Frequently Asked Questions
What is your training?
We are qualified to teach 8-week courses in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
Is mindfulness backed up by scientific research?
Yes, research shows that mindfulness practice can be beneficial in many ways. See our Research page for further details.
How will mindfulness help improve my future wellbeing?
The skills learnt will help you to handle thoughts and feelings differently and to build strategies to re-focus in a more positive way. For example, when spotting early signs of stress, using a breathing exercise to ease habitual negative responses.
What can I expect from a mindfulness course?
The skills learnt on a mindfulness course can bring about a sense of calm and spaciousness, allowing us to become more effective in our daily lives and more open and understanding in our relationships. By recognising and letting go of negative thought patterns we can appreciate what is most important to us and enjoy life more fully.
You are invited to explore awareness in the present moment, particularly noticing bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts. You will learn to recognise the patterns of thought that lead to stress and to notice the more positive aspects of our lives we might otherwise miss.
The course is essentially practical in approach, using short exercises and meditations, discussion and inquiry into experience.
What is the expectation for Home Practice?
We ask you to engage with home practice for half an hour to an hour for six days a week during the course where possible. This includes using guided meditations, brief 'informal' exercises and writing your responses. The fruits of your efforts may take time to develop so we ask you to approach home practice with patience and persistence. Home practice is important if you wish to gain full benefit from the course.
Who may attend our courses?
Our courses are suitable for anyone experiencing everyday stress, anxiety or low moods. They provide practical skills to help you stay well and prevent future occurrences.
What if I experience difficulties during the course?
In developing mindfulness, life becomes more vivid. We see more clearly what is good in our lives and what is difficult. Including life’s difficulties is an essential part of the course. We learn to face these difficulties in ways that are kind and gentle and that do not increase distress.
Are there any reasons for not doing an 8-week mindfulness course just now?
Our courses may not always be suitable. We are meditation specialists, not medical professionals and cannot offer medical help, advice or therapy.
The points below will offer you guidance but please discuss with us any issues that concern you.
Strong current depression where you may not be able to find the motivation to attend classes and manage the home practice. In addition, our courses are not suitable for those with more complex psychological conditions such as psychosis or borderline personality disorders.
Unusual added stresses in your life such as a new job, starting a family, moving house or undergoing medical procedures. Be aware that the course itself is an added demand on your time and could become a source of stress.
Dependence on alcohol or recreational drugs that may affect your ability to engage with the course.
Other commitments on your time such as your work or holidays that could affect your ability to attend a class. We understand that this may be unavoidable on occasions and will try to work with you. Please let us know in advance where possible.
Recent or unprocessed traumatic experiences such as bereavement, divorce, or abuse. Please discuss with us if you are concerned such experiences may become unmanageable during the course.
What's the difference between Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?
Much of the content of both courses is the same. However, MBSR has a greater emphasis on reducing stress. MBCT was developed from the MBSR course, to include additional tools to help prevent relapse into anxiety, low mood and depression.
Should I do an 8-week course while having therapy?
It can be helpful to learn mindfulness while undergoing counselling or therapy. The approaches are different but complementary. Talk to your therapist or counsellor before joining a course to ensure they are on board. If in doubt, we recommend you consult your GP.