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Spectrum Life is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is a confidential, neutral service provided by an external company to support colleagues at the University, including free counselling. 

Mindfulness sessions for colleagues

Mindfulness is a simple and powerful practice of training our attention. It involves learning to pay attention to what is happening in the ‘here and now’ (i.e. sensations, thoughts, and emotions) in a non-judgemental way. It can be helpful because it can interrupt the habit of getting lost in thoughts, mostly about the future or past, which often generates more stress on top of the real pressures of everyday life.

Mindfulness offers not only a way of reducing stress and preventing low mood, it also holds potential to improve the way we live, helping us to thrive and be resilient at work and in our broader lives.

To enhance staff wellbeing and reduce stress, it is necessary to both reduce the underlying workplace drivers that cause stress in the first place and equip individuals with skills to manage their own resilience. Mindfulness approaches are one proven way to help individuals build wellbeing and manage stress to achieve the latter. They introduce people to a model of how their own patterns of thinking and responding can be used to maximise resilience and thriving and reduce workplace stress, and train individuals to use mindfulness techniques to build effective patterns of thought and behaviour.

We can offer tailored, bespoke Mindfulness sessions for individual departments/ teams. The sessions can last from 90 minutes to 2 hours and can be delivered in-person or on-line as a stand-alone or part of a wellbeing initiative/day.  

Sessions can include anything from a general introduction to Mindfulness covering the benefits, evidence and practical exercises for wellbeing and a healthy mind and/ or tailored to a particular interest/need/stressors within teams. To discuss or book, please get in touch with Bella Broughton at mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk to arrange a session. 

Introduction

The Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life (MBCT-L) curriculum is a mindfulness course to make mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques more accessible to all. It is an eight week group programme, which will have approximately 15 attendees. It uses evidence-based teaching principles and practices that have been shown to promote the progressive development of mindfulness skills and bring about lasting changes in wellbeing and stress management.

Dates available

  • 25th January to 21st March 2024, every Thursday from 9.30-11.30am, with a break for half-term (no session on 15th February)*now full*
  • 23rd April to 11th June 2024, every Tuesday from 12-2pm, with a break (TBC). Location: Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research - room G17. *now full*

Further courses will be posted here when organised. If you have any questions please email Bella Broughton at mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk‌. All information provided will be held securely.  

More about the course

This offering is delivered by experienced mindfulness teachers and mental health clinicians who are used to supporting individuals to learn mindfulness in both workplace and NHS settings. 

Participants will come away better equipped to self-regulate their stress levels, cope with difficulty, and also access a sense of savouring and appreciation for what’s good in their lives.

The sessions will explore the essential principles of mindfulness through a combination of guided meditation practices, insightful exercises, and group discussion around the practical applications of mindfulness in everyday life. The group is open to all members of staff at the university, irrespective of your current levels of stress or wellbeing.

Provisional places in a group will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Once a group is full we will run a reserve list in case people withdraw. After being offered a preliminary space, you will have a 1:1 meeting with the mindfulness trainer to orient to the group and to double check that this is a good option for you (if you are suffering from significant current mental health symptoms you may instead be signposted to other sources of help).

Our previous courses and sessions have secured some fantastic feedback, which you are welcome to look over in our Mindfulness Outcomes Report

Introduction

Deeper Mindfulness: exploring feeling tone frame by frameis a new eight-week course developed by Mark Williams and colleagues at Oxford University. It is designed for those who have already completed a mindfulness-based programme and want to explore mindfulness more deeply. Feeling tone is a sense of the pleasant or unpleasant that is present in each experience we have, that often goes below the radar. It can be the tipping point for our mood which leads to stress and exhaustion.  

Dates available

  • 16th April to 11th June, every Tuesday from 5-7pm, with a break for half-term (no session on 28th May) - online *now full*

If you have any questions please email Bella Broughton at mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk‌. All information provided will be held securely.  

More about the course

During the eight sessions, you will learn mindfulness practices that prepare you for, then help you tune in to feeling tone frame by frame. This provides an opportunity to respond in ways that decrease stress and exhaustion and support appreciation and flourishing.  

The course consists of eight online sessions lasting two hours each, with approximately 15 participants. It is a follow-on course for anyone who has already attended an eight-week mindfulness course, such as MBCT, MBCT-L or MBSR. The sessions will explore feeling tone through a combination of guided meditation practices, insightful exercises, and group discussion with suggestions for practicing at home between sessions. The group is open to all members of staff at the university, irrespective of your current levels of stress or wellbeing. 

 

Mindfulness Retreats can be a helpful way to both deepen and sustain your mindfulness practice. We offer online retreats and in-person retreats in the relaxing and comfortable building of the Mood Disorder Service located at the Streatham Campus in Exeter. You can attend these retreats if you have completed any eight-week mindfulness course, with us at the University or elsewhere.

Dates available

Half Day Online Restorative Morning of Mindfulness| Friday 8th March 2024 | Time 9.30am-12.30pm

This half-day online mindfulness retreat is facilitated by experienced Mindfulness Teachers at the AccEPT clinic. This restorative half day of practice is an invitation to take some time for yourself and be supported together in practice from the comfort of your own home. There will be guided meditation practice, supported by short talks, stories and poetry. It’s an opportunity to be in an extended period of practice, cultivating bringing kindness and ease to our experiences and daily life. The majority of the retreat will be held in silence; this supports the capacity to engage with the practices and ourselves in a deeper and more intuitive way.

The retreat day will be offered online through Zoom. You will need your own private space, where you will feel comfortable engaging in the practices and ideally have room for some movement/walking practices. It's not essential for the space to be totally silent as any noises or interruptions can simply be woven into practice.

What to bring: Please wear comfortable clothes that allow you to be warm and unrestricted for t he periods of gently mindful movement (which can be carried out seated or laying down). You may like to bring a yoga mat for optional laying down practices and a blankets to keep you warm in the period of stillness. 

To sign up please complete this form. If you have any questions please email Bella Broughton at mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk‌. All information provided will be held securely.  

In-Person Spring Day of Mindfulness| Saturday 27th April 2024| Time 10.00am- 4.00pm 

This in-person Spring Day of Mindfulness is offered in the relaxing space of the henry Welcome Building Service (rooms G17 and G18) and facilitated by experienced Mindfulness Teachers at the clinic. This full day of practice is an invitation to take some time for yourself and be supported together to refresh and deepen your practice. There will be guided meditation practice, supported by short talks, stories and poetry. It’s an opportunity to be in an extended period of practice, cultivating bringing kindness and ease to our experiences and daily life. The majority of the retreat will be held in silence; this supports the capacity to engage with the practices and ourselves in a deeper and more intuitive way.

What to bring: Please wear comfortable clothes that allow you to be warm and unrestricted for the periods of gently mindful movement (which can be carried out seated or laying down). You may like to bring a yoga mat for optional laying down practices and a blankets to keep you warm in the period of stillness. We have a limited supply of yoga mats for use at the clinic.  You will need to bring a packed lunch and any snacks you need throughout the day. Hot drinks will be provided although if you have a favourite drink please bring this along. 

To sign up please complete this form. If you have any questions please email Bella Broughton at mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk‌. All information provided will be held securely.  

Mindful Meditation on Thursday lunchtimes.

Please email StaffLife stafflife@exeter.ac.uk to join the mailing list for the group. More information about the group can be found via the link above. If you do have further questions about the group, please contact the facilitator John Danvers j.danvers@exeter.ac.uk.  Please note that this is a secular meditation group (not a religious practice).

  • Janssen et al (2018) Effects of mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on employees mental health: A systematic review. PLOS One.
  • Bartlett et al (2019) A systematic review and meta-analysis of workplace mindfulness training randomized controlled trials. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
  • Lomas et al (2018) Mindfulness-based interventions in the workplace: An inclusive systematic review and meta-analysis of their impact upon wellbeing. The Journal of Positive Psychology.