Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stressed Out? Dr. Sears Can Help.

Director of Union Institute & University’s Center for Clinical Mindfulness and Meditation Offers Tips on How to Handle Stress
Mindfulness is based on ancient meditation practices; Dr. Richard Sears says it can be a powerful tool in managing holiday-related stress and anxiety

CINCINNATI – Stress. It’s all around us. In addition to the ongoing stresses of our lives, recent events are adding even more pressures on us: a worsening economy; job layoffs; pressures of the holidays; and the daylight hours growing shorter, to name a few.

“Ongoing stress has long been known to often lead to more serious difficulties,” says Dr. Richard Sears, psychologist and faculty member of the Doctorate in Psychology program (PsyD) at Union Institute & University, a private, non-profit university headquartered in Walnut Hills. “Links have been established with medical problems, worsening of chronic pain, depression, and anxiety disorders.”

In May, Sears established Union Institute & University’s Center for Clinical Mindfulness and Meditation (CCMM ) to gather information from researchers, therapists, and practitioners so that these methods can be disseminated and further refined. “Mindfulness is one method of paying attention to and wisely working with our thoughts, bodily sensations, and emotions,” says Sears. “Through simple exercises, we eventually come to bring a richer awareness and presence into our daily lives. By stepping outside of our ruminating thoughts, we can develop a broader perspective.”

The CCMM also serves as a resource to the general public. Those interested in mindfulness are invited to visit Sears and the CCMM at UI&U in Walnut Hills. Sears also hosts 8-week mindfulness groups at the center, and its Web site also serves as a resource - where those interested in mindfulness can read articles and find tips on using mindfulness techniques in their everyday lives.

Sears recently posted five tips for reducing stress using the mindful approach on the CCMM Web site. He is also currently registering people for a Mindfulness-based group to start in January. These groups have been shown to help prevent relapses of depression, which can be especially important as the winter season approaches.

For more information about mindfulness and to read Dr. Sears’ tips, visit the Center for Clinical Mindfulness and Meditation website at To register or to find information about the 8-week sessions, visit the Web site, email, or call 513-487-1196.

5 tips for reducing stress using the mindfulness approach
By Richard Sears, PsyD, MBA, ABPP

1. Take a breath.
Too often, we rush from one thing to another, and barely take time to breathe. Intentionally breathing deeply for a moment disrupts the usual pattern of stress, and refreshes our bodies.

2. Come to your senses.
If you are stuck in your head, worrying and thinking too much, bring yourself back into the physical world for a moment. Feel the physical sensations in your body, smell the air, gaze out the window, listen to some music, taste a cup of tea.

3. Step back.
If you get caught up in what you are doing, mentally pull back and try to gain a wider perspective on the situation. What is the “big picture?”

4. Watch out for judgments.
We are constantly comparing ourselves, which often creates unnecessary stress. Are you being unreasonably harsh on yourself, or creating a standard that is too high?

5. Re-evaluate your priorities.
From time-to-time, ask yourself, “Is what I am doing really all that important?” You may be surprised to discover how often the answer is no. Take some time to think about what is really most important in your life, and muster the courage to disengage from things that take away from your priorities.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dr. Gene Cohen, Expert on Aging and UI&U Alumnus Dies

Dr. Gene Cohen, 1944-2009

“This is a remarkable time scientifically in the field of aging. Longtime negative myths and stereotypes are being turned upside down, replaced by new findings pointing to those positive changes in the second half of life that occur because of aging, not despite aging. Science regarding aging has become exciting, surprising, positive, and hopeful.” – Dr. Gene Cohen, MD, PhD

It is with great sadness that we announce that Dr. Gene Cohen, a renowned expert on aging and the brain who earned his Ph.D. from Union Institute & University in 1981, passed away Saturday, November 7, 2009, at his home in Kensington, MD after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Last May, UI&U was honored when Dr. Cohen agreed to serve as the keynote speaker for the UI&U and Academy of Medicine symposium Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: What is Aging After All: Important, Interesting, and Surprising New Findings About the Aging Brain and Behavior.

Dr. Cohen served as director of the Center on Aging, Health, and Humanities at George Washington University. He earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree from Georgetown Medical School. His Union Ph.D. focused on gerontology. He was the author of several books including The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life, and most recently, The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain. Dr. Cohen has appeared on Nightline (interviewed by Barbara Walters), the MacNeil/Lehrer Hour, and The Today Show, among other national news broadcasts, and was the creator of many patented games and activities to enhance and improve the aging brain.

Washington Post obituary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brattleboro Center Hosts Psy.D. Open House

BRATTLEBORO, VT –Union Institute & University (UI&U) in Brattleboro will host an Open House to introduce prospective learners to its doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.), from 5:30-7 pm., Thursday, December 10th, at the program’s offices at the Marlboro Graduate Center, 28 Vernon Street, First Floor, Brattleboro, VT.

Consistent with UI&U’s mission, the Psy.D. program integrates social justice into all of its courses and emphasizes multiculturalism in clinical practice. “We train people to become more aware of injustices, such as trauma, abuse, oppression and racism, and prepare them to be active agents of change, both with their clients and the larger social system,” said Dr. William Lax, Dean of the program. Learners are trained to be culturally competent clinicians, able to provide mental health services to individuals, families, groups and organizations. The program also includes an optional emphasis area in family psychology.
The UI&U Psy.D. program integrates face-to-face and online courses to offer flexibility for working adults who need to balance career, family, and other social and civic responsibilities. In addition to the online courses, learners attend two week-long fall and spring Academic Meetings, as well as eight day-long Saturday meetings in Brattleboro once a month for the first three years of the program.

To learn more or to register, call: 800.336.6794 x8408 or email: UI&U’s Brattleboro offices are located minutes from Interstate 91 at the juncture of the Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts borders. It is easily accessible throughout the greater New England region. Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2010 Brattleboro cohort.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

President Sublett Joins Leadership Board


CINCINNATI – Dr. Roger H. Sublett, President of Union Institute & University, was recently appointed to the board of the International Leadership Association (ILA), a global network for all who practice, study and teach leadership. The ILA promotes a deeper understanding of leadership knowledge and practices for the greater good of individuals and communities worldwide. As part of his role as a board member, Dr. Sublett will take part in the 11th annual ILA Global Conference: Leadership for Transformation, held in Prague, Czech Republic, November 11-14.

As a forum where people can share ideas, research, and practices about leadership, the ILA strives to strengthen ties between those who study and those who practice leadership and fosters effective and ethical leadership in individuals, groups, organizations, and governments in the global community. The organization also generates and disseminates interdisciplinary research and develops new knowledge and practices.
Founded in the 1990s, the ILA has become the largest international and inter-disciplinary membership organization devoted solely to the study and development of leadership. Based at the University of Maryland’s James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, the ILA is one of the few organizations to actively embrace academics, practitioners, consultants, private industry, public leaders, not-for-profit organizations, and students. The association’s international roots can be traced back to 1995 and the Salzburg Seminar on Global Leadership, Concepts, and Challenges held in Austria, co-chaired by Georgia Sorenson and James MacGregor Burns, and attended by scholars and leaders from 50 countries.
To learn more about the ILA visit