Mindfulness Teacher Training, Events & Supervisors

Mindfulness Teacher Training

Training Starts April 2022

Blended online & in-person18-month professional training programme in teaching MBSR and MBCT will start in April 2022

Testimonials & Endorsements

‘The diploma was an excellent investment for me both personally and professionally. The course was largely experiential and therefore provided a supportive environment to develop my own practice and engage in self-reflection. Throughout the course I had great opportunity to observe and practice teaching MBIs which I have since applied to my work teaching third-level students and working with organisations who wish to promote well-being.’

“Helen and Josephine bring all of their heart and wisdom to teaching and training others to teach mindfulness. I have been personally blessed to know them as students and as colleagues.”

“I enrolled on the Diploma in Mindfulness Based Interventions in January 2016 … and it was a life changing experience which is difficult to describe. Learning the skill of living in the moment, [understanding] the tricks of the mind, the meaning of compassion and empathy, learning to trust in the moment to moment joy of living – Josephine and Helen are extraordinarily skilled in bringing students on a personal journey in a steady, supportive, fun and, where it is necessary to growth, challenging way. The many gifted teachers who also guided us on the journey are as inspiring as they are brilliant. I cannot recommend this course highly enough, it will challenge and delight in equal measure.”

“I obtained a Diploma in Teaching Mindfulness-based Interventions from the Mindfulness Centre In 2017. The training had a very strong focus on supported experiential learning in terms of personal practice and applying this to teaching others from a more authentic and embodied approach. Helen and Josephine fostered a warm and caring environment and there was a lightness and humour also to their teaching which helped us all to be our truest selves. Undertaking the course took considerable commitment and, exactly like the practice of mindfulness itself, was challenging at times, but the learning was extremely rich and life changing. I would do it again in a heartbeat!”

Important Notes

Note on Applications

As this programme requires a certain amount of life experience we invite applications from people over 25 years old.

Note on Covid19

While most of the training starting in 2022 will be delivered online, we hope to be able to meet in person for the two residential trainings and the Summer retreat.  We are all having to learn to adapt in these unpredictable times, and yet we want to respond creatively, so that we can continue to grow, learn and thrive.

Faculty & Visiting Teachers

View Faculty & Visiting Teachers

Schedule

From time to time the Directors may change or add to these dates, in response to the needs of the group and other factors.

Teaching Days

Teaching days will usually begin at 9.30 and consist of 3 blocks of 1.5 hours each + 1 final half hour:

9:30 am - 11:00 am
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

2022

 April 21st -24th
 Residential Teacher Training 1
May
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
 June 18th & 19th
 2 day teaching block 1
June / July
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
August 6th - 13th
7 Day Residential Retreat / 5 day Online Retreat with Akincano Marc Weber.
Sept
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
Oct 15th & 16th
2 day teaching block 2
Nov
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
Dec 3rd & 4th
2 day teaching block 3

2023

January
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
February 9th -12th *
Residential Training  2
March  25th & 26th
2 day teaching block 4
April
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
May 13th & 14th
2 day teaching block 5
June
Small group tutor-led zoom meetings
August (dates to be confirmed)
Retreat with internationally recognised senior teachers – option to attend at a reduced rate
Sept 9th & 10th
2 day teaching block 6
Oct 21st & 22nd
2 day teaching block 7

*If the Residential Trainings cannot go ahead the dates will be 23rd and 24th April 2022 and 11th and 12th Feb 2023 and we will have an extra 2 day teaching block at some stage through the programme. We will agree this with the group.

Tuition Fees

Fee: €3,965

This fee includes:

  • All tuition, manuals, handouts and background literature

  • Small group online practice and study groups

  • Apprenticeship – the cost of participation in / observing / assisting an experienced MBSR/MBCT teacher delivering an 8-week course and mentoring sessions with that teacher on what you have observed in the teaching of the course, plus feedback on any guiding or teaching you may have done.  Individual feedback on written work submitted after each teaching block

  • Teaching on 2 x 3 day residential trainings

  • At least 2 individual meetings with the Directors over the course of the training at a separate time from the teaching blocks

  • 4 hours of supervision with an experienced teacher during the delivery of the first 8 week MBSR or MBCT course you teach

  • Assessment of the recorded teaching using the MBI:TAC which will be carried out by a different teacher, trained in the use of the MBI:TAC

  • Moderation by the Directors of the Centre of the completed assessment

  • Further moderation by the External Examiner where it is deemed necessary

Not included in the fees:

  • €500 towards the August retreat if it can be residential
  • Accommodation and food on the 2 x 3 Day Residential Trainings at €290 each.

Certification

Diploma in Teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction / Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy from The Mindfulness Centre for Professional Training in Ireland. This training more than fulfils the requirements for teacher training developed by the MTAI, in keeping with best international standards.  You will be able to join the MTAI as a student once accepted onto this course and then as a teacher once you have achieved your teaching Diploma.

Note on teaching MBCT: This Diploma is not a qualification in delivering MBCT to clinical populations unless you already have an appropriate professional clinical training in mental health. You will need to follow the good practice guidelines of your own professional body, in addition to those of the Mindfulness Teachers Association of Ireland.

Programme Ethos

The Mindfulness Centre for Professional Training in Ireland offers an eighteen-month comprehensive training in becoming an MBSR/MBCT Teacher

This training programme is founded on the premise that learning to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction and/or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy requires a long and sustained engagement.  The kind of training we offer suits people who are willing to engage deeply in both a personal and a professional development process, not just over the 18 months of training, but on into the future.  This involves a high degree of personal commitment.  We offer the same commitment to our own practice, our on-going training, and to our teacher trainees.

We recognise that the process in which we are engaged on mindfulness trainings may raise personal issues for all of us.  When such issues arise for you, you are encouraged to work with them through the mindfulness practice itself, both during and outside of the training / retreat sessions.  As emerging mindfulness teachers you will be learning to encourage your future course participants to find a different way to relate to and work with difficulties.  Therefore, as part of the intention to integrate mindfulness into our personal and professional lives, it is important that we learn to do this for ourselves, using the challenges that may arise for us to practice, thus galvanising what it means to learn mindfulness ‘from the inside out’.

If you find that the issues arising for you are very strong, and if you are not already engaged in a therapeutic process outside of the training, we expect you to let us know.  Also, if we see that you are struggling we will explore possible supports with you.  We may ask you to pause in your training for personal development and growth.  We may be able to assist in practical ways that may help to resolve your difficulty, or we may be able to recommend some outside professional help for you.  If, in our opinion, the training is not suitable for you, you will be asked to leave.

It has always been our wish to train small groups of teachers in ways which provide for the development of mutual support, working towards the growth of a strong mindfulness community in Ireland.  Thus it is vital that the attitudinal foundations outlined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as an integral part of MBSR are cultivated in our relationships with each other over the course of the training and into the future.

We expect that the members of the group will treat everyone involved in the training with respect, patience, kindness and understanding in order to create a learning environment that will allow each of us to flourish.  In this context, if there are difficulties with how any student is conducting themselves or if there are concerns about the effect this may be having on the group, we will invite that person to meet with us.  If the difficulties remain unresolved, or if we or the student feel that the difficulties cannot be resolved, the student will be asked to leave the course.

Programme Goals

  • To offer teacher training of the highest quality in line with best international practice and good practice guidelines.

  • To cover all that is necessary and important – including the origins of mindfulness in contemplative traditions, contemporary therapeutic approaches, and the theory, practice and research which underpins the modern mindfulness movement  – in the preparation of teachers intending to work in this dynamic and exciting area.

  • To support participants in furthering their personal development and deepening their understanding and practice of mindfulness.

  • To provide a growing community of support for participants in this pioneering field.

The What, Why and How of MBIs

What?

The training is based on providing opportunities for the direct experiencing of mindfulness and its impact on all aspects of our lives.  We will be spending time with all the core practices of MBSR and MBCT – the Body Scan, Mindful Movement, Sitting Meditation, Awareness of Breathing etc. – inquiring into these experiences for ourselves, and exploring the effect on us as practitioners of bringing awareness to this direct experiencing in the formal meditations and in all aspects of our lives.

Why?

We will spend time exploring the rationale behind each of the practices and  the MBSR and MBCT courses in their entirety.  This will involve placing the learning in the wider context of theoretical understanding, informed by aspects of Western Psychology and Buddhist Psychology.

How?

We will be developing the skills and knowledge required to guide the practices, lead mindful dialogue, communicate the ideas and embody the attitudinal foundations of mindfulness.  We will be developing the capacity to steward a group and guide the individuals within it in learning to turn towards all experience wisely, compassionately and courageously, and supporting them in exploring their inner and outer worlds.  To do this work we need to have had experience already in exploring our own inner and outer worlds and we must continue to engage in this ongoing work of cultivating self-knowledge.

Topics Covered

There is an emphasis in this training on experiential learning – learning to teach through teaching - and on developing and deepening one’s personal mindfulness practice.  The training also covers all that is relevant to understanding mindfulness and MBIs, and includes input from experts on a wide range of areas current in the literature on mindfulness, including the following:

The History of Mindfulness – from its ancient foundations in Buddhist psychology to how Western psychologists now understand the experience of being human

In-depth study of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum and an introduction to the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) curriculum

Neuroanatomy and neuroplasticity - the discovery of the capacity of the brain/mind to change

Ethical practice in teaching MBIs – diversity, culture and social engagement

Mindfulness and Trauma

The use of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice - the research findings

The theory of working with groups

The dangers of the commodification of mindfulness – ‘McMindfulness.’

Programme Components

Trainees will participate in / observe an 8-week MBSR/MBCT course delivered by an experienced mentor teacher. As this is an intensive training in teaching 8-week MBSR/MBCT courses, it is essential that all trainees have an intimate experiential knowledge of the course from the inside out.  Where the Directors feel it is necessary or useful they may recommend that trainees participate in / observe additional 8-week courses.

Trainees will receive mentoring outside of class time with the mentor teacher while participating in / observing an 8-week course.  This mentoring is intended to assist the trainee in developing their understanding of the 8-week course in terms of their own experience, their observations of others’ experience and the teaching and any other issues that arise while observing and participating.  Where they have led a practice they will receive feedback from the course teacher.

(The cost of participation and mentoring will be borne partly by the trainee teacher, who will pay €250 directly to the mentor teacher. The Mindfulness Centre will pay the balance to the teachers whom you assist.)

Trainees will teach an 8-week course under supervision, which will be recorded in full and submitted for assessment.  (The timing of this component will depend on previous experience and teacher readiness, and may happen some time after the completion of the course, in consultation with the Directors.)

Trainees will be assigned to smaller seminar groups to support each other in their learning and in their teacher training practice.  Some of these groups will be facilitated by Course Tutors.  These will happen online. Please note that seminar groups are both study and practice groups.

This work is a personal as well as a professional development process.  As such, from time to time difficulties may arise for some people which may require some therapeutic help.  From time to time we may recommend this.  The Directors are happy to assist trainee teachers in accessing psychotherapists who work in ways that are aligned with mindfulness.

From time to time the Directors may meet with trainee teachers individually to discuss aspects of their development as teachers and to make recommendations as to how they might proceed towards readiness to teach.  Occasionally trainees may be invited to postpone participation to a future course, if the Directors feel this is necessary.

Body awareness practices e.g. Hatha Yoga, T’ai Chi, Qigong, 5-rhythms dance.  If you do not have experience you will be asked to participate in a class in one of these disciplines in your local area for the duration of the training.

Daily personal mindfulness practice of 45 minutes or more.

From time to time, if you are struggling with your personal practice, we may recommend that you receive some support from a meditation mentor. Payment for this will be between you and the meditation mentor.

Trainee Teachers Will:

  • Attend all teaching sessions

  • Participate in / observe an 8-week course with an experienced MBSR/MBCT mentor teacher, selected in consultation with the Course Directors.  (Where the Directors feel it is necessary or useful they may recommend that trainees participate in / observe additional 8-week courses)

  • Submit video of yourself teaching a full 8-week course.  The timing of this is to be decided in consultation with the Directors

  • Prepare and submit audios of the body scan, movement and sitting meditations

  • Prepare and submit a participant handbook to accompany the 8-week course

  • The final written assignment of c. 2,000 words will be an essay reflecting on your experience of teaching the 8-week course and, through watching the video recordings, evaluating the teaching, using the MBI:TAC as a guide.  This will accompany the recorded teaching.  This assignment is a vital part of the assessment as it affords the teacher the opportunity to share their reflections on their own teaching with their assessor

  • Keep a reflective journal

  • Submit short (max.1,000 word),  written assignments based on the reflective journal and on the readings and teachings offered in each teaching block.  These assignments are not graded, but are designed to assist trainees in engaging fully with reading material and teaching inputs and to demonstrate understanding.  From time to time trainees may be asked to re-submit

  • Continue your daily personal mindfulness practice

  • Continue your participation in body awareness practices.  If you do not have experience in any of these or similar disciplines you will be expected to participate in a class for the duration of the training

Assessment will be based on:

An assessment of the trainee teaching a full 8-week course, using the Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC). Trainees who are not yet ready to teach will be given recommendations as to how to proceed and supported in developing readiness to teach.

It is important to note that the trainee teacher must show readiness in all the domains of the MBI:TAC before receiving their Diploma.

A 2,000 word essay reflecting on your experience of teaching the 8-week course and, through watching the video recordings, evaluating your teaching, using the MBI:TAC as a guide

Your own audios of practices

The handbook given to your course participants

Full participation in all trainings. Absences of over 2 days must be made up by attendance of the same module at a future training. Certification will not be granted until this is fulfilled

Written assignments for each block, where set

Your fee includes supervision with an experienced teacher who will support you in delivering your first 8-week MBI.  

The MBI:TAC assessment will then be carried out by a different teacher who has been trained in using this assessment tool.  

The Directors then moderate the assessment.  

If there are any remaining concerns about your teaching or assessment we will submit your recordings to the External Examiner.

Brochure & Application

For expressions of interest or for more information please contact: info@mindfulness.ie

Endorsements

“Helen and Josephine bring all of their heart and wisdom to teaching and training others to teach mindfulness. I have been personally blessed to know them as students and as colleagues.”

“I have worked for several years with both Helen Byrne and Josephine Lynch. While I haven’t experienced their trainings directly, I have had supervisees working with them as well as my personal experience as colleagues. They do top notch work, holding both the didactic aspects and, more importantly, encouraging folks to bring all of themselves to the work. Great to have them both as friends and colleagues.”

“Josephine and Helen have engaged in developing their skills in teaching MBIs for over a decade and with some of the main originators of modern day mindfulness, including Jon Kabat-Zin and John Teasdale, as well as with teachers who themselves trained with the originators.  As all good trainers do, they continue to engage in learning and development for their personal and teaching practices. As a result, the integrity and skill of what they offer shines through their training. People training with them can feel confident that they will become part of an informed, ethical, professional team working around the world to share mindfulness.”

Student Testimonials

‘The diploma was an excellent investment for me both personally and professionally. The course was largely experiential and therefore provided a supportive environment to develop my own practice and engage in self-reflection. Throughout the course I had great opportunity to observe and practice teaching MBIs which I have since applied to my work teaching third-level students and working with organisations who wish to promote well-being.’

“I enrolled on the Diploma in Mindfulness Based Interventions in January 2016 and it was a life changing experience which is difficult to describe. Learning the skill of living in the moment, [understanding] the tricks of the mind, the meaning of compassion and empathy, learning to trust in the moment to moment joy of living – Josephine and Helen are extraordinarily skilled in bringing students on a personal journey in a steady, supportive, fun and, where it is necessary to growth, challenging way. The many gifted teachers who guided us on the journey are as inspiring as they are brilliant.  I cannot recommend this course highly enough, it will challenge and delight in equal measure.”

“I obtained a Diploma in Teaching Mindfulness-based Interventions from the Mindfulness Centre In 2017. The training had a very strong focus on supported experiential learning in terms of personal practice and applying this to teaching others from a more authentic and embodied approach.  Helen and Josephine fostered a warm and caring environment and there was a lightness and humour also to their teaching which helped us all to be our truest selves.  Undertaking the course took considerable commitment and, exactly like the practice of mindfulness itself, was challenging at times, but the learning was extremely rich and life changing. I would do it again in a heartbeat!”

“The Professional Diploma has been an experience rich beyond measure.  The teachers are leaders in the field and provide opportunities to enter fully into an experiential apprenticeship-style training which is challenging and worthwhile. This course is rich in andragogy, co-operative learning and inquiry-based teaching.  I have benefited personally and professionally from this wonderful experience and it gives me great pleasure to recommend this course to others.”

“I loved this training. It was definitely different from other courses I'd taken in my life so far. There were some essays. There were no exams. But there was a huge amount of practice. We learned by doing. It became ingrained as we progressed. I was aware of my own embodiment of the material but I could also see my classmates connect with the material in a deep sense. We all grew and changed. Josephine and Helen guided and supported us through our journey. They were always available. Always quietly there. Always encouraging us to keep going. I've officially finished the course now but I don't feel that it's over. Again Helen and Josephine have managed to ingrain a sense of connection and continuity to both of them, to my classmates and to the work of mindfulness. I would highly recommend this experiential training to friends and colleagues.”

"The personal open integrity and generosity as trainers from both Josephine and Helen facilitated a grounded depth in our own personal mindfulness practice that equipped each of us with a solid teaching competency. I looked forward eagerly to each learning opportunity provided in the teacher training course and appreciate the clear understanding and experience of teaching mindfulness received in a warm, safe setting with plenty of laughter involved also! Having completed the teacher training course with Helen and Josephine and presently enjoying teaching MBSR/MBCT I can highly recommend it to anyone intending to pursue professional mindfulness teaching training."

Reading List

Core Reading

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1996). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. London: Piatkus.

Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M.G. & Teasdale, J.D. (2012). Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for depression: a new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press. Second Edition.

Feldman, C. & Kuyken W., (2019).  Mindfulness: ancient wisdom meets modern psychology.  New York & London, Guildford Press

Williams, J.M.G. & Kabat-Zinn, J. Editors (2013).  Mindfulness: diverse perspectives on its meaning, origins and applications. London & New York, Routledge.

Goldstein, J. & Kornfield, J. (1987) Seeking the heart of wisdom: the path ofinsight meditation. Boston: Shambala.

Treleaven, D.A. (2018). Trauma-sensitive mindfulness: practices for safe and transformative healing.   New York, London, Norton & Co.

Van Der Kolk, B., (2014). The body keeps the score: mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma.  Penguin Random House, UK.

Recommended Reading

Burch, V. (2008) Living well with pain and illness: The mindful way to free yourself from suffering. London: Piatkus.

Chodron, P. (2000) When things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times. Boston: Shambala.  (or any of Pema’s books / audios)

Crane, R, (2008) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: The CBT Distinctive Features Series. London and New York: Routledge.

Epstein, M., (1995). Thoughts without a thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective.  Basic Books, USA.  (Or any of his other books)

Epstein, M., (2014).  The trauma of everyday life.  Penguin Press, USA.

Germer, C.K. (2009) The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. New York: Guilford Press.

Goldstein J. (2013) Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening. Sounds True

Gunaratana, H. (2002) Mindfulness in plain English. Boston: Wisdom Publications.

Hanh, T.N. (1991) The miracle of mindfulness. Boston: Beacon Press.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005) Coming to our senses: healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness. London: Piatkus.

Kornfield, J. (1994) A path with heart: a guide through the perils and promises of spiritual life. London: Rider.

Kramer, G, (2007) Insight Dialogue. Boston: Shambhala.

Levine, S. (1987) Healing into life and death. Doubleday/Anchor.

McCown, D., Reibel, D. & Micozzi, M.S. (2010). Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators. New York: Springer.

Rosenberg, L. (2004) Breath by breath: the liberating practice of insight meditation. Boston: Shambala.

Salzberg, S. (1995) Loving-kindness: The revolutionary art of happiness. Boston: Shambala.

Salzberg, S. (1997) A heart as wide as the world: living with mindfulness, wisdom and compassion. Boston: Shambala.

Welwood, J. (2002) Toward a psychology of awakening: Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the path of personal and spiritual transformation. Boston: Shambala.

Williams, J.M.G., Teasdale, J.D., Segal, Z. & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2007) The mindful way through depression: freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness. New York: Guilford Press.

Williams. M. & Penman, D. (2011). Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. London: Piatkus.

Recommended Websites

www.accesstoinsight.org – for scholarly translations of the original teachings from the Pāli Canon

www.dharmaseed.org – for dharma talks from hundreds of Dharma Teachers, among them Akincano Marc Weber, Christina Feldman, Jack Kornfield, John Peacock, John Teasdale, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joseph Goldstein, Larry Rosenberg, Sharon Salzberg.

www.tricycle.com – for talks, articles, on-line courses and retreats

www.cac.org – the Center for Action and Contemplation.  This is a Christian meditation and social action  site, with Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan, as the main teacher.

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