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Ruth Baer

Ruth Baer

Ruth Baer

Mindfulness researcher, teacher, and trainer and Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Kentucky

I am a clinical psychologist and for many years was a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, where I conducted research on mindfulness and taught doctoral students to deliver mindfulness-based interventions. In August of 2015, I came to Oxford as a sabbatical visitor to work with Professor Willem Kuyken at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. After a very rewarding year, I returned to the University of Kentucky, but I had fallen in love with the OMC and with life in Oxford, and so I looked for ways to come back. I returned as an academic visitor in the summer of 2017 and as a Visiting Fellow at Magdalen College in the spring of 2018. The OMC then offered me a post, and so I retired from the University of Kentucky and moved to Oxford in January of 2019.

My published work in the mindfulness field has focused on assessment and conceptualisation, outcomes of mindfulness-based interventions, mechanisms of change, and professional training and ethics. My work with the OMC includes research activities with Prof. Kuyken and members of the MYRIAD team as well as training of teachers of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). My primary research interest currently is the safety of evidence-based mindfulness-based programs. Although the benefits are well established, there is evidence that meditation poses risks for some people, and it is important for the mindfulness field to understand whether harmful effects might arise in evidence-based mindfulness programs.

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