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Ruth Baer is Professor of Psychology in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Baer is the developer of two of the most widely used instruments for assessing mindfulness: the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. She is the editor of two books: Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and Application, and Assessing Mindfulness and Acceptance: Illuminating the Processes of Change. She is an Associate Editor for Psychological Assessment and serves on the editorial boards for Assessment, Mindfulness, and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. At the University of Kentucky, she conducts research on the assessment and conceptualization of mindfulness, mindfulness-based interventions, mechanisms through which mindfulness training achieves its beneficial effects, and relationships between mindfulness and other aspects of psychological functioning. She frequently gives talks and workshops for mental health practitioners and researchers in the US, the UK, Europe, and Australia on mindfulness-based treatments and mindfulness research.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention that originates in Eastern meditation traditions but is increasingly discussed and practiced in Western culture. It is usually defined as focusing one's complete attention on present-moment experiences in a nonjudgmental and accepting way. Buddhist traditions suggest that the cultivation of mindfulness through the practice of meditation reduces suffering and cultivates positive qualities, such as insight, wisdom, compassion, and equanimity. In recent years, the Western mental health community has adapted mindfulness meditation practices for use in medical and mental health settings, and several interventions based on mindfulness training are now widely available. Those with the best scientific support include mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). These treatments can be applied to a wide range of problems, disorders, and populations and the evidence increasingly supports their efficacy. Mindfulness Skills to Overcome Stress, Anxiety and Unhappiness is the first self-help book to integrate the wisdom, skills, and practices available from the four leading evidence-based mindfulness treatments (MBSR, MBCT, DBT, and ACT).