So who’d like to learn how to surf?!
Two years ago I took part in a study in St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, which looked at the effects of mindfulness on people with psoriasis. I’m not going to lie to you. It was challenging! I am not a person who responds well to being told what to do. My mind is forever racing ahead of me. I am that ‘Anxiety Girl’ with the ability to jump from zero to catastrophe in thirty seconds flat. Finding myself in a room with twenty-four others and being ‘forced’ to stop, to be still, to breathe, to focus on the moment was completely alien to my usual everyday behaviour.
Did it work? It depends on how you define ‘work’! I certainly learned a lot. I learned that thoughts are not facts. A simple statement, but a powerful one. A statement that I have found myself repeating on many occasions since. When my mind jumps forward to imagine all sorts of potential disastrous scenarios (behaviour that I think many of us are guilty of) it is comforting to remember that this is just my imagination … this is not fact … these dreadful scenarios will probably never happen. When the study was over, I found myself downloading the Headspace app onto my phone. If nothing else, it helps me to sleep! Those nights when sleep eludes you? The Headspace app is better than any sleeping pill (but don’t tell any mindfulness practitioner that I told you that. I’m not sure that this is meant to be its primary function)
The good news is … the hospital has decided to run a very similar study and it is open to any and all psoriasis patients in Ireland who are able to attend St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin every week over an eight week period, for two hours each week. There is definitely a time commitment involved – but c’mon! Who amongst us would begrudge committing time in the pursuit of helping our skin?
So would I recommend it? Hell yes! Psoriasis is a complicated disease. We all know that. I also know that there are many of you who are still reluctant to go down the medication route. There are those of you who would like to fully explore a more holistic approach to healing and for you guys, this study would be an amazing opportunity. If, like me, you are taking medication but are still susceptible to stress, then this study offers a set of coping mechanisms that can only help in your daily lives. How to slow down, how to pull your mind back from the craziness and into the present. All invaluable learnings. The feedback from the study two years ago was extraordinary, with some crazily high statistic of over 85% of participants reporting favourably on its effect on their lives.
So the details!
Mindfulness & Psoriasis Research Study
The Department of Dermatology in St. Vincent’s University Hospital is conducting new research with people who have psoriasis using a technique called Mindfulness. If you choose to take part in this research you will be randomly assigned to one of two possible treatment groups:
1. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy or
2. Treatment as Usual
What is involved in the Mindfulness Group (MBCT)?
8 weekly classes
Each class lasts 2 hours
We ask for your commitment to attend all classes and complete home exercises
The mindfulness interventions are due to take place in October 2016 and January 2017.
What is involved in the Treatment as Usual Group?
You will continue your medical treatment as usual
You will not participate in the psychological intervention on this occasion (you will be given the opportunity to partake in the Mindfulness intervention in 2017).
All groups will be asked to complete psychological questionnaires and give blood samples on three occasions – at the start of the research, after 8 weeks, and after 4 months. We will attempt to schedule these visits around your routine attendance at your dermatology clinic.
If you would like to participate in this research or discuss it in more detail please contact Alan Maddock, PhD Scholar with the School of Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin via phone on (087) 973-9568 or via email on: email@example.com by 10 August 2016
Please note: this research is open to patients of hospitals other than St. Vincent’s Hospital.
If you are unsure if this is for you, then I would urge you to pick up the phone anyway and make an enquiry. It can't harm you, it will probably help you and you certainly won't regret it!