, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 232-237
Date: 10 Nov 2012

Training Clinicians to Deliver a Mindfulness Intervention

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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a relatively new therapeutic approach that is rooted in mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive behavioral therapy. Leading MBCT requires a radically different method than other forms of group facilitation. We are currently conducting a multi-site, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a mindfulness intervention for individuals with a traumatic brain injury where the development of the facilitators' capacity to provide the intervention is as important to the study as the RCT component itself. Thus, the first year of the study was devoted to training ten clinicians to deliver the intervention. The training included a 2-day retreat to introduce mindfulness, teleconferences, support from an experienced instructor and other facilitators within the group, a 5-day professional MBCT training program, and the development of a personal meditation practice. It culminated with trialing the intervention with “healthy” participants (e.g., friends, family, colleagues). Sessions from six facilitators were recorded and assessed by an external reviewer experienced in the delivery of MBCT who provided qualitative feedback. Four facilitators demonstrated consistency and adherence to the skills assessed. Upon completion of the trial intervention, 93.5 % of healthy group participants indicated that the classes were engaging or stimulating and 96.9 % reported that they used the skills acquired. We feel we provided a training program that remained flexible to the needs of the facilitators.