Chris Cullen works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He trained to teach Insight Meditation with Christina Feldman, and teaches retreats at Gaia House in Devon. Chris co-directs the Mindfulness in Schools Project, and runs mindfulness courses for students at Oxford University and for musicians and actors at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He has recently completed a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford, and is on the teaching team at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Dr Maret Dymond
Dr Maret Dymond trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Southampton and has a degree in psychology and PhD in perinatal psychology at the University of Reading. Dr Dymond trained as a teacher in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Depression (MBCT) and in Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP). She currently leads on a project facilitating and evaluating MBCP classes for expectant parents in collaboration with NHS colleagues introducing MBCP within the UK and Europe.
Dr Melanie Fennell
Dr Melanie Fennell is one of the pioneers of cognitive therapy for depression in the UK and developed the Oxford Diploma in Cognitive Therapy and Oxford/MSc in Advanced Cognitive Therapy. She is a research clinician in the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teaches on the Masters Degree in MBCT in Oxford University. Dr Fennell has a particular interest in cognitive therapy for depression and low self-esteem. Her book “Overcoming Low Self-Esteem” has become a classic of self-help literature, recommended on the National Health Service’s self-help scheme known as “Books on Prescription”.
Bergljot Gjelsvik is Honorary Research Clinical Psychologist at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre having trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Oslo and holds a Masters of Studies degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at the University of Oxford. She is completing her PhD on suicide prevention and deliberate self-harm focusing on causes of suicidal behaviour, risk and protective factors. Bergljot works clinically with depressed and suicidal individuals using MBCT.
Marie Johansson is a qualified Social Worker and an experienced mental health practitioner, CBT group worker, MBCT teacher and trainer. As Clinical Lead at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, she coordinates and manages the delivery of MBCT within the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and to the general public. Marie has a particular interest in working with people suffering from depression and anxiety and a range of mental health issues. She trains new MBCT teachers internationally and supervises MBCT students/trainees as well as more experienced teachers, mostly within psychological treatment services.
Dr John Peacock
Chair, Board of Trustees
Dr John Peacock is both a Buddhist scholar and practitioner and has taught meditation for thirty years and Buddhist studies at the University of Bristol for ten years. Dr Peacock teaches on the Masters in MBCT at the University of Oxford. He also chairs the Board of Trustees and is an Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Dr Esther Riggs is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, a BABCP Accredited Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapist and an experienced MBCT teacher and trainer. She is a course tutor on the Masters of Studies in MBCT at OMCand also teaches MBCT at the Universityof Birmingham. She runs a supervised training pathway / MBCT ‘internship’ for mental health staff in Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust and has been involved in a recent research trial examining the benefits of MBCT for clients with Health Anxiety. Her clinical experience is in adult mental health.
Dr Christina Surawy
Dr Christina Surawy is a clinical psychologist and an accredited CBT therapist. She is currently Co-Director of the Masters of Studies in MBCT and involved extensively in both teaching and training MBCT at the OMC and internationally. Dr Surawy was the lead therapist on a research trial exploring the benefits of MBCT for Health Anxiety and is involved in developing, teaching and training MBCT for people with long-term health conditions with the NHS.
Professor Mark Williams
Professor Mark Williams is a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and Professor of Clinical Psychology. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Experimental Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry and is the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy and the US Association for Psychological Science.
Professor Williams, along with colleagues John Teasdale (Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto), developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for prevention of relapse and recurrence in major depression. His research is concerned with psychological models and treatment of depression and suicidal behaviour, particularly the application of experimental cognitive psychology to understanding the processes that increase risk of suicidal behaviour in depression.
Associate Mindfulness Teachers
Dr Marcus Averbeck
Dr Marcus Averbeck is the Head of Family Psychotherapy in the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, a Mental Health Trust in the south-east of London. He has been working in the NHS as a couple and family psychotherapist since 1994. Following his training as an MBCT teacher with Oxford Mindfulness Centre in 2007, he set out to teach client groups as well as staff groups. With his particular interest in the application of systemic ideas in the teaching of MBCT he is also facilitating MBCT classes for couples. Together with colleagues, he has been influential in building up a workforce for MBCT in his Trust, and with Prof Mark Williams he trained a number of clinicians to become MBCT teachers, who are now being supervised by them in their MBCT teaching capacity. His interest in meditation began in the early 1980’s, developing into the practice of Zen, which he is authorised to teach.
Dr Thorsten Barnhofer
Dr Thorsten Barnhofer worked in Prof Mark Williams’ group at the Oxford Department of Psychiatry for eight years, during which time he was involved in research on the effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in suicidal and chronic depression as a clinician, mindfulness teacher, and researcher. He is now a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, where the main focus of his research is on the investigation of cognitive and neurophysiological factors underlying the persistence of affective disorders and their modification using mindfulness-based interventions. He teaches MBCT workshops and retreats for mental health professionals, and is a licensed CBT-therapist and yoga teacher.
Dr Ann Hackman
Dr Ann Hackman has been a leading figure in the development of cognitive therapy for anxiety disorders. Dr Hackman has worked as a research clinician in many treatment trials with Professors David Clark and Professor Anke Ehlers. Her special interest has been in the role of imagery in psychopathology, and she collaborated with Professor Chris Brewin on a study of imagery re-scripting as a stand-alone treatment for depression. She was an editor of the Oxford Guide to Behavioural Experiments in Cognitive Therapy (2004), and an author of Cognitive Therapy of the Anxiety Disorders: Mastering Clinical Challenges (2007) and the Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy (2011). Since 2007 Dr Hackman has worked with Professor Mark Williams. She is an associate of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, and has provided treatment and training in cognitive therapy and MBCT in many national and international settings. She took part in a study of the effects of MBCT on health anxiety, and worked on enhancing engagement in a recent trial of MBCT for depression. She has led MBCT groups for mixed psychiatric problems, and for the general public and has also taught professional therapists in MBCT training courses.
Dr S. Helen Ma
Dr Helen Ma is a clinical psychologist with experience working in Hong Kong and Australia. She began a regular mindfulness meditation practice in 1992 and started teaching MBSR in 1997. She first taught MBCT in 2001 under the supervision of Dr. John Teasdale, while conducting her doctoral research on MBCT at the University of Cambridge. Since then, she has been teaching MBSR and MBCT, leading meditation retreats, conducting training programs and supervising professionals in mindfulness-based approaches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
Dr Sue MacPherson
Sue MacPherson is a chartered Clinical Psychologist with 25 years’ experience of working in the NHS in the U.K. and in New Zealand. She is also a CBT Therapist and MBCT teacher and trainer. She began a regular meditation practice in 1999 and first taught mindfulness in her work as part of an adapted DBT skills group within an acute psychiatric inpatient setting. She began teaching MBCT in 2007 in adult mental health to people with a range of diagnoses. Since 2010 she has been co-developing and co-running a supervised training pathway/”internship” for mental health staff in the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. Sue is the lead for mindfulness courses at the University of Birmingham, currently co-ordinating and teaching MBCT courses and MBCT Teacher development workshops.
Jill Roberts works as a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in mental health for over thirty years. She is an accredited CBT therapist, and provides individual and group CBT, and CBT supervision within the NHS. She has led mindfulness classes within the NHS since 1999, and has worked with people with physical and emotional problems, and with staff groups. She has also taught MBCT classes for professionals through Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, and public classes for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Dr Antonia Sumbundu
Antonia Sumbundu is a clinical psychologist, who has specialised in CBT and supervision. In 2010, she was awarded a Master of Studies in MBCT by the University of Oxford. Antonia has been interested in the clinical applications of meditation for a long time, and has been teaching and lecturing on MBCT and MBSR both nationally and internationally for a number of years. She has extensive experience of leading meditation retreats and training programs, supervising professionals in mindfulness-based approaches, and leading MBCT classes. She is an Associate Trainer for the Oxford Mindfulness Center and has been involved in several research projects.
Tim Sweeney is an accredited CBT therapist and an experienced MBCT teacher and trainer. He is employed in Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust as a CBT therapist specialising in treatment resistant depression and is also the clinical lead for MBCT. This post involves coordinating and delivering training in MBCT to IAPT and Secondary Care staff, who work with people experiencing a diverse range of health problems. He is also conducting research into the relationship between mindfulness and depression with the University of Nottingham
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