Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is described as the awareness which arises through paying attention to the present moment without judgment (Kabat-Zinn, 2013).

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction(MBSR):

Designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the MBSR program was introduced at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre in 1979 to assist patients with chronic medical conditions, to manage mental and physical pain.To this end, different forms of formal and informal meditation are practiced over an 8 week period within a structured two and a half hour, group format. These practices encourage the observation of inner and external experiences in a non-judging, non-reacting and accepting way. This present- centred, compassionate attention has the potential to change the way the participant responds to themselves and to others.

Both the original MBSR program and its adaptation as mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) have been utilised worldwide and researched scientifically for inclusion in treatment with varied physical and mental conditions. These include: chronic pain, depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, cancer, heart disease and insomnia.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT):

MBCT was co-developed by Mark Williams (Oxford), Zindel Segal (Toronto) and John Teasdale (Cambridge) for individuals at risk from depressive relapse. The success of this 8 week therapeutic programme with clinical populations in preventing depression has led to its recommendation by the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Mindfulness: Finding Peace Programme

Mark Williams and Danny Penman have adapted some of the MBCT practices for non-clinical populations as a self-help resource in ‘Mindfulness: a practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’ (2011). Incorporated into daily life, the simple and effective practices can help to change the way one reacts to life’s stress, anxiety and unhappiness. With continued practice this mental skills training can contribute to an increased sense of happiness, joy and resilience. Following training at Oxford Mindfulness Centre with Chris Cullen and Ted Meissner for non-clinical populations, I facilitate 'Mindfulness: A Practical Path of Finding Peace in a Frantic World' in different formats (in-person or online).

Research has shown the practice of mindfulness to be an acceptable and non-stigmatising approach to reduce stress and increase feelings of wellbeing in students (Galante et al. 2018). Furthermore, reduced programme length and session time have been shown to be feasible for time-constrained populations (Beshai et al. 2015, Carmody & Baer, 2009). The current lack of research with South African students and mindfulness as well as my teaching and counselling experience, prompted me to investigate the benefit of a six-week mindfulness programme for South African medical students in 2019-2021.

I offer trauma-sensitive, online or in-person :
  • Individual sessions
  • Group sessions

Testimonial

I have been disconnected to myself for so long that I had even forgotten the things that make me happy...but that is changing now I'm learning to focus on the present me more and less on the worries and fears or regrets even.

It’s so useful to know it’s not just me. I’ve been focusing on the breath to become calm and centred. I have noticed that I generally feel more calm and peaceful in day to day life.

Thank you so much for an incredible learning experience!