Researchers and educators

Lone Overby Fjorback

 

PhD, MD, Psychiatrist, Associate Professor of medicine and Director of the Danish Center for Mindfulness

Lone works to implement research and evidence-based programs in mindfulness, compassion and relational competences in healthcare, education, business and politics. Her aim is to help build healthy communities and increase society’s ambitions in regards to health and well-being. Lones research on 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, reducing healthcare costs. 

Lone leads the professional training and certification in MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction), MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy), CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training) and mindfulness for children. 

Lone authored several books and is 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. The films are available 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

Contact:

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

Associate Professor, PhD, Master of Public Health

Lise carries out research on evidence-based health promotion and prevention.

Lise develops and evaluates complex health-promoting and preventive interventions in Danish health-care settings (schools, general practice, and municipal healthcare centers). She lectures about complex interventions, stress, and mindfulness for the Master ́s degree program in Public Health Science at 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

Nanja Holland Hansen

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

The intention and purpose of Nanja's research into the potential benefits of Compassion training, 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. As a result, Nanja's research is 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 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

Lone B. Svenningsen

MD, certified CCT- and MBCT teacher

 

Lone is a medical doctor at Aarhus University and teaches compassion cultivation training and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at the Danish Center for Mindfulness.

She works to strengthen the job satisfaction and health of healthcare professionals through focused education in Compassion, community and empathy. She teaches medical doctors (GPs), midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, dentists, among other groups.

 

Lone is currently involved in integrating compassion into the curriculum for medical students at Aalborg University.

Contact:

Email: lbsven@dadlnet.dk

Svala Sigurðardóttir

PhD-fellow, MD

Svala is a medical doctor, specialising as a family physician, as well as doing a double PhD at the University of Iceland and Aarhus University. 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'.

The multicentre, randomised controlled trial investigates primary-care patients with mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. Between September 2017 and January 2019, 120 participants, 18-67 years old, were randomly assigned to MBCT plus treatment as usual (n = 65) or treatment as usual alone (n = 45).

The study compares 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:

Email: svala.sigurdardottir@clin.au.dk

Karen Johanne Pallesen

Associate professor, PhD, MSc (biology)

Karen Johanne is an associate professor at the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, and the Danish Center for Mindfulness. She investigates the psycho-physiological basis of stress and stress reduction. 

Karen Johanne worked in cognitive brain science and in her current research, she employs brain scans, heart-rate measures, psychometrics, and self-report questionnaires to improve our knowledge about the effects of mental-health training on the body's innate capacity of healing.

According to Karen Johanne, stress is a vital process of life and not something, we should get rid of. Long-term stress, though, should be avoided, because it initiates harmful physiological processes. However, this negative stress can be reduced, and thriving enhanced, when we become familiar with the intrinsic interconnectedness of the mind and the body. In recent years, essential new insights have been added to our knowledge, e.g. concerning how long-term elevated cortisol leads to inflammation. 

Karen Johanne lectures on stress and stress reduction at Aarhus University and the Open University. She also shares her knowledge through newspapers, radio and TV. 

Areas of expertise:

  • Brain imaging methods: Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Psychophysiology: heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure 
  • Psychometrics: Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA)
  • Self-report questionnaires on resting state thoughts and emotions, self-perceived stress, resilience, body awareness, etc. 

Current projects:

  • Mental health promotion for healthy, work-active seniors (with Niels Viggo Hansen)
    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.

    Study start in spring 2019, recruitment via cooperation with local businesses. Baseline measurements and MBSR interventions planned for autumn 2019. The research project is made possible by a 3 mio DKK grant from “Velliv Foreningen”.

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Danish Veterans  
  • Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on perceived stress and heart rate variability in social care workers, and on the quality of caregiver - caretaker relationships

Contact: 

Research profile

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

Anne Maj van der Velden

Psychologist, PhD-student

Anne Maj is working on her PhD at Aarhus University and Oxford University. She studies the mechanisms of Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the prevention of depression. Read more here.

Contact:

Research profile

Email: am.vandervelden@cas.au.dk

Niels Viggo Hansen

Philosopher, physicist, PhD, MBSR-teacher

Niels Viggo Hansen studies interactions between mindfulness and social, existential aspects of everyday life.

Currently, he leads an intervention trial in cooperation with Karen Johanne Pallesen and others, to investigate potentials of MBSR as a mental-health promotion intervention for healthy, 60-65 year-old Danish citizens. The study will evaluate and explore effects related to: a healthy and meaningful late working life, a transition to a healthy and active senior life, and, perhaps, a later retirement.

In other projects, Niels Viggo has studied habit changes, ways of cooperating in teams, and palliative patients' experiences with dream- and nightmare-like states. In these diverse fields, mindfulness may open important new perspectives and choices.

With a background in cross-disciplinary research projects, and experience in teaching research methodologies and research designs, Niels Viggo works as an advisor on developing new research projects by the Danish Center for Mindfulness and other institutions.

Contact: 

Research profile

Email: niels.viggo.hansen@cas.au.dk

Christine Parsons

Associate Professor, PhD, Psychologist

Christine Parsons studies 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. The app is right now being tested in collaboration with Oxford University. Read more here: http://oxfordmindfulness.org/news/new-mindfulness-practice-app/

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.   

Contact:

Mail: heidi.berg@clin.au.dk

Susanne West Bruggisser

Clinical Psychologist, MBSR-teacher
Susanne teaches MBSR and participates in projects at the Center, such as a pilot study of MBSR for veterans, and 'stress-free everyday life for children and youth'. She has many years of experience with therapy, supervision, and education.
Susanne has worked at university hospitals with mindfulness as a treatment for pain patients, and at psychiatric hospitals. In addition, she has experience with introducing mindfulness in the workplace.

Contact:

Email: Susannebruggisser@clin.au.dk

Katinka Gøtzsche

MA, educator and mindfulness-teacher

Katinka has a background as a high school teacher and student counsellor. She educates teacher students 'empathy, mindfulness, compassion and presence' and has been trained in England to train teachers in the .b (dot-be) program. She is one of the main teachers on the Center's projects for children and youth.

Katinka is head of the Danish organization 'Børns Livkundskaber' and has many years of experience teaching mindfulness to children.

Contact: 

Email: katinka@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. 

Contact:

Email: kitappelt@mindfulness-mbsr.dk

Charlotte Norby

Psychologist, psychotherapy specialist, MBSR-teacher

Charlotte teaches MBSR at the Center and has been part of the pilot study of MBSR for veterans. 

She has many years of experience from clinical practice, both in public and private organizations. Charlotte has worked with cancer patients, unemployed people and companies. 

Contact: 

Email: au134673@uni.au.dk