Mindfulness Teachers and Healthcare Professionals
The MBCL-programme appears to connect well with clients in mental healthcare. However, also people with less suffering but with just a stressful life find the MBCL course very helpful and deepening. And the feedback of trainers in MBSR/MBCT and health care professionals who took part in the training modules MBCL for professionals have been very positive.
Compassionate mind training can be of benefit for therapists themselves for their personal health, their efficacy as therapists and to deal with stress and ‘empathy fatigue’ at work. Insights of Buddhist and western psychology regarding the benefits of cultivating compassion can be integrated in the therapeutic work. Therapists can decide to explicitly train their clients in compassion practice. Of course therapists can use specific exercises to teach their clients individually.
An introductory workshop (Foundation Course) of 3 days has specifically been developed for healthcare professionals and mindfulness teachers as an experiential introduction. As for teaching the whole course oneself, a number of conditions are addressed concerning on how to become a teacher. An MBCL Teacher Training Programme has specifically been developed for mindfulness teachers and health care professionals who wish to teach the 8 week MBCL course or wish to teach elements to clients. The MBCL TT Programme can be followed in two different modules of 3 days each, or as a full TT Programme in 6 days. A similar commitment is asked for as in mindfulness teaching; the importance that teachers teach from their own practice is emphasized.
Feedback TT-programme Ireland 2016
‘MBCL is an important offering that provides people with the opportunity to deepen mindfulness and more fully engage in compassion. It is not just the content that is impressive – the way that it is so skilfully and beautifully taught by Erik and Frits is inspirational. MBCL is a gift for those with a readiness to encounter more vividly, the seasons of the heart. Thank you!’
‘Apart from the content which I loved you held the space with great skill to facilitate an atmosphere of loving kindness in the group and had a lovely ‘presence’ with the participants. You also have lovely chemistry and fun between you.’
‘I found this workshop to be excellent.’
‘Thank you for all the humour, kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity’
Training for health care professionals and mindfulness teachers
Among therapists and other healthcare professionals, who personally discovered the wholesome effects of mindfulness, there is a growing need for ways to deepen their practice. The growing emphasis on productivity in modern health care is not seldom accompanied by ‘compassion fatigue’ (or ‘empathy fatigue’) and lack of self-compassion. Besides, many therapists seek ways to integrate a compassionate attitude and exercises to cultivate compassion into individual work with clients. Furthermore, many mindfulness trainers recognize the need to deepen their practice in loving kindness and compassion, not only within themselves, but also among clients who already participated in previous MBSR or MBCT courses.
To meet those different needs several modules are available for therapists and mindfulness teachers to acquire skills in practising and teaching MBCL:
- 8 week MBCL course: for healthcare professionals (8 sessions of 2½ hours and an extra silent session, similarly as the course offered to clients.
- 6-7 day MBCL retreat: for professionals wishing personal deepening in their practice by experientially going through the whole MBCL program in condensed form in a retreat setting. The most important exercises are delivered, alternated with periods of silent practice and interpersonal mindfulness exercises in which the main themes are explored in contemplation.
- Foundation Course (in German called Grundlagenseminar): this is an introductory and mostly experiential workshop MBCL for healthcare professionals and mindfulness trainers (3 days).
- MBCL TT Programme – Module 1 (3 days): for therapists and mindfulness trainers who wish to work with their clients with methods that develop, deepen and maintain (self-)compassion, either in groups or individually. The MBCL curriculum is explored session by session, both experientially and theoretically. The scientific foundation of the curriculum and the roots in western and Buddhist psychology are accounted for.
- MBCL TT Programme – Module 2 (3/4 days): in this train-the-trainers module participants learn how to deliver the curriculum, guide the exercises, facilitate the group process, do inquiry and deal with didactic topics.
- Full MBCL Teacher Training Programme (6 days): in some countries Module 1 and Module 2 are being taught as one residential Teacher Training Programme of 6 days.
N.B. To teach MBCL one needs to have followed a 3-day MBCL Foundation Course OR an 8-week MBCL training as a participant.
Applicants for the TT Programme have …
- qualified as a mindfulness teacher (MBSR or MBCT, or equivalent, e.g. Breathworks) from a recognized training institute. On successful completion of the MBCL TT Programme, one can obtain A-registration as an MBCL-teacher and offer the formal MBCL-programme as an advanced course to participants who completed a basic mindfulness course (MBSR/MBCT/Breathworks). Those who do not feel confident to do so as yet after the TT, are advised to seek further schooling, seek adequate supervision and/or obtain experience as a co-teacher. As this is a postgraduate education one is expected to have the professional integrity and responsibility to judge when one is ready to offer MBCL independently. Those who have almost completed their mindfulness teacher training and have an aspirant registration can also apply for the MBCL TT programme. However, they only obtain their A-registration following completion of their training and full professional registration as a mindfulness teacher.
- qualified in a (mental) health or other helping profession without MBSR/MBCT teacher qualification. They should preferably have followed basic training and gained experience in mindfulness-based interventions (e.g. ACT, DBT, MBCT) and/or wish to do the training to deepen their own practice and their therapeutic or counseling skills with mindfulness-based and compassion-focussed interventions. For this group the minimum requirements are that one has followed an eight-week MBSR/MBCT course and has at least one year regular practice in mindfulness meditation. Those belonging to this group can obtain B-registration as a professional being trained in guiding exercises and working with material from the MBCL programme and applying this in their own professional setting, individually or in groups. Please note, one can only register as a formal MBCL-teacher and offer the full MBCL-programme under its name, when one is also a formal MBSR or MBCT teacher.