Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life

Masterclass details

Course Title

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life

Course Leaders

Willem Kuyken, Paul Bernard and Alison Yiangou

How long is the Masterclass?

2 Days - 9.30 am - 4.30 pm each day

Who is the Masterclass for?

Qualified MBCT teachers who are teaching in line with the UK Good Practice Guidelines

Where is the Masterclass?

St Hugh's College - Oxford

How many people on each Masterclass?

60 Max

How much does the Masterclass cost?


Available Masterclasses:

7th Jan - 8th Jan 2019

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MBCT for Life [MBCT-L] is intended as a universal taught face-to-face programme, applicable to the general population.  As a recent adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression [Teasdale, Segal, & Williams, 2013), MBCT-L offers mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques in ways that are intended to be accessible to all. It guides participants in how to apply this learning in everyday life both to manage what is painful and difficult but also to cultivate qualities such as compassion and equanimity.  It offers a different way of living that supports people to work with challenges, including recurring patterns of thought and behaviour that create suffering, but also to savour life and to flourish. Following the model of MBCT-D, with 2-hour classes and about 40 minutes of ‘formal’ home practice per day, MBCT-L is an in-depth programme intended to cultivate lasting and sustainable change. MBCT-L is designed for community settings, where people can come to participate in the programme over 8 weekly sessions as well as a full day of mindfulness practice, which normally takes place between sessions 6 & 7. There is an accompanying app and website for participants that provide home practices during the course as well as ‘deepening’ practices for participants to use after the course has been completed.

‘Having now taught the MBCT for Life programme on a few occasions in the NHS general practice in which I work, I have really enjoyed teaching it…The emphasis on appreciation and gratitude seems to be quite transformative and life enhancing.’ Sheila Gill


We developed and have been evaluating the curriculum as part of the Wellcome Trust funded MYRIAD project (Kuyken et al., 2017) and anticipate that a randomised trial evaluating the MBCT for Life curriculum with health service staff compared with wait-list control will publish in late 2018 / early 2019 (Strauss et al., 2018). It is being taught by MBCT teachers internationally with some very affirming feedback. For example, “I absolutely love MBCT for Life. It provides such a supportive, reassuring and at the same times liberating framework to teach within.” Alistair Kelly, MBCT Teacher.

Over the two days of this masterclass, we will first of all introduce the theoretical background and rationale for MBCT-L. We will then move on to participants teaching the MBCT-L curriculum in teach backs, with particular attention being given to the practices and exercises that are bespoke to MBCT-L’s intentions and broader population. This includes a greater focus on ‘befriending,’ ‘appreciation,’ a ‘vicious flower’ model of what maintains distress and the skills to support greater responsiveness in thought and action. While it shares the basic structure of MBCT-D (“the warp”), its particularity (“the weft”) is designed to support the broader general population in working with distress as well as with flourishing (Crane et al., 2017). Participants will have a chance, during ‘teach-backs’, to observe and practice teaching the elements of the programme that are not found in MBCT for Depression


Paul Bernard, Willem Kuyken and Alison Yiangou

Paul Bernard is as a consultant psychiatrist in a large NHS Mental Health Trust in the North of England, where he leads an MBCT team that provides 8-week programmes for patients, carers and staff. Paul trained as an MBCT teacher in 2007 and, with mentorship from Professor Mark Williams, became a trainer and an OMC Associate in 2012. He is involved with MBCT teacher training locally, nationally and internationally.

Willem Kuyken is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. His work is focused on depression and evidence-based approaches to depression. In particular, his research examines how mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can prevent depression and enhance human potential across the lifespan. He is also interested in the interface of ancient wisdom traditions and contemporary science and he is writing a book with Christina Feldman on this topic to be published by Guilford Press in 2018.

Alison Yiangou is an OMC teacher and trainer with over 40 years experience of working internationally with meditation and mindful awareness in non-clinical settings, with a particular interest in broadening access to MBCT and the potential of MBCT to promote flourishing and wellbeing. She also leads the OMC service for assessing teaching competency.

Pre-workshop reading

Crane, R. S., Brewer, J. A., Feldman, C., Kabat-Zinn, J., Santorelli, S., Williams, J. M. G., & Kuyken, W. (2017). What defines mindfulness-based programs? The warp and the weft. Psychological Medicine, Manuscript in press.

Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2013). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. (Second edition ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Williams, J. M. G., & Penman, D. (2011). Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. London: Piatkus.


Crane, R. S., Brewer, J., Feldman, C., Kabat-Zinn, J., Santorelli, S., Williams, J. M., & Kuyken, W. (2017). What defines mindfulness-based programs? The warp and the weft. Psychol Med, 47(6), 990-999. doi:10.1017/S0033291716003317

Kuyken, W., Nuthall, E., Byford, S., Crane, C., Dalgleish, T., Ford, T., . . . Myriad Team. (2017). The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a mindfulness training programme in schools compared with normal school provision (MYRIAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 18. doi:10.1186/s13063-017-1917-4

Strauss, C., Gu, J., Pitman, N., Chapman, C., Kuyken, W., & Whittington, A. (2018). Evaluation of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for life and a cognitive behavioural therapy stress-management workshop to improve healthcare staff stress: study protocol for two randomised controlled trials. Trials, 2019(19:209), 10. doi:doi.org/10.1186/s13063-018-2547-1