Teaching MBCT internationally

Teaching MBCT internationally

Part of the OMC's mission is to help train the next generation of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teachers and increase access to high-quality MBCT, both in the UK and internationally. This month Willem Kuyken, Mark Williams and colleagues visited Hong Kong and mainland China to train 150 people in MBCT and speak at the 2nd National Mindfulness Conference in Nanjing.

First stop was Hong Kong, where OMC Founding Director and Honorary Senior Research Fellow Mark Williams taught on the MBCT Foundations Course with S. Helen Ma, OMC Associate and Founding Teacher of the Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness.


Willem Kuyken, OMC Director joined at the next destination, Shanghai, to teach a six-day residential foundational training for 150 people from all over China. This was a partnership with the Shangai Mental Centre and Hui-Qi Tong of the CIH. This training is the first of what we hope will be a set of modules offered to support MBCT teachers work towards competency and create a critical mass of supervisors and trainers in China.

The final destination was Nanjing, China, to provide a keynote and workshop along with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Hui-Qi Tong for 350 Chinese delegates at the Second Chinese Mindfulness Academic Conference, hosted by the Chinese Mindfulness Academic group, Chinese Psychology Society and Nanjing University.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is an OMC International Advisor and was the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is teaching an OMC masterclass in London in June. Dr. Tong is the Associate Director and Adjunct Professor for the Global Masters’ Program-China at Palo Alto University.

The keynote on 19th April, “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression across the lifespan“, gave an overview of the theoretical premise for MBCT, recent effectiveness/implementation evidence, and how MBCT works.

The workshop on “The Science and Practice of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy: Mindfulness and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” explores a number of questions and themes such as the evidence base for MBCT and what is learned during mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. It also comprises a number of mindfulness practices and exercises. The workshop is aimed at psychiatry residents, students, therapists and other mental health professionals who already have some familiarity with mindfulness but are looking for an up-to-date overview of the field and a deepening of their understanding and practice.