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Masters Degrees (Mbct)

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This two-year part-time course offers experienced clinicians and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds a unique opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Read more
This two-year part-time course offers experienced clinicians and practitioners from a range of professional backgrounds a unique opportunity to develop in-depth specialist knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Our aim is to foster a community of practitioners with the expertise to deliver high quality MBCT to patients, and to contribute to the development and dissemination of this innovative approach to mental and physical healthcare.

The course is offered by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education. Successful completion of the course leads to an award of a Master of Studies by the University of Oxford.

Oxford has been internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in cognitive therapy (CT) research, treatment development and dissemination for nearly 20 years. It has an unusually rich concentration of acknowledged experts in CT and a first class reputation for providing high quality training courses and clinical supervision. A growing team of Oxford clinicians and researchers now specialise in MBCT, and have successfully developed and delivered a range of MBCT training events, including introductory workshops, masterclasses, residential training retreats, a foundational training course, and a Master of Studies degree course. The Masters programme was initiated by Professor Mark Williams, one of the founders of MBCT, and the team includes Professor William Kuyken, a leading figure in the development of MBCT and the current Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.

Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/mst-in-mindfulness-based-cognitive-therapy

The Rationale for the Course

MBCT was developed by John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal as a manualised, class-based skills training programme for people with recurrent depression. It integrates elements of cognitive therapy with intensive practice of mindfulness meditation, with the aim of helping people to relate differently to pain and distress. Randomised clinical trials support its efficacy in preventing relapse in people who have experienced repeated episodes of depression, and it is now recommended in the guidelines of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as a cost-effective treatment of choice for this increasingly common problem.

Because its central principles are transdiagnostic, MBCT holds promise as a helpful intervention in a wide range of settings and with a broad range of problem areas, both physical and emotional. Preliminary research suggests that mindfulness-based approaches can be helpful to patients with problems as diverse as chronic pain, psoriasis, cancer, health anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, stress, generalised anxiety disorder, psychosis and bipolar disorder where there is a history of suicidal thoughts or behaviour.

MBCT has attracted a great deal of interest within the mental health and behavioural medicine communities. However opportunities to extend preliminary learning and to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming aneffective teacher are limited. This means that practitioners wishing to use the approach with their clients have great difficulty in accessing appropriate training and supervision. The Oxford course is designed to address this need. It offers an opportunity for in-depth learning, and aims to create a body of clinicians with the knowledge and skills they require in order to teach, develop and disseminate MBCT effectively.

Programme details

The course is taught, part-time, over two years, and is organised in nine three-day teaching blocks (held in Oxford) and three residential training retreats (four days and seven days in Year I and seven days in Year II). In addition to the taught component, students will need to set aside 6-7 hours per week for private study, personal practice of MBCT, completion of written assignments. Participants on courses with similar demands confirms that this time is crucial to completing the course successfully.

On successful completion of the taught components of the course and associated assignments, the award of the Master's degree is made by the University of Oxford, under the aegis of its Continuing Education Board.

Course Content

The course addresses the theoretical basis of MBCT, including relevant aspects of cognitive and clinical psychology, as well as aspects of Buddhist psychology and philosophy on which MBCT draws. It also provides opportunities for students to develop the practical skills they need in order to translate knowledge and understanding into competent MBCT practice, that is, students are expected to develop for themselves the understanding and skills they will be teaching to patients. (This is analogous to the requirement for experience of personal therapy in the education of psychodynamic psychotherapists).

The course covers four main topic areas:

- Theory, including: relevant cognitive science (e.g. attention, memory, judgement, metacognition, executive function); clinical theory (e.g. cognitive theories of the development and maintenance of emotional disorder and the principles underlying MBCT); relevant aspects of Buddhist psychology and philosophy and their contribution to MBCT

- Research related to the ongoing development of MBCT, and investigating the areas of theory outlined above

- Clinical applications in a range of problem areas, for example, depression, chronic fatigue, pain, psychosis and borderline personality disorder

- Practice including the development of personal experience of mindfulness meditation, the capacity to relate this experience to theory and research, and the skills needed to instruct patients/clients in MBCT, drawing on relevant theory, research and clinical literature

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We offer Postgraduate training programmes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches at Certificate, Diploma and Masters level. Read more
We offer Postgraduate training programmes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches at Certificate, Diploma and Masters level. These are aimed at developing competence in established evidence-based applications, especially for the prevention of relapse in recurrent major depression, but also for clients in a range of different settings including physical and mental healthcare and education.

Within mental health settings Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as a treatment for preventing relapse from depression is becoming increasingly adopted. The use of mindfulness-based treatments for other conditions and in a wider range of settings outside of healthcare is also on the increase. In this programme you will develop a foundational base of the theory and research surrounding MBCT and other Mindfulness-based Approaches (MBA). You will have considerable opportunity for developing and reflecting on a personal mindfulness practice. This foundation lays the basis for continuing on to the Postgraduate Diploma year.

Train with experts

Each of our postgraduate training programmes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches maintain an in depth focus on the underpinning theory and research, enhanced by the work carried out in the Mood Disorders Centre (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/mooddisorders/ ) ; a partnership between the University of Exeter and the National Health Service. The Centre has been offering MBCT as part of its clinical services since 2002. In addition to the training delivered by experts from the Mood Disorders Centre with an international profile in developing, researching and teaching mindfulness-based approaches, teaching is enhanced by external tutors skilled in MBCT and Mindfulness-based interventions.

The programmes have been set up and are run in collaboration with Gaia House (http://gaiahouse.co.uk/about ) ; a centre for meditation, enquiry and compassion where you will attend retreats to cultivate your own personal mindfulness practice. You will benefit from the integral involvement of experienced Buddhist teachers exploring the lineage of mindfulness in Buddhist Psychology, and the teachers at Gaia House.

Our training places you at the heart of the community in a region with one of the largest networks of mindfulness practitioners and Buddhist teachers in the country.

PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice

This programme aims to update you with the latest research and theory in MBCT/MBA particularly drawing on the work within the Mood Disorders Centre at the University of Exeter. In this programme we aim to detail the knowledge underpinning MBCT/MBA from a psychological and Buddhist perspective.

We aim to provide you with the experiential knowledge of a personal mindfulness practice and how this is fundamental to teaching MBCT/MBA. Although this year does not give you the necessary skills to begin to teach MBCT/MBA there will be opportunities to begin to lead some practices in a supportive learning environment preparing you for the Diploma.

PGCDip Psychological Therapies Practice

The PGDip Psychological Therapies Practice (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches) programme has been developed to further equip you with the knowledge and skills in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-based Approaches (MBA).This programme particularly focuses on the skills required to be ready and competent to teach MBCT/MBA classes for clients. You will also be supported in a safe environment teaching to peers before moving to placements to begin to teach in real world settings under the supervision and guidance of an experienced MBCT/MBA teacher.

The PGDip programme aims to develop your readiness to offer MBCT/MBA to people in a setting specific to your professional orientation. You will develop competence in established evidence-based applications of MBCT/MBA assessed by using the Mindfulness-based Interventions - Teaching Assessment Criteria.

The MSc Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches) offers you an opportunity to pursue an in depth consideration and critic of a topic relevant to MBCT/MBA. There are two options: a research project or a theoretical research paper.

The MSc Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies and Approaches) aims to develop your ability to research, evaluate and critique the MBCT/MBA field. Specifically it aims to provide an in depth understanding of the MBCT/MBA field through undertaking an empirical investigation or thesis in a topic relevant to MBCT/MBA.

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This is a part-time flexible Master’s programme for professionals. This Master’s degree gives in-depth experience and training in mindfulness theory, practice and research. Read more
This is a part-time flexible Master’s programme for professionals. This Master’s degree gives in-depth experience and training in mindfulness theory, practice and research. It can also include: training to teach 8-week MBCT/MBSR courses or integrating mindfulness-based approaches into professional practice other ways; the Buddhist background to contemporary mindfulness-based approaches to dealing with difficulty; and the uses of mindfulness when working one-to-one with clients in a therapeutic relationship. The programme takes 3-5 years and is divided into four taught modules and a research dissertation. Students may take up to two modules per year, with the final year dedicated to pursuing the thesis. It is possible to exit this programme before the thesis stage, with either a Postgraduate Diploma (four modules) or a Postgraduate Certificate (two modules).

Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses

This is a part-time flexible Postgraduate taught programme for professionals interested in gaining the necessary skills and theoretical knowledge to teach mindfulness-based courses. The programme takes four years (one module per year) and results in a Postgraduate Diploma and a Certificate of Competency in Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses. It has been designed to give a strong experiential and theoretical knowledge base, together with a full training, in teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) within the student’s own professional context. For qualified health, social care or education professionals it gives the opportunity to gain both an academic award, and in addition a Certificate of Competence in Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses, which is awarded by the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, internationally acclaimed for standards of excellence in this field.

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