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Exeter Mindfulness Network

Through cultivating mindfulness, the Exeter Mindfulness Centre has the intention to reduce human suffering, promote well-being and create the conditions in which people can flourish. Around this shared intention we aim to bring together a network of researchers, mindfulness teachers, dharma teachers and health, education and social care professionals. Our activities include:

  • Offering Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes to the public
  • Research into mindfulness, compassion and mindfulness-based applications
  • Training mindfulness-based therapists
  • Offering continuing professional development and supervision to support mindfulness-based therapists


Mindfulness practices for cultivating well-being and transforming suffering have a long lineage dating back at least 2500 years. Making use of this rich lineage Jon Kabat-Zinn began teaching mindfulness systematically to people with chronic health problems in medical and psychiatric settings in the 1970’s (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). This work has blossomed with mindfulness-based applications 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 service, schools, forensic settings).

Researchers and clinicians at the University of Exeter Mood Disorders Centre began offering Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for people who suffer recurrent depression in 2004. Since 2009 MBCT has been commissioned by the NHS Devon Primary Care Trust as part of the AccEPT Clinic service. We started to run Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in 2011. Many hundreds of people have been through our mindfulness classes and we continue to run mindfulness classes across Devon as well as regular reunions for the people who have “graduated” our classes.

The South West has a rich lineage in mindfulness, with Gaia House, one of the first retreat centres in the West, founded in 1983 as a centre to support people in learning mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition to find ways of leading happy and fulfilled lives. Gaia House has supported many thousands of people to learn mindfulness.