Mindfulness Practice

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to do the course but may need to miss one or two of the sessions. Is this ok?
You will experience the optimum benefit if you can manage to attend all the sessions but we will not exclude you if you need to miss one session. If you will be absent for more than that it may be better for you to postpone until the next course.

Is the movement part of the course difficult?
The mindful movement is very slow and gentle and you will be encouraged to stay well within your own unique limits, even making the movements in your mind only if you have physical restrictions.

Is the course useful as a treatment for depression?
Research has shown that a practice of mindfulness is very effective at helping to protect people from a recurrence of depression. If you are currently in the midst of a depressive episode we may, after discussion with you, advise you to wait until your depression is lighter. Being on medication will not automatically exclude you from the course.

Will I be expected to share or discuss my personal life?
The course that we facilitate is a group teaching experience rather than a therapy group and you will not be asked anything about your personal life. Some groups do develop a closeness which many people find enhances their experience but this does not necessitate the disclosing of personal issues that you may prefer  not to share with others in the group. It is true however that participants can find some strong feelings arising and with this in mind we encourage you to have some personal support outside of the group. This may be a supportive family member, a friend, or a professional.

Is mindfulness new?
No. There is nothing new about the practice of mindfulness. It has formed a central part of many religions, particularly Buddhism, for thousands of years. It has come to the fore of mental health in  recent years due to the work of pioneers and professionals who have sought a meeting between the philosphy of the east and the psychology of the west. The work of some of these pioneers is on the book list on the reading and resources page. Mindfulness based approaches have undergone extensive research and have proved effective in the prevention of depression recurrence and in the treatment ofstress, anxiety, addiction, skin complaints, sleep complaints, chronic pain, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders and high blood pressure

I don't feel comfortable in groups, is there an alternative? 
Although we feel that part of the learning comes from others in the group we appreciate that for whatever reason groups are not for everyone. Individual classes are therefore available for anyone seeking this option.

Is there lots of homework?
The simple answer is yes. We prefer to call it home practice but we have consistently found that those participants who do their best to free up between 45 minutes to an hour every day of the 8 weeks are those who feel they have been most enriched by their participation. The home practice is not written work or study but consists of practising the techniques and using the CD recordings in between sessions. (all this whilst remembering to be very kind and gentle with yourself!)

What is the evidence?
The body of evidence is expanding very rapidly. Mindfulness interventions have been shown to reduce the symptoms of many conditions including
Anxiety (Miller, Fletcher and Kabat-Zinn 1995)
Chronic Pain (Kabat-Zinn, Chapman and Salmon 1987)
OCD (Baxter et al 1992)
Psoriasis (Kabat-Zinn et al 1998)
It has also been proven to reduce the incidence of recurrence of depression (Segal et al 2007) and of drug addiction ((Parks, Anderson and Marlatt 2001)
and to increase a sense of well-being (Brown and Ryan 2003)

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