PGCert/PGDip Psychological Therapies Practice (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches)

Duration Part time 1 year
Discipline
  • Psychology
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date October

Overview

We offer Postgraduate training programmes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches at Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and Masters (MSc) level.

These 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.

The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) run in alternate years. You must complete the PGCert first in order to progress to the PGDip. Please contact the programme administrator for information about start dates and how to apply. 

About the PGCert

Within mental health settings Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as a treatment for preventing relapse from depression is becoming increasingly adopted. The use of mindfulness-based treatments for other conditions and in a wider range of settings outside of healthcare is also on the increase. In this programme you will develop a foundational base of the theory and research surrounding MBCT and other Mindfulness-based Approaches (MBA). You will have considerable opportunity for developing and reflecting on a personal mindfulness practice. This foundation lays the basis for continuing on to the Postgraduate Diploma year.

About the PGDip

The PGDip Psychological Therapies Practice (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches) programme has been developed to further equip you with the knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-based Approaches (MBA).This programme particularly focuses on the skills required to be ready and competent to teach MBCT/MBA classes for clients. You will also be supported in a safe environment teaching to peers before moving to placements to begin to teach in real world settings under the supervision and guidance of an experienced MBCT/MBA teacher.

Although there is not yet a nationally recognised MBCT/MBA professional qualification we are working closely with Universities of Bangor and Oxford to ensure appropriate standards.

The PGDip Psychological Therapies Practice (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches) aims to develop your readiness to offer MBCT/MBA to people in a setting specific to your professional orientation. You will develop competence in established evidence-based applications of MBCT/MBA assessed by using the Mindfulness-based Interventions - Teaching Assessment Criteria.

Train with experts

Each of our postgraduate training programmes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches 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. The Centre has been offering MBCT as part of its clinical services since 2002. In addition to the training delivered by experts from the Mood Disorders Centre 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.

The programmes have been set up and are run in collaboration with Gaia House; a centre for meditation, enquiry and compassion where you will attend retreats to cultivate your own personal mindfulness practice. You will benefit from the integral involvement of experienced Buddhist teachers exploring the lineage of mindfulness in Buddhist Psychology, and the teachers at Gaia House.

Our training places you at the heart of the community in a region with one of the largest networks of mindfulness practitioners and Buddhist teachers in the country.

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.

Programme progression

After completing the PGCert and PGDip programmes, you may wish to progress to the Masters course: MSc Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches)

Programme structure

PGCert modules

PGDip modules

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Teaching on the PGCert

A range of teaching and learning methods are employed during the PGCert including:

  • personal practice supported by regular practice periods on teaching days;
  • retreats at Gaia House to help support and deepen personal practice;
  • guided reading of relevant books, articles and papers;
  • lectures and workshops led by the programme team, experienced Buddhist practitioners, Mood Disorder Centre and CEDAR staff and external speakers;
  • peer presentations;
  • tutorials;

Assessment on the PGCert

  • 3,000 word essay on a question selected from a supplied list, relating to the fundamentals of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches theory and practice;
  • 3,000 word essay on a topic of your choice (within the domains of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches theory and research and approved in advance by the Programme Leads);
  • 2,500 word written proposal for an audit/evaluation of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches in a clinical setting.

Teaching on the PGDip

A range of teaching and learning methods are employed during the PGDip including:

  • personal practice supported by regular practice periods on teaching days;
  • retreats at Gaia House to help support and deepen personal practice;
  • guided reading of relevant books, articles and papers;
  • lectures and workshops led by the programme team, experienced Buddhist practitioners, Mood Disorder Centre and CEDAR staff and external speakers;
  • tutorials;
  • supervised practice;
  • formative and summative assessment, including a mixture of reflective diaries, essays, reports of teaching MBCT/MBA classes and direct observation of teaching MBCT/MBA classes.

Assessment on the PGDip

  • 2,000 word essay within the domain of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches ethics and values;
  • Live observation of your delivery of several key elements of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches, together with accompanying 1,500 word commentary;
  • Ratings by your supervisor and clinical tutors of adherence and competence in teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches;
  • 4,000 word written report of Mindfulness-Based Group.

Careers

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.

Masters graduates

You may be interested in the work of our Masters graduates and where they have taken their studies. Please read below each of their Theses:

  • Pilot study on the Mindfulness in Schools Project’s Foundation Course for teachers: Investigating the effects on levels of stress and well-being in secondary school teachers (download Thesis – Lindi McAlpine (.pdf) by Lindi McAlpine.  Please see also additional appendices (download Additional MSc appendices – Lindi McAlpine (.pdf)

  • What factors motivate and support an 8-week mindfulness course participant to establish and maintain a mindfulness practice? (download Thesis - Jiva Masheder (.pdf) by Jiva Masheder.

  • A Space for Embodied Mutual Inquiry: A Framework for Supervision for Mindfulness-based Teachers (download Thesis - Alison Evans (.pdf) by Alison Evans. Read online.

  • Introducing art making into MBCT as a bridge between practice and inquiry: Exploring the use of art materials as a means of bringing the inner experience of mindfulness practice into awareness and expression (download Thesis - Rosalind Hammond (.pdf) by Rosalind Hammond.

Entry requirements

  • Students can progress through the 3 different levels of our Mindfulness programmes, starting with the PG Certificate and then moving onto the PG Diploma and lastly the Masters (MSc).
  • Students cannot take the higher level programme without first having successfully completed the lower level programmes. For example in order to take the PG Diploma, you must have completed and passed the PG Certificate programme.

Requirements for the PGCert:

Requirements for the PGDip:

  • Successful completion of the PGCert in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches and agreement from the programme lead to progress
  • A professional qualification:
    • A health / mental health professional qualification and/or,
    • A counselling/psychotherapy qualification with appropriate certification and/or,
    • A complementary health practitioners qualification with appropriate certification and/or,
    • Another professional qualification with appropriate certification e.g. teaching qualification
  • Minimum of 2 years of post-qualification experience
  • Some relevant experience as a group facilitator
  • Knowledge and experience of the populations to which the mindfulness-based approach will be delivered, including experience of teaching, therapeutic or other care provision with groups and individuals.
  • A commitment to a personal mindfulness practice through daily formal and informal practice

How to apply

Applications

Students can progress through the three different levels of the Mindfulness programmes, starting with the PG Certificate and then moving onto the PG Diploma and lastly the MSc.

Students cannot take the higher level programme without first having successfully completed the lower level programmes. For example in order to take the MSc, you must have completed and passed the PG Certificate and PG Diploma programmes first.

If you require an application form please email mindfulness@exeter.ac.uk

Fees and funding

2019/20 start - Home/EU students (Part time)

PgCert: £4,850 per annum*
PgDip: £4,850 per annum*
MSc: £2,800

*Fees for the PgCert and PgDip are £9,700 to be paid over 2 years (£4,850 PA). The next intake for the PgCert is 2020/21.

Other fees

During the PG Cert year, you are required to attend both a four/five-day retreat at Gaia House. The cost of this is additional to the programme fee and will be set independently by Gaia House.

2020/21
4/5 day retreat (residential cost) TBC

Contact us

Programme administrator:

Christina Gkatzioli
Psychology,
College of Life and Environmental Sciences,
Washington Singer,
Room 001,
Perry Road,
EX4 4QG

Tel: +44 (0)1392 723122
Email: mindfulness@exeter.ac.uk

 

Clinical Education Development and Research (CEDAR) Ask a question Print course

This programme is delivered by Clinical Education, Development and Research (CEDAR): an applied psychological practice centre of excellence, focussed on training the new psychological therapies workforce of the future.