Professional Practice for Mindfulness Teachers
A message from Dr. Rebecca Crane….Find a course!
Mindfulness-based teaching is a rapidly emerging field. Appropriate codes and governance for professional practice are in development. These pages will help orientate you to these issues.
If you are a member of the general public this information will help you to access a teacher who has participated in appropriate training and is maintaining professional practice through on-going good practice engagement.
If you are a teacher, the information will help you to understand what you need to do to support your development, and good and safe practice.
How to find a suitable mindfulness teacher...
In the UK context the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations sets standards for good practice for both teachers of mindfulness-based courses and trainers of mindfulness-based teachers. The UK Network has a listing of mindfulness-based course teachers across the UK who have undertaken training to a minimum level and are adhering to ongoing good practice recommendations. We strongly recommend that if you are a member of the general public seeking a suitable course that you select a teacher from this listing; and if you are a teacher who complies with good practice that you apply to be listed.
A key part of good practice for mindfulness-based teachers is engagement in ongoing supervision with a Mindfulness Supervisor, and ongoing cultivation of a personal mindfulness practice through participation in mindfulnss retreats.
How are mindfulness teachers assessed?
CMRP led the development of criteria for assessing the level of competence of a teacher. This system is now used within our trainings and in many other training programmes internationally. You can find a list of graduates from our programmes who have completed the full depth of training with us and who have been awarded a Certificate of Competence in MBSR and/or MBCT here.
What training does the CMRP offer?
There are now a range of mindfulness-based course curriculums being employed. At CMRP we primarily train teachers in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (the original programme from which other curriculums have developed), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. These two programmes have the most developed research evidence base. We are also now training teachers in Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting, and in Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. There are specific training processes for each of these programmes. The UK listing identifies which programme a teacher is qualified to teach. "
A key good practice requirement for mindfulness-based teachers is engaging regularly with a Mindfulness Supervisor.
Mindfulness Supervision is a regular space that is contracted between supervisor and supervisee that enables them to reflect together on the supervisee's mindfulness practice and explore how it impacts and integrates with their work and life. This process is dedicated to developing and deepening the growth, understanding and effectiveness of the supervisee's application of mindfulness, both personally and in their working life"
We recommend that you seek a supervisor through the Mindfulness Network Community Interest Company (CIC) where you can find a range of supervisors (including many of our own trainers) who offer high quality supervision. All Mindfulness Network supervisors fulfil the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisation's Good Practice Guidelines for trainers and supervisors and have been carefully selected to work within this organisation.
If you are an experienced mindfulness-based teacher and are interested in training as a supervisor you can see details of our training process for supervisors here.
This paper is a useful guide to the process of supervision: A Framework for Supervision For Mindfulness Based Teachers
Finding a Retreat
It is important that all mindfulness-based teachers invest in the development of their own personal mindfulness practice. This is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment process involving the cultivation of practice informally in daily life, supported by daily formal meditation practice. A key part of this process is periodically taking several days out of everyday life to dedicate some time to the cultivation of practice in a supported residential setting.
It is important that mindfulness-based teachers choose residential practice settings and teachers which are congruent with their work as a mainstream mindfulness teacher. We particularly recommend the retreats offered by Mindfulness Network CIC which are specifically designed to serve the needs of the mindfulness-based teaching community.
Promoting and Maintaining Standards in Mindfulness-based Teaching and Training: The UK Network’
As the availability of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) continues to expand, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that the training and delivery of these approaches adhere to recognised standards supporting safe and ethical practice. The UK Network for Mindfulness-based Teachers Training Organisations (UKN), established in 2006, is the lead organisation overseeing the quality of mindfulness-based training in the UK. Its vision, mission and objectives are:
- VISION: The Network represents the leading teacher training organisations in the UK.
- MISSION: We are committed to supporting and developing good practice and integrity in the delivery of Mindfulness-based approaches.
- OBJECTIVES: We do this by: Having strong collaborative relationships between member organisations. Defining, upholding and disseminating standards.
The UKN have developed Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs) to provide clarity about acknowledged standards in the field of MBIs. These are intended to support the safe, effective and ethical provision of mindfulness approaches in the UK. It has additionally developed GPGs for those training people to teach MBIs.
As a member organisation of the UKN, we strongly encourage all those teaching and training in MBIs to become familiar with these guidelines and to practice in accordance with these.
Mindfulness-based teachers who have undergone sufficient training and are able to demonstrate adherence to the Good Practice Guidelines are eligible to be listed on the UKN Listing of mindfulness-based teachers.
The UKN Listing provides assurance for those wishing to attend a mindfulness-based course that listed teachers have received adequate training, supervision and ongoing CPD, and adhere to the GPGs in their teaching.