Courses

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life is an 8-week programme that provides mindfulness practice and cognitive behavioural techniques to general public. It is suitable for individuals who want to improve their physical and mental well-being. It teaches participants how to apply achieved knowledge in everyday life and how to deal with trying and difficult situations. It also cultivates qualities such as empathy and mental balance. It proposes a way of life that helps us to work with problems such as recurring mind patterns and behaviour that can cause distress. It also teaches us how to enjoy life. The Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life is a thorough programme that aims to nurture long-term and sustainable change. The programme is not being offered as a treatment for any specific physical or psychological conditions. It is not suitable for people who are currently experiencing very severe problems in these areas.

Course structure

8 weeks x 2 hours, same day and time each week.

1-day retreat, Saturday 10:00-15:00 (face-to-face), 10:00-13:00 (online).

Conditions for entering the programme - who is it designed for?

The course is aimed at everyone who is looking for a structured and practical way of learning mindfulness. Mindfulness practice is like working out – the more we practice, the bigger benefits we get. It is suitable for individuals who are only just beginning with mindfulness as well as for those who have been practicing it already to some extent and who wish to experience a structured course led by an experienced teacher.

Examples of meditations

There is nothing here yet

What will you learn?

The Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life is more of a skill-focused programme rather than a group therapy. It cultivates the following understandings:

  • Mindfulness begins when we learn to recognise our tendency of being in an auto-pilot which could steal our potential to live life more fully. We start by practicing a way of getting out of the auto-pilot by introducing mindfulness aspects into every day present experience which we could normally overlook.
  • By improving our awareness, we will start noticing how often we get lost in our own thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness of the body and breath will help us to learn how to distinguish our thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and stimuli, to gather our scattered mind and get it back while appreciating here and now.
  • We will learn that if our attention is trapped in the past or the future, we can get caught in useless patterns of thinking, feelings and behaviour. Mindfulness will help us to distinguish these automatic reactions, perceive them as normal human experience and bring empathy and kindness into them.
  • By cultivating approaches of interest and kindness to our experience, whether it is nice or bad, we learn to keep a balance through life’s ups and downs, to respond skilfully to potential problems, to focus on what is important and to be open to moments of happiness, satisfaction and gratefulness. We learn to prosper and flourish.

What is the lesson content?

Lessons have a given structure. They begin with stabilisation and continue with a teacher-led meditation practice. This is followed by a conversation during which we learn about our experience and reflections from the meditation. After that, we spend some time on discussing our experience with home practice. Each lesson has a designated topic. This part is often followed by another short practice or exercise and we think about what we could learn from it. At the end of each lesson, we discuss home practice for the upcoming week.

What does home practice mean?

I will provide recordings with mindfulness practice and I will ask you to exercise for up to one hour a day. It is possible that you might have to re-organise your schedule to ensure that you have dedicated time and space for the practice. It might also help telling your friends and family about your plan so that they are aware of the fact that you will need some time for yourself. Should this be complicated, experiment with different times during the day and remember to be as open-minded as possible. You might notice that your experience will change each day or week. I will be there for you in case you need to consult potential problems with home practice.

Potential challenges

  • At the beginning, you might find meditation strange and unfamiliar. Keep an open mind as much as you can.
  • At the beginning, it might not be clear which practice will be the most suitable for you and you might not see the benefits straight away. Practice kind diligence and remember that each person reacts to the practice differently.
  • The amount of practice might seem overwhelming. However, determination increases its efficiency.
  • Some people might feel nervous about group practice. However, learning from others and seeing that we are not alone can be very beneficial.
  • You might face emotional problems that you would rather avoid. Difficulties that arise could be helpful and the course will teach you how to respond skilfully.
  • Sometimes you might feel like you want to give up. That is normal. Please, talk to me in case any difficulties arise.

What are the benefits?

Studies confirm that a mindfulness programme like this one can have many benefits, such as:

  • Reduction of feelings of stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Improved ability to manage pain and illness.
  • Fewer moments spent on worrying and overthinking.
  • Bigger appreciation of pleasant and joyful parts of life.
  • Clearer awareness of what is really meaningful and how to live life with a sense of intention and meaning.
  • Overall improvement of well-being even in more challenging times.

I cannot guarantee all of these benefits to everyone but my own experience and a published study confirm that changes like the ones described above are common, and that difficulties that might be connected to attending the course are worth the hard work.

Retreat

A retreat offers an opportunity to spend more time on practicing. I will lead you through the exercise and the whole time will be spent in silence which supports the practice. At the end of the day, we will have an opportunity to share the experience within a group and to ask questions. Wear comfortable clothes so that you are able to do exercise, walk, lie down on a mat or do gentle stretching. An online course takes place between 10 a. m.  and 1 p. m. A face-to-face course runs between 10 a. m. and 3 p. m. with a lunch and tea break and a walk outside, if conditions and weather allow. Please, let your family and friends know that they will not be able to reach you during this time, unless it is an emergency.