Summer School 2020: Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life (Online)

Workshop details

Course Leaders

Willem Kuyken & Alison Yiangou

How long is the Workshop?

2 Days - 9.30am - 5.00pm each day

Who is the Workshop for?

MBCT teachers who are teaching in line with the UK Good Practice Guidelines or trainees who have completed Foundational Training in MBCT and are interested in learning to teach MBCT-L

Where is the Workshop?


How many people on this Workshop?


How much does this Workshop cost?



27th and 28th August 2020

Available Workshops:

27th Aug - 28th Aug 2020

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MBCT for Life [MBCT-L] is intended as a universal taught face-to-face programme, applicable to the general population.  As a recent adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression [Teasdale, Segal, & Williams, 2013), MBCT-L offers mindfulness practices and cognitive-behavioural techniques in ways that are intended to be accessible to all. It guides participants in how to apply this learning in everyday life both to manage what is painful and difficult but also to cultivate qualities such as compassion and equanimity.  It offers a different way of living that supports people to work with challenges, including recurring patterns of thought and behaviour that create suffering, but also to savour life and to flourish. Following the model of MBCT-D, with 2-hour classes and about 40 minutes of ‘formal’ home practice per day, MBCT-L is an in-depth programme intended to cultivate lasting and sustainable change. MBCT-L is designed for community settings, where people can come to participate in the programme over 8 weekly sessions as well as a full day of mindfulness practice, which normally takes place between sessions 6 & 7. In future we will be developing an accompanying app and website for participants that provide home practices during the course as well as ‘deepening’ practices for participants to use after the course has been completed.

‘Having now taught the MBCT for Life programme on a few occasions in the NHS general practice in which I work, I have really enjoyed teaching it…The emphasis on appreciation and gratitude seems to be quite transformative and life enhancing.’ Sheila Gill

We developed and have been evaluating the curriculum as part of the Wellcome Trust funded MYRIAD project (Kuyken et al., 2017) and anticipate that a randomised trial evaluating the MBCT for Life curriculum with health service staff compared with wait-list control will publish in late 2018 / early 2019 (Strauss et al., 2018). It is being taught by MBCT teachers in the UK and overseas with some very affirming feedback. For example, “I absolutely love MBCT for Life. It provides such a supportive, reassuring and at the same times liberating framework to teach within.” Alistair Kelly, MBCT Teacher.

Over the two days of this workshop, we will first of all introduce the theoretical background and rationale for MBCT-L. We will then move on to participants teaching the MBCT-L curriculum in teach backs, with particular attention being given to the practices and exercises that are bespoke to MBCT-L’s intentions and broader population. This includes a greater focus on ‘befriending,’ ‘appreciation,’ a ‘vicious flower’ model of what maintains distress and the skills to support greater responsiveness in thought and action. While it shares the basic structure of MBCT-D (“the warp”), its particularity (“the weft”) is designed to support the broader general population in working with distress as well as with flourishing (Crane et al., 2017). Participants will have a chance, during ‘teach-backs’, to observe and practice teaching the elements of the programme that are not found in MBCT for Depression


Willem Kuyken and Alison Yiangou

Willem Kuyken is the inaugural Sir John Ritblat Family Foundation Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Sciences and Principal Investigator for the research programme within the Department of Psychiatry. His work focuses on depression and evidence-based approaches to depression. In particular, Willem’s research examines how mindfulness and mindfulness-based programs can prevent depression and enhance human potential across the lifespan.

Alison Yiangou is an OMC teacher and trainer with over 40 years experience of working internationally with meditation and mindful awareness in non-clinical settings, with a particular interest in broadening access to MBCT and the potential of MBCT to promote flourishing and wellbeing. She also leads the OMC service for assessing teaching competency.