, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 10–17 | Cite as

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Mental Health Professionals: A Long-Term Qualitative Follow-up Study

  • Nicole de Zoysa
  • Florian A. Ruths
  • James Walsh
  • Jane Hutton


The aims of this study were (a) to explore the long-term impact of attending a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme upon the personal and professional lives of a sample of clinical psychologists and (b) to assess how their experiences might inform existing theoretical and practical discussions around training for MBCT facilitators. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven clinical psychologists who had attended an MBCT programme some 18 months earlier. The transcribed interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. None of the participants was following a regular, formal, meditation practice and for most this was a barrier to facilitating their own groups. Instead, participants described using mindfulness in a more informal, ad hoc, way to enhance pleasant experiences and/or deal with stressful situations. Mindfulness was associated with being able to de-centre from strong emotions and feel more grounded, although some equated this with avoidance. Participants used elements of MBCT with their clients tentatively. The results suggest that attending an MBCT programme is associated with perceived benefits for clinical psychologists. However, some core principles of MBCT such as non-judgemental awareness, compassion, and regular formal practice seem more elusive from these accounts. Further research is needed to establish the importance of these elements and their impact on the training requirements for MCBT facilitators.


Mindfulness Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Mental health professionals Meditation Qualitative Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicole de Zoysa
    • 1
  • Florian A. Ruths
    • 2
  • James Walsh
    • 3
  • Jane Hutton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological Medicine (1st Floor, Cheyne Wing)King’s College HospitalDenmark HillUK
  2. 2.Maudsley Psychotherapy DepartmentDenmark HillUK
  3. 3.School of Psychology, University of East LondonStratford CampusWater LaneUK

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