Group Skills for MBCT Workshop – Foundational Training (Online)

Workshop details

Course Leader

Ruth Baer and Marie Johansson

How long is this Workshop?

One day from 9:30am to 5pm

Who is this Workshop for?

Teachers of MBCT and those training to teach MBCT

Where is the Workshop?


How many people on this Workshop?

Up to 40

How much does this Workshop cost?


Available workshops:

16th Apr 2020

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Group Skills for MBCT Workshop

16th April 2020

What is this Workshop about?

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was developed to be taught in the context of a group. A group teaching context enables the experiential emergence of the sense of common humanity, the understanding that vulnerability is universal, which in turn enables the growth of community, connection and compassion.

The ability to mindfully not only form a group, but also to hold it through various group processes/patterns and guide it through the ending process is, therefore, a core component of teaching MBCT skillfully and without this foundation the effectiveness of MBCT can be compromised.

This workshop offers trainee MBCT teachers, and established teachers, the opportunity to develop their skills in creating a warm, supportive, safe group environment. It will help you to reflect upon how a group develops and ends and develop your skills in managing challenges, processes and patterns/dynamics within the group.

The workshop has an experiential basis allowing the group to learn from their own experience of being a group within the workshop and from the innovative teaching method of forum theatre, through which participants will have the opportunity to have fun together trying out new skills and ideas. The workshop aims to grow teacher’s confidence in leaning into group challenges/processes/patterns/dynamics, enabling us to open to these as our own teachers so that we become curious about them rather than closed and/or fearful.

Key Questions / Learning Outcomes:

  • How can we skillfully work with group processes/dynamics that emerge during the course including during the enquiry process?
  • What is the difference between how to work with group processes and how to conduct a skillful enquiry / group exercise?
  • How do we hold the group whilst group processes / challenges / dynamics are going on?
  • What do we mean by holding the group in mind?
  • What is the difference between no ‘one right way’ and more / less skillful ways to work with group processes?
  • How do we as individuals react and respond to different dynamics?
  • Working with groups involves being with uncertainty – what are the firm foundations we can draw upon in this work?
  • How to maintain boundaries & boundary setting

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, graduating from University of Umea, Sweden in 1979, when she moved to the UK. In 2006, she met Professor Mark Williams and began her training as an MBCT Teacher. She was invited to join Mark’s team and became involved in developing the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC). She worked initially as part of the research team, teaching patients with recurring depression the 8-week MBCT course and subsequently initiated the delivery of the courses to the general population. She was also responsible for managing the training of clinicians, within the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. She has continued to offer supervision in the Health Service in both Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Marie’s background is primarily in Adult Mental Health, within NHS, Health & Social Care and the Voluntary sectors. As an experienced Mental Health Practitioner, Therapeutic Group worker, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Teacher and Trainer, she have a particular interest in working with people experiencing depression, anxiety and a range of mental health issues and is a keen advocate for de-stigmatising mental ill health.

As MBCT Course Lead at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Marie manages delivery of the MBCT courses to the general population, as well as teaching the courses herself.  She is also involved in training new MBCT teachers on the OMC ‘Teacher Training Pathway’, locally, nationally and internationally. She supervises Masters students, Trainee Teachers and experienced teachers, mostly within psychological treatment services, both in the UK and abroad. As a member of the OMC Management Team, she is also involved in contributing to the strategic development of the OMC.