Training routes within the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice
Training routes within Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice
The following is an outline of our two main training routes:
- Mindfulness-based Master's Programmes
- Continuing Professional Development Programmes
Mindfulness-based Master’s Programmes
The Master's programmes are validated by the School of Psychology in Bangor University. They offer people who are interested in bringing mindfulness-based approaches into their work and lives, the opportunity to study many aspects of these, and to gain academic credits at Master’s level.
The focus of the programmes is on experiential learning of the practice of mindfulness meditation, together with
- an academic exploration of the theory of mindfulness, including its evidence base, and
- development of the skills involved in teaching the 8-week mindfulness-based course, or of incorporating mindfulness-based approaches into a professional role or setting.
There are two flexible part-time programmes:
1. MSc/MA in Mindfulness-Based Approaches. This enables an in-depth exploration, practice and understanding of mindfulness, and a wide theoretical and research background (the programme takes 3-5 years)
2. MSc/MA in Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses. This offers a full training programme in teaching the courses of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and/or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, with a Certificate of Competence on completion (this programme takes 5 years).
Each MSc/MA programme includes 4 taught modules worth 30 credits. Modules are taught in Bangor, most over 5 weekends through the academic year (two are residential).
Completion of two modules gives a Postgraduate Certificate. Completion of four modules constitutes a Postgraduate Diploma, with the addition of a dissertation this leads to the award of a Master’s degree.
For full details of these programmes, including entry criteria and application procedure, please click here for the 2009/10 Master's Prospectus. If after reading the Prospectus you have further questions, please contact: MastersinMindfulness@bangor.ac.uk, Tel: 01248 382510.
Continuing Professional Development Programmes
Mindfulness meditation is used in clinical and other settings in the UK, Europe and the USA. It is largely based on the 8-week courses of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Many research studies have measured the effectiveness of these courses in helping people deal with mental and physical ill-health and increasing levels of well-being.
The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice has been teaching 8-week mindfulness-based courses locally in North Wales since 2000. From 2002 we have offered 8-week courses by distance learning, one to one over the phone. We have developed 1 and 2 day introductory courses for professionals to give tasters in experiencing mindfulness first hand. Mindfulness Development Programmes, which include some theory, are being taught alongside the 8-week course, and are now on offer in 5-day residential blocks. The Centre also trains professionals in mindfulness-based approaches. All such training is based on the 8-week course, which we teach to groups in North Wales, London, Hertfordshire and Cambridge.
Our professional training programmes focus on the application of mindfulness-based approaches in clinical and work settings, as well as in trainees’ own lives. They include Teacher Development Retreats (for those who want to teach the 8-week course) and Mindfulness and Individual Therapy (for those who are experienced therapists and want to use mindfulness in their work with clients). We also offer a course in the Buddhist Background to Mindfulness-Based Courses. As this approach is essentially experiential, it is necessary to have previously participated in an 8-week mindfulness course to take any of our training programmes (Teacher Development Retreats, Mindfulness and Individual Therapy, and Buddhist Background).
Foundation in Mindfulness
Preliminary teacher training (Level 1)
- 7 day residential Teacher Development Retreat
- Individual telephone/face to face supervision and mentoring for professionals integrating/teaching mindfulness-based approaches in their work
Foundation in Mindfulness
If you are taking a foundation in Mindfulness, such as the 8-week course, with the intention of proceeding to teacher training, we ask that you have:
- Professional training and experience in the context within which you plan to teach/integrate mindfulness
- A willingness to engage in this style of learning, which is experiential, reflective, and based on meditation
Additional requirements for Master’s Programmes entry are:
- At least 3 yrs professional experience in the context within which you plan to teach/integrate mindfulness
- Experience of daily mindfulness meditation practice over at least one year
- Having participated in a taught 8-week course of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy or Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, preferably over 8 weeks, or if necessary in a residential or other format
Teacher training at preliminary level (Level 1)
Requirements in addition to the above:
- Sufficient depth of personal experience of mindfulness practice to begin the development of competency in teaching.
- In depth personal experience of the three main practices taught in mindfulness-based approaches (body scan, sitting practice and mindful movement practice).
Teacher training at advanced level (Level 2)
Requirements in addition to the above:
- Experience of mindful movement needs to be supported by regular practice of, and practice in teaching, your chosen movement (such as yoga or qigong-based movement).
- Commitment to attendance on regular silent mindfulness practice retreats led by experienced teachers
- Regular supervision process with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher
It is important that you consider the process of developing your personal mindfulness practice and your teaching of mindfulness-based approaches to be a life long process! There is no point at which the process is completed.
The development and interest in the potential of mindfulness within a range of settings is rapidly growing and training processes are therefore becoming more structured. However, within the UK there are currently no formal qualifications/certification processes which regulate competency in teaching mindfulness-based approaches. This requires those of us working in this developing field to inquire deeply into our own practice, our integrity, our intentions and the boundaries of our skills, competencies and understandings.
We strongly recommend that teachers engage regularly with an experienced teacher of mindfulness-based approaches for supervision and for direct feedback on teaching practice. The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice has developed some good practice guidelines that teachers who work with us must adhere to. We recommend that all teachers of mindfulness-based approaches follow such guidelines.
It is enormously helpful to find ways of connecting with other professionals who are doing this work. We run a range of ongoing trainings and workshops and would like to increase ways of supporting people who are using mindfulness-based approaches. We have a mailing list of people who we know about who are using mindfulness-based approaches in their work and would like to receive information from us. Do contact us if you would like to be on this list.
If you have any suggestions of trainings or other ways of supporting your learning that you would find helpful please contact us.