What Is Required to Teach Mindfulness Effectively in MBSR and MBCT?
Mindfulness-based interventions, in particular, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), have been implemented and disseminated globally, and their efficacy is supported by evidence from several recent meta-analyses. As MBSR and MBCT are being integrated into the mainstream of society, including the fields of medicine, health care, education and leadership, there is an increasing need to educate and train professionals to teach and deliver these approaches and interventions. However, as capacity needs increase, the central risk is that the quality and integrity of mindfulness-based interventions could be lost if prospective teachers are not adequately trained to deliver such interventions. To help minimise this risk, we argue that the education and training of future MBSR and MBCT teachers need to be carried out through structured and systematic training pathways that are founded in mindfulness practice and study and closely examined and attended to by senior teachers with many years of contemplative practice and teaching experience. Indeed, prominent people in the field argue that the ongoing formation of mindfulness-based teachers is critical to maintaining and protecting the quality and integrity of MBSR and MBCT. Committed to translating and integrating mindfulness into a twenty-first century context and lexicon—while honouring the universal essence and deep roots of mindfulness practice arising out of classical Buddhist meditation practices—modern scientific research has been conducted, education and professional training standards have been proposed and tools for assessment of mindfulness-based teaching competencies have been developed and applied, all in service of this implementation, dissemination and capacity building process.
KeywordsMindfulness-based stress reduction Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy MBSR MBCT Teaching mindfulness Professional training Education Good practice Principles Standards Skills Competencies Inquiry
The authors thank Edo Shonin and Jens-Erik Risom for helpful comments to the first draft of the chapter manuscript.
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