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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.

The below sessions are run by an experienced mindfulness clinical team at our own Mood Disorders Centre, with the Colleague Wellbeing team's support. 

To sign up please download our MBCT sign-up form to complete and email to Katie Stewart: mdcadmin@exeter.ac.uk. All information provided will be held securely.  

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

Option 1: Attend an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life course (MBCT-L); a two-hour group session each week delivered via Zoom.

More information about this group can be found in the below section.

  • Thursday 3rd February 2022 (08:30 – 10:30) - every Thursday for eight weeks
  • Wednesday 11th May 2022 (12:00 – 14:00) - every Wednesday for eight weeks
  • Wednesday 26th October 2022 (16:30 – 18:30) - every Wednesday for eight weeks 

Option 2: Attend monthly two-hour skills classes that will introduce you to the theory and practice of mindfulness and the chance to reflect on practice.

To sign up for this course you will be invited to attend the six sessions below, all via Zoom. 

Thursdays (5-7pm):

  • 10/02/2022
  • 10/03/2022
  • 21/04/2022
  • 19/05/2022
  • 16/06/2022
  • 14/07/2022

These offerings are being delivered by experienced mindfulness teachers and mental health clinicians who are used to supporting individuals to learn mindfulness in both workplace and NHS settings. Administrative support is currently provided by Katie Stewart who can answer any queries about the programmes.

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).

The Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Life (MBCT-L) curriculum is a new 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.

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.

Mindful Meditation on Thursday lunchtimes.

Please email StaffLife stafflife@exeter.ac.uk to join the mailing list for the group and contact the facilitator John Danvers j.danvers@exeter.ac.uk if you have questions about the sessions themselves if not covered in the information linked above.

  • 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.