Mindfulness Splash 692

Mindfulness Group for Staff at the University of Exeter: A Pilot Evaluation


Stress and wellbeing at the University of Exeter

There is increasing evidence that mindfulness-based approaches can help individuals at work cope with stress and build wellbeing through the use of meditation practices.  As part of the Positive Working Environment initiative (in response to the 2018 Employee Engagement Survey), we are piloting the provision of staff mindfulness groups for Exeter University staff in collaboration with mindfulness practitioners and researchers at the Mood Disorders Centre at the University. Professor Barney Dunn, Research Clinical Psychologist and member of the PWE Board, is leading this development for staff.

At the start of the next academic year we will be running a pilot group of an approach developed at the University of Oxford called ‘Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Life’.

If you would like to consider being a participant in this group, please contact Rachel Milne at the Mood Disorders Centre who will provide you with more information.  The group will be run on a ‘first come, first served basis.

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.

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.

This MBCT-L pilot group is being run by experienced mindfulness practitioners at the Mood Disorders Centre in the University, who have led a successful NHS mindfulness service for a number of years and been involved in research developing and evaluating mindfulness approaches.

The course will run weekly for eight weeks on Fridays at 2.30pm – 4pm, starting 20/09/2019 and running until 08/11/2019. You need to be able to make all of the sessions and commit to some home practice in between sessions. You will be asked to take part in a research project evaluating the group, to help decide whether groups of this kind should be offered more broadly by the university.

The group will run on a first come, first served basis.

If you are interested in considering taking part, to express your interest, please e-mail Rachel Milne at the Mood Disorders Centre. She will then get back in touch to discuss this further with you.

We would also be very grateful for any feedback about whether mindfulness groups of this kind would be a welcome addition for staff at the university, so please also complete the following two item (very brief!) survey

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.

Please can you fill in the below survey, by clicking on the picutre, for feedback on the provision of a Staff Mindfulness Group at the University

Survey Link