Inquiry Skills Workshop – Foundational Training (Oxford, UK)

Course details

Course Leaders

Ruth Baer and Marie Johansson

How long is the Workshop?

One day from 9:30am to 5pm

Who is the Workshop for?

Teachers of MBCT and those training to teach MBCT

Where is the Workshop?

POWIC Building, Oxford

How many people on this Workshop?

Up to 40

How much does this Workshop cost?

£135, including lunch and refreshments

Available courses:

5th Dec 2019

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Inquiry Skills for MBCT Workshop 

5th December 2019

What is this Workshop about?

Inquiry skills are often perceived as the most difficult teaching skills to learn, yet periods of inquiry in MBCT sessions have great potential for enhancing participants’ learning. Inquiry is sometimes described as a crucible where participants’ learning history, current concerns, and experiences during mindfulness practices combine with the teacher’s embodiment of mindfulness, understanding of MBCT theory, and relational skills to enable learning that is potentially transformational.

This foundational masterclass will demystify this process through a variety of teaching methods.

Topics include:

  • The purposes and intentions of inquiry
  • How understanding conceptual underpinnings of MBCT facilitates skilful inquiry. These underpinnings include:
    • The four elements of inner experience (thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and urges/impulses)
    • The vicious flower conceptualization of reactivity
  • The sequence of the eight sessions and the implications of this sequence for how inquiry is managed throughout the course
  • Layers of inquiry, including:
    • Direct experience
    • Reactions to or relationship with direct experience
    • Learning points: Consideration of patterns – common to all or particular to the individual
    • Invitations to notice, explore, experiment
  • What and how of skilful inquiry
    • Exploring what to say and how to say it
  • The importance of the teacher’s embodiment of mindfulness, supported by ongoing practice, that facilitates bringing particular attitudes to the inquiry process:
    • Genuine openness and curiosity about participants’ experiences
    • Warmth, kindness, and compassion towards participants and themselves
    • Willingness to trust the process and allow learning to emerge without striving or forcing
    • Balancing this with clarity about the intentions of each session and each practice

Teaching methods for this day will include presentation, discussion, viewing of video clips, practice of inquiry skills with peers, and contemplation and discussion of what has been learned.

Ruth Baer

Ruth is a clinical psychologist and a mindfulness researcher, teacher, trainer, and practitioner. Following a long career as a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, she was very fortunate to move to Oxford to work with the OMC. Her interests include conceptualisation and assessment of mindfulness, effects of mindfulness-based programs, mechanisms of change, and professional training and ethics in the mindfulness field. She enjoys taking a broad perspective, and so she has studied a wide range of mindfulness-based interventions, including MBCT and MBSR as well as DBT, ACT, and MBRP.

Ruth’s work at the OMC includes teaching, training, and research. She’s the lead for the non-academic teacher training pathway and also work with the Master of Studies in MBCT. She teaches mindfulness courses for the general public and for Oxford students and staff, and works with competency assessment. On the research side, Ruth collaborates on manuscripts based on the data coming in from the MYRIAD project and other projects with OMC colleagues.

Marie Johansson

Marie is a qualified Social Worker and an experienced Mental Health practitioner, CBT Group Worker, MBCT Teacher and Trainer. As Clinical Lead at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, she coordinates and manages the delivery of MBCT within the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust as well as training Trust staff. She also manages all MBCT courses delivered to the general public. Marie has a particular interest in working with people suffering from depression and anxiety and a range of mental health issues. She trains new MBCT teachers nationally and internationally, teaches on the Foundations Course and supervises MBCT students and trainees, as well as experienced teachers, mostly within psychological treatment services, both in the UK and abroad.