Before my retirement in December 2013, I was a Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and Wellcome Principal Research Fellow in the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry. I worked with a great team to investigate why some people become suicidal when they get depressed, and others don’t. We used our new understandings of who was most at risk to adapt Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to prevent new episodes of depression for those who were most vulnerable.
I teach for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in Hong Kong and Mainland China, and participate in the Annual OMC Summer School held in Oxford each year. I am a Co-Principal Investigator – alongside Willem Kuyken, Tim Dalgleish and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, for a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award – Myriad – which seeks to evaluate the effectiveness, cost effectiveness and mechanisms underlying a mindfulness in schools programme. My particular interest in the research is (a) how best to train teachers in mindfulness and (b) how best to train them to teach it to their students.
The University of Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world, with a history of bringing together the most distinguished international scholars to investigate, debate and research the deepest questions and the most far-reaching ideas. The field of mindfulness draws on all aspects of such scholarship, from the sciences, arts and humanities. My particular interest is to better understand how mindfulness works, through the use of the methods of experimental cognitive psychology. The privilege of working at the cutting edge of a field that is also so ancient is a constant wonder to me, and to do so with colleagues that are so clear-thinking, loving and wise is an extraordinary bonus.