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Masterclasses in Mindfulness

One-day masterclasses and workshops at the OMC by leaders in their field, within mindfulness training, teaching and research.

These one-day workshops offer continuing professional development in teaching MBCT and in specialist areas of applying mindfulness training. They will interest mindfulness teachers as well as those wishing to find out more about recent developments in their field of interest.

To register for a masterclass, please book online here or complete a registration form for 2014 Masterclasses and return it to us. Address details can be found on the form. If you have any questions, please call us on (01865) 613140. If you are an OMC associate or book our masterclasses at a reduced rate, please get in touch with us to book or complete a registration form and return it to us in the post. Our cancellation policy can be found here.

Masterclasses are held at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

For more information on training to be a mindfulness teacher, please see our training page.

Masterclass Information


2014 Masterclasses

Masterclasses 2014

Mindfulness-Based Childbirth & Parentingsleeping baby
11 March 2014 -Maret Dymond – £125

This masterclass provides an introduction to Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP), an antenatal mindfulness-based intervention that has been developed for expectant parents. Developed by nurse-midwife Nancy Bardacke in California, MBCP is a formal adaptation of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR program and integrates mind-body mindfulness meditation practices with childbirth and parenting education.
Treating pregnant women and their partners as equal participants, the programme: promotes family health and parenting skills and supportive relationships; addresses fear, pain, stress and depression; provides information about preparation for labour, breastfeeding and warning signs for postnatal depression; and equips expectant parents with specific skills to negotiate the transition to parenthood (see the Oxford Mindfulness Centre MBCP webpages and Nancy Bardacke’s website for more information about MBCP).
The day will provide participants with an experiential introduction to some of the core mindfulness practices taught within MBCP, a theoretical introduction to the use of mindfulness practice for pain and fear during labour and childbirth and the relevance of mindfulness practice to early parenting.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This workshop will appeal to a wide range of perinatal professionals, including midwives, obstetricians, childbirth educators, doulas, perinatal yoga teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists etc.
This might include perinatal professionals new to the practice of mindfulness, those with a long-standing personal meditation practice now interested in applying this within their work and experienced mindfulness teachers who are interested in how mindfulness skills can benefit expectant parents during the transformational journey through pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.

About Maret Dymond >>

Maret Dymond trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Southampton and has also undertaken an undergraduate degree in psychology and postgraduate research doctorate (PhD) in perinatal psychology at the University of Reading.
Maret has a long standing interest in attachment theory, the prevention of postpartum depression and support for new parents. She began exploring the practice of mindfulness during her own professional training and then later more deeply upon completing therapeutic training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). This led her to undertake teacher training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Depression (MBCT) and then later in Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) with Nancy Bardacke.

Maret is leading a project from within the Oxford Mindfulness Centre to introduce MBCP in the UK and Europe.

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Teaching Mindfulness in Non-Clinical Settings: Finding Peace in a Frantic WorldMindfulness Frantic World Book
24 March 2014 – Chris Cullen – £125

-Fully booked-

The OMC has been teaching the course from Mindfulness: finding peace in a frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman to students at Oxford and to corporate clients. The course in this book runs over eight weeks and is presented in a self-help format but also works well as a curriculum for taught courses. It is intended primarily for non-clinical populations and is taught in classes of 60-90 minutes. This workshop will explore what needs to be taken into consideration to teach a mindfulness course based on this book to reduce the time commitment for participants and thus make mindfulness more accessible to the general public, student groups and work-place settings.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This workshop is for mindfulness teachers who are already teaching mindfulness-based interventions who wish to explore considerations involved with teaching the “Frantic World” course in non-clinical settings.

About Chris Cullen >>

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 ‘Frantic World’ course to students at Oxford University, and to MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament.

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Mindfulness in the Health ServiceTim Sweeney
4 April 2014 – Tim Sweeney – £60/FREE for NHS staff (limited numbers)


-Fully booked-

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a recommended treatment for the prevention of relapse in depression within NICE Guidelines (2009). However, despite the clear advantages of introducing this intervention into healthcare services it remains difficult to access for the majority of people within the UK.

The workshop will focus on:

• Research base justifying its use in IAPT services for both remitted recurrent depression and active depression – building the case for MBCT in IAPT
• Research and local evidence supporting the use of MBCT for more chronic and complex presentations typically found in secondary care services
• Advantages and disadvantages of locating MBCT within these services will be discussed. Some of the challenges involved in introducing MBCT to alternative populations, including those with complex presentations, as well as those with mild-moderate depression will be discussed and ideas for working creatively with these challenges put forward
• An MBCT training pathway and model for service implementation will be presented for discussion
• Practical strategies for engaging management and clinical staff in this process, in order to gain support for introducing MBCT into services will be identified. This includes methods for presenting the clinical and economic arguments
• The potential benefits for clinical staff in undertaking this work through reductions in stress and improved well being will be discussed and available research evidence relating to this will be identified

The workshop will consist of a mixture of experiential and didactic teaching aiming to assist people in developing strategies for effectively integrating MBCT into their workplace, thereby increasing access to this intervention for a wider range of people.

Please note, there is NO lunch provided for this masterclass. There is a canteen/shop in the hospital where you can buy sandwiches, salads and hot meals.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

The workshop is intended for healthcare staff with an interest in bringing MBCT into their clinical work but are unsure where to start. In addition, staff who are already using MBCT in their work but would like to consolidate or expand this further into their service may find this workshop helpful.

About Tim Sweeney >>

Tim Sweeney is a cognitive therapist and MBCT teacher who has worked as the IAPT MBCT Clinical Lead for the East Midlands. He is currently employed as the clinical lead for MBCT within Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust. 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 also works as an associate trainer for Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

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Groups in Mindfulness-Based TeachingA class of Mindfulness teachers on the Oxford University MSt programme
15  April 2014 – Trish Bartley – £125

-Fully booked-

Many of us have come into this work with a background in one to one work. The skills we have acquired will have many direct benefits for our mindfulness teaching. However, we may find that we continue to teach ‘one-to-one’, albeit in a group. We will explore how to bring this ‘group’ dimension into all aspects of our mindfulness teaching – including guiding practices; leading inquiries; and facilitating exercises and group discussions. In doing this, we will learn how to be present to three dimensions in the group: that of myself as teacher; that of individual participant; and that of the group as a whole.
We will learn ways of supporting the healthy development of the group, through the different phases of: coming together and becoming a group; building a mindful community that develops learning and practice; and supporting the ending of the group – so that participants learn to integrate mindfulness independently in their lives.
We will also touch on some of the common challenges in leading groups – such as managing a dominating participant; or a persistent late comer; or someone who is openly sceptical; or a participant who says very little. We will also consider the different approaches involved with teaching very different sized groups.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This workshop is for people who are already teaching mindfulness-based interventions. We will explore ways of leading mindfulness-based groups that enables the rich learning potential within the group to be realised by our course participants.

About Trish Bartley >>

Trish Bartley has worked with groups for over 35 years. She is a teacher at the Centre for Mindfulness, Research and Practice at Bangor University and teaches on the masters and CPPD programme. She has taught MBCT to patients in a regional oncology unit for over 11 years and recently brought out a book, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer. She regularly works in South Africa bringing mindfulness to rural communities affected by HIV & Aids and runs mindfulness retreats and workshops internationally.

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The Breathworks Approach to Mindfulness for Chronic Pain, Illness & StressBreathworks
23 May 2014 – Vidyamala Burch – £125

In this experiential workshop Vidyamala will introduce the main elements of the Breathworks mindfulness-based approach, drawn from her own experience, and will outline some of the distinctive elements such as the importance of a very systematic approach to mindfulness in daily life, breath-based mindful movement, and a formal ‘kindly awareness’ meditation practice to cultivate equanimity and mindfulness of others and humanity. She’ll outline the core theory of the Breathworks approach: learning to distinguish between primary suffering or experience (the basic unpleasant sensations in the body) and secondary suffering (the myriad ways we react to primary suffering mentally, emotionally and physically). Vidyamala will suggest that the fundamental cause of secondary suffering is resistance to unpleasant experience; and that using mindfulness to soften resistance is one of the key ways to accept primary suffering/experience and reduce and/or overcome secondary suffering. Vidyamala will also introduce the Breathworks 5-step model of mindfulness: Awareness; Turning towards the unpleasant; Seeking out the pleasant; Broadening perspective; and Living with choice.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This Masterclass is an introduction for MBSR and MBCT teachers (or those training in these approaches) wishing to find out about the Breathworks approach. Others interested may also attend. Breathworks also provide three day training for qualified MBSR/MBCT teachers to train to teach the Breathworks approach. Details on their website at www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk

About Vidyamala Burch >>

Vidyamala discovered meditation when she was taught a visualization exercise by a hospital chaplain after injuring her spine. This stimulated a great curiosity about the power of the mind and heart as a tool she could harness. She spent five years living in a Buddhist retreat centre gaining intensive experience of mindfulness and meditation. In 2000 she received a grant from the Millennium Commission to develop mindfulness-based courses for others living with pain and illness. This formed the basis for Breathworks, established as a Community Interest Company in 2004. There are now Breathworks’ trainers in over a dozen countries and Vidyamala has written “Living well with Pain and Illness – the mindful way to free yourself from suffering”, now translated into 9 languages. Vidyamala trains regularly in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.

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Enquiry in MBCTAntonia Sumbundu small
2 September 2014 – Antonia Sumbundu – £125

-Compulsory for teachers in training-
In MBSR and MBCT, the aims and intentions of practices, and the learning points arising from them, emerge from the enquiry process which follows, rather than being introduced in a didactic way. Enquiry starts with identifying participants’ “noticing” of experience during the practice, which then become clarified through dialogue. The teacher guides the dialogue in ways that places experience within the aims and intentions of each class and within the whole programme. In MBCT, the aims and intentions include an integrative psychological formulation for each specific aspect of the programme. However, one of the common challenges faced by mindfulness teachers is that there seems to be no standard operating procedure for how to guide enquiry – as a result, teachers can feel quite lost in this important area.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This workshop is for people who are already teaching mindfulness-based interventions. It will look at: common difficulties in leading enquiry and the reasons behind them; how teachers can best respond to the different reactions, reflections and struggles voiced by participants in a way that helps deepen participants’ awareness of what they notice when they practice mindfulness; and how teachers can maintain a present moment point of reference with whatever is raised and its larger context, while embodying kindness, curiosity, non-judgement and presence. The workshop is an integral module to training to teach MBCT but experienced mindfulness teachers will also find the day useful as part of their CPD.

About 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.

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Mindful Movement & YogaMBCT Room
15 September 2014 – Anita Lewis – £125

This workshop will prepare mindfulness teachers to lead mindful movement, yoga and breath awareness in MBCT and MBSR programmes. It is an integral module for training as an MBCT teacher.

Experienced OMC teachers have found Anita’s workshops on yoga invaluable in developing their approach to leading mindful movement in classes.
In her workshops for mindfulness teachers, Anita develops an experiential and theoretical appreciation of how to guide participants safely into postures and movement in MBCT and MBSR programmes. Anita also gives basic advice on contraindications, mindfulness teachers should be aware of for building safe foundations of practice.

Her classes, workshops and individual sessions are well known for being welcoming, accessible and inclusive. Anita’s warm, intuitive approach encourages a natural and gradual exploration of movement, stillness and breath informed by her passionate study of anatomy and physiology and by universal movement principles that underlie all yoga practice.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

You should already be working as a mindfulness teacher to benefit from this workshop. This workshop will prepare mindfulness teachers to lead mindful movement, yoga and breath awareness in MBCT and MBSR programmes. It is an integral module for training as an MBCT teacher.

About Anita Lewis >>

Anita is an experienced teacher and yoga therapist with a background in health care that includes a BA Hons in Adult Nursing and a diploma in Yoga Therapy from The Yoga Biomedical Trust and Life Centre in London (a two-year course, providing specialist training in yoga as a complementary therapy for medical conditions). Anita has also trained in India with the highly respected yoga therapists and authors A.G and Indrah Mohan and is among a handful of teachers in the UK qualified to teach Svastha Yoga.

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Neuroscience in Mindfulnessscience
30 September 2014 – Thorsten Barnhofer – £125

MBCT was developed from a new understanding of the cognitive processes underlying relapse to depression, highlighting the role of negative maladaptive patterns of thinking and how such patterns of thinking could be easily reactivated through only subtle changes in mood. Familiarity with this understanding is important as it crucially informs the rationale of the treatment, which not only guides its content and structure, but which also is a central part of the context from which teachers relate during meditations and enquiries.
While the development of MBCT was almost exclusively based on cognitive and behavioural studies, there has recently been a surge in neuroscience research into these subjects, the results of which are beginning to significantly refine our understanding of the processes underlying relapse. Similarly, there is now a considerable body of research demonstrating effects of meditation training on brain functioning and structure.
This workshop will
(i) revisit the cognitive rationale underlying MBCT for relapse prevention,
(ii) provide an easily accessible overview of recent neuroscience research elucidating the processes underlying relapse and the ways in which mindfulness meditation exerts its effects, and
(iii) explore how this knowledge can inform both our teaching of MBCT and our own practice.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This workshop is aimed at practitioners who would like to broaden their understanding of the mechanisms underlying recurrence of depression and the ways in which mindfulness training can help to address these mechanisms, and scientists who are conducting or planning to conduct research in these areas.

About Thorsten Barnhofer >>

Thorsten Barnhofer is a German Research Foundation Heisenberg-Fellow currently based at the Freie Universitaet Berlin where he conducts research into the mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based interventions. Prior to this he worked as a researcher, clinician and meditation teacher in Prof Mark Williams’ team at the University of Oxford investigating the use of MBCT for suicidal and chronic depression. He is an associate teacher at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and teaches MBCT workshops and retreats both in the UK and internationally.

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chair & boardWhat is the ‘C’ in MBCT? Cognitive & Clinical Underpinnings of MBCT
25 November 2014 – Melanie Fennell & Christina Surawy – £125

-Fully booked-

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) represents an integration between two very different traditions: the eastern tradition of insight meditation, founded in Buddhism, and the more recent western tradition of cognitive and clinical science. In order to become MBCT teachers, we need to appreciate and respect the contribution of both traditions.
This workshop invites participants to explore the “C” side of MBCT. What exactly is cognitive therapy? What are its intentions? And the cognitive model of human functioning on which it is based? What is the nature of the alliance a cognitive therapist cultivates with patients? In what ways is cognitive therapy different from mindfulness-based approaches? And what do they have in common?
The workshop will be both interactive and experiential, and offer opportunities for participants to “taste” elements of cognitive therapy for themselves, and for discussion and debate.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

Participants with some prior experience and understanding of MBCT are likely to benefit most from this workshop.

About Melanie Fennell & Christina Surawy >>

Melanie Fennell was a pioneer of cognitive therapy for depression in the UK. She developed the highly successful Oxford Diploma in Cognitive Therapy and Oxford Diploma/MSc in Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies, and teaches on the MSt in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.  She has a particular interest in cognitive therapy for depression and low self-esteem.  She is a research clinician with Mark Williams, developing MBCT for suicidal patients. She has extensive experience of teaching and training MBCT.

Christina Surawy is an accredited CBT therapist with a special interest in teaching and training MBCT. She has worked with people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Cystic fibrosis and Medically Unexplained Symptoms and currently works with long term physical conditions at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. She also teaches on the Master of Studies in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

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An Introduction to Buddhist PsychologyJP Buddhism
16 December 2014 – John Peacock – £125

For over 2500 years Buddhist practice has utilised mindfulness as means for helping individuals to engage fully with life. Rather than attempting to protect ourselves from loss and pain, and withdrawing and evading painful experience through distraction the Buddhist tradition has promoted the development of a psychology based on mindful engagement. This day will explore key areas of Buddhist psychology and their relevance to the practice of mindfulness in more secularised contexts.

Who is this masterclass for? >>

This masterclass presents an opportunity for mindfulness teachers and others to find out about the ideas that come from early Buddhist thinking, which inform mindfulness practice in the Buddhist tradition.

About John Peacock >>

John Peacock is both an academic and Buddhist Practitioner. He has taught meditation for thirty years and for ten years taught Buddhist studies at the University of Bristol. At present he teaches on the Masters in MBCT at Oxford and is an Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

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Schedule for the day

From 9.am: Registration with coffee
9.30 am: Workshop begins
4.30: End

We provide a sandwich buffet lunch (unless otherwise stated in the workshop description) and there is a canteen/shop in the hospital where you can get salads or hot meals if you prefer. There will be vegetarian options at the buffet. Please let us know on booking (or at least 3 days before the event) if you have any other dietary requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Transport and parking on site

Prince of Wales International Centre, Warneford Hospital

We are approximately 3 miles from Oxford railway station with frequent trains from London (Paddington) and many other parts of the UK. Allow 20 minutes by taxi from the station forecourt and 30 minutes by bus (Wood Farm service). Many coaches from London stop 5-10 minutes walk from the OMC. Please see our Contact Us page for more information. This County Council travel information will help you plan your journey.

Please note that parking on the Warneford site is severely restricted and you are strongly advised to use public transport. If you are traveling by car, Oxford is well served by Park and Ride facilities but, due to the high level of usage, drivers cannot rely on finding parking space.

Cancellation Policy

We are able to offer refunds for cancellations within 14 days of the event. After this time, we are happy to transfer you to an alternative class provided you give us 2 working days’ notice. In either case there is an administration fee of £20.

Circumstance may make it necessary for us to cancel events. If we cancel a Masterclass we will refund your fee in full.

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