Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life

Course details

Course Title

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life

Course Leaders

Chris Cullen and Willem Kuyken

How long is the Masterclass?

2 days (9.30 - 4.30pm)

Who is the Masterclass for?

Qualified MBCT teachers

Where is the Masterclass?

Wolfson College, Oxford

How many people on each Masterclass

Up to 35

How much does the Masterclass cost?


Available courses:

7th Sep - 8th Sep 2017

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What is the Masterclass about?

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 difficulties but also to cultivate joy, compassion, equanimity and wisdom.  It offers a different way of living that supports people to work with distress and difficulties, but also to savour life, realise their potential 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 intended as an in-depth programme intended to cultivate lasting and sustainable change. MBCT-L is intended 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 for participants that provides both practices during the 8-week course but also beyond the 8-week course.

Over two days we will first introduce the theoretical background and rationale for MBCT-L. We will then move on to teaching the MBCT-L curriculum, with particular focus on 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 bespoke to supporting the broader general population in working with distress, realising potential, and flourishing (Crane et al., 2017). Participants will have a chance in teach-backs to observe and practice teaching these bespoke elements.

Who is it for?

This masterclass is for qualified MBCT teachers who are teaching in line with the UK Good Practice Guidelines  [http://mindfulnessteachersuk.org.uk/pdf/teacher-guidelines.pdf] and who wish to learn to teach the MBCT for Life curriculum.

Who are Chris Cullen and Willem Kuyken?

Chris Cullen works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He has a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and is on the teaching team at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He teaches the Mindfulness Finding Peace course to students at Oxford University, and to MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament

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 2017.


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.