At present Mindfulness teachers are not regulated, and there is no governing or regulatory bodies as such.
In order to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), teachers need to follow the curriculums set out by John Kabat-Zinn (MBSR) or Zindel Segal, Williams and Teasdale (MBCT). MBSR/ MBCT teachers normally go through a three stage training process:
1: Attendance & participation in a MBSR / MBCT course
2: Attend teacher training
3: Co-deliver several courses with an experienced trainer
Breathworks mindfulness trainers have to follow a similar path. Their training is made up of three progressive levels:
1: Level One: Introduction to the theory and practice of the Breathworks programmes
2: Level Two: Teacher training for those wanting to deliver mindfulness-based approaches to others
Applications to attend WorkplaceMT trainer training are open to those who have previously attended mindfulness training as a participant, have experience in the workplace, and have established their own mindfulness practice.
Verification of mindfulness at work teaching skills is optional for workplace mindfulness trainers, but highly recommended in line with the UK Good Practice Guidelines.
Having attended the 7 day teacher training intensive:
In 2010, the UK Mindfulness Trainers' Network developed some good practice guidance for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses. Mindfulness teaching is currently carried out in a range of settings, and by skilled and experienced teachers, many in the Buddhist tradition. This foundational work is warmly supported. As the interest in mindfulness as a secular practice has grown, however, training centres are often asked how best to judge whether a course that is offered is being done so with the care and competence that is required.
Other approaches to teaching mindfulness may be equally valid, but the outcomes of training are less widely researched and validated.
To find out more about becoming a Mindfulness teacher and other professional qualifications in Mindfulness, visit Mindfulnet's Professional Qualifications page
MBCT training is broadly similar to MBSR training. A typical MBSR course is run over an 8 week period, with a group meeting for two hours a week, with a one day class at the end. Courses should be highly participatory and practical. They normally include:
To truly feel the benefits of mindfulness, you need to experience it yourself. Mindfulness is not a concept that you can just grasp intellectually, participants need to practice it and reflect on their experiences. For this reason it is highly recommended that people who wish to learn mindfulness attend a formal taught course where they can meet with others and share experiences.
Mary is a busy consultant who works with large organisations on a self employed consultancy basis. Mary was becoming increasingly busy, trying to juggle conflicting demands, long hours, a large amount of travel and time away from home. Mary became interested in learning more about Mindfulness after reading how business leaders in Google and EBay were using mindfulness in the workplace.
Mary attended an 8 -week MBSR course. She immediately saw how mindfulness could help her corporate clients, and became very excited about this. Mary started to embed some mindfulness practices into her work with clients.
A year later, work was busier than ever, and her clients loved the concept of mindfulness. She decided she wanted to train as a mindfulness teacher, and attended another MBSR course to refresh her memory. Mary admitted "first time round, I only "got" mindfulness intellectually, I could see how it could help my clients but did not apply it to myself. The second time round, I made time to practice the exercises I was taught, and really started to see and feel the difference it was making to my life".
Mary now practices mindfulness for between 20 and 40 minutes, 5 days a week. "Mindfulness has been a life changing experience for me, says Mary, "By taking 20 minutes or so "time out" each day, I can see things more clearly, make better business decisions and juggle conflicting demands without getting unduly stressed. It may seem counter intuitive to take time out when you are really busy, but you would be amazed at the difference 20 minutes mindfulness can make to your day!"