Our Mindfulness PGDip/PGCert will be discontinued in its current form from July 2020. We hope to reconfigure and launch a new Masters programme in 2021 and will post details on this webpage.
- Our mindfulness programmes are aimed at developing competence in established evidence-based applications, especially for the prevention of relapse in recurrent major depression, but also for clients in a range of different settings including physical and mental healthcare and education.
- We maintain an in depth focus on the underpinning theory and research, enhanced by the work carried out in the Mood Disorders Centre; a partnership between the University of Exeter and the National Health Service
- Training delivered by experts with an international profile in developing, researching and teaching mindfulness-based approaches, teaching is enhanced by external tutors skilled in MBCT and Mindfulness-based interventions.
- In collaboration with Gaia House; a centre for meditation, enquiry and compassion where you will attend retreats to cultivate your own personal mindfulness practice.
Competency-based training, delivered according to the latest evidence-informed clinical pedagogic approaches
Dedicated training facilities equipped with video and audio recording
A strong emphasis throughout the programme is placed upon your personal and professional development
Entry requirements for this programme are currently under redevelopment. Updates will be posted on this page in 2021.
What is mindfulness?
"Mindfulness is the willingness and capacity to be equally present with all events and experiences with discernment, curiosity and kindness." Christina Feldman
This sounds straightforward, but this way of relating to experience is in fact radically different from the way that most people normally live. John Teasdale offers a detailed definition: ‘The essence of mindfulness is to be fully aware of our experience in each moment, equally open to whatever it has to offer and free of the domination of habitual, automatic, cognitive routines that are often goal-oriented and, in one form or another, related to wanting things to be other than they are.’ So often we are on automatic pilot, reacting to life. Mindfulness involves intentionally stepping out of automatic pilot to be present, aware and responsive. The attention has a quality of curiosity, patience, spaciousness and care. This mode of awareness takes considerable practice for both teachers and participants of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based approaches (MBA).
Teaching mindfulness to help people transform suffering has a lineage extending over 2500 years. In the 1970s Jon Kabat-Zinn incorporated some of these healing approaches into a programme called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). MBSR is as an 8-week, class-based program in which people learn mindfulness practices, recognise patterns of thinking and feeling that cause suffering, bring awareness and compassion to these moments and learn to step out of patterns of reactivity.
MBCT was developed as a technique to help people recover from recurrent depression; combining mindfulness approaches with the empirically supported tenets of cognitive therapy. During an eight-week course, participants learn skills that help them recognise the signs of an impending relapse and with this awareness they gain the choice to respond mindfully. MBCT is now recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence as a relapse prevention approach for recurrent depression.
Over the last decade this work has blossomed with mindfulness-based approaches being used with a range of presenting issues (e.g., recurrent depression, chronic fatigue, pain management, chronic health conditions, stress), in a range of populations (e.g., children, parents, adolescents ...) and in a range of settings (e.g., health services, schools, forensic settings). Clinical trials provide an increasingly compelling case that mindfulness can help people with a history of depression stay well and help people with chronic physical health problems and stress and enhance well-being.
Mindfulness is a new, expanding and dynamic area in which to work and presents plenty of possibilities. In our experience, some students have a clear idea of where Mindfulness fits in their work and receive support from their managers; others have found that opportunities to apply what they have learnt from their studies have arisen both during and after the course. Examples of how students have benefited from the programmes and activities with which they’ve been involved include:
- expanding their current work roles to deliver MBCT within the context of primary and secondary mental healthcare settings (these have been new and innovative additions to the existing services, in some instances with our students designing and running services);
- delivering mindfulness groups to staff working within a healthcare setting, for example as part of an occupational health setting;
- offering mindfulness groups privately to mixed populations;
- offering mindfulness groups to very targeted groups such as people with chronic fatigue, carers, or in hospice settings;
- exploring how to bring mindfulness in to General Practice.
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