher Education Program in Northern Europe in collaboration with the Compassion Institute at Stanford University
  • Teaches open Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) courses in Copenhagen and Aarhus. 

Areas of expertise:

  • Compassion cultivation
  • Psychology

Contact:

Research profile

Twitter: https://twitter.com/compassion_dk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nanja-holland-hansen-7333373/

Email: nanjahh@clin.au.dk

Svala Sigurðardóttir

PhD-student, MD

Svala is a medical doctor, currently doing a double PhD at the University of Iceland and Aarhus University, The Danish Center for Mindfulness.

Her PhD-project is titled 'Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for primary care patients with mild to moderate symptoms of depression or anxiety. A randomized clinical trial'. She is conducting a randomized clinical trial, where primary care patients in Iceland, showing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, are randomized in two groups:

1.     Treatment as usual (TAU), by their primary care physician.

2.     Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) plus Treatment as usual (TAU).

Questionnaire data will be collected before (T1), directly after the seminar (T2), as well as 6 and 18 months (T3 & T4) after the MBCT group therapy for all participants (both groups).

The primary outcome is symptoms of anxiety and depression between the two groups before and after the MBCT and, in addition, 6 and 18 months afterwards, using GAD7 and PHQ9 questionnaires.

Contact:

LinkedIn profile

Email: svala.sigurdardottir@clin.au.dk

Kit Appelt

Psychologist, CFM-certified MBSR teacher

Kit is a psychologist and teacher with many years of experience. Kit has taught MBSR in Denmark since 2006. She trained as an MBSR instructor at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Kit works as a supervisor for the MBSR teacher-training progam at the Danish Center for Mindfulness and participates in the planning, evaluation and development of the program. 

Email: kitappelt@mindfulness-mbsr.dk

Christine Parsons

Associate Professor, PhD, Psychologist

Christine Parsons study how Mindfulness-based interventions affects emotions, behaviour and the brain. 

She has developed an app where participants in Mindfulness-courses can track their daily practice.  

Contact:

Research profile

Mail: Christine.parsons@clin.au.dk 

Heidi Berg Nielsen

Psychologist, MBSR-teacher, teacher-trainer

Heidi Berg leads the Center's school-project 'Stressfree daily life for children and youth' educating more than 500 Danish teachers in the British .be (dot-be) educational program. 

As a psychologist, Heidi Berg has worked at Aarhus University Hospital treating people with hypochondria and chronic stress disorders. She also works as a supervisor and has individual clients in mindfulness-based therapy.   

Mail: heidi.berg@clin.au.dk