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Keng Shian Ling

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Title: The role of mindfulness in promoting human resilience

Biography

Shian-Ling Keng is an Assistant Professor from the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Duke University, North Carolina, USA. She has published in the areas of mindfulness-based interventions and emotion regulation. Her research interests include: Efficacy of change of mindfulness-based interventions, emotion regulation, and dissemination of empirically supported interventions in Southeast Asia. She is also a Clinical Psychologist who has worked with patients of a variety of diagnoses. She aspires to help improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services through teaching, research, community outreach and advocacy.

Abstract

Mindfulness can be defined as the process through which one pays attention to experiences in the present moment in an intentional, open, and nonjudgmental manner. In recent years, there has been a significant increase of interest in researching and understanding the application and psychological effects of mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based interventions. These interventions, which include standardized programs such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), have been proposed to be representative of a “third wave” of psychological interventions. Much research has examined and demonstrated the benefits of these interventions on various domains of human functioning, ranging from enhanced cognitive abilities, improved attentional functioning, reduced psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety, improved well-being, and greater psychological resilience. Research has also demonstrated various psychological and neurobiological mechanisms through which mindfulness may lead to improved psychological functioning. This talk will integrate state-of-the-art findings from studies from various disciplines, including clinical psychology, psychiatry, educational psychology, and organizational psychology, that highlight various ways through which mindfulness promotes human resilience. The talk will also include an experiential exercise, during which the audience will be invited to engage in a brief, guided mindfulness practice to gain an experiential understanding of mindfulness