Course Information

Compassion: MBCL Teacher Training Programme

When: 24 Jul 2021 - 13 Aug 2021
Where: Online Event
Tutors: Erik Van den Brink, Bridgette O'Neill

This teacher training programme enables participants to complete MBCL teacher training (previously offered as modules 1 and 2; this training combines both modules). The process involves 6 days online training and personal practice and small group work in between the training days. The learning objectives and content of the programme include: 

Learning Objectives of the MBCL Teacher-Training Programme:

  • To experience the main exercises of MBCL in more depth beyond the foundation course level.
  • To thoroughly review the content of the 8 sessions of an MBCL course.
  • To have a basic understanding of the scientific foundation of compassion training and the theoretical background in western and Buddhist psychology.
  • To review and develop the basic attitudes necessary for working with compassion-focused methods.
  • To have an understanding for which clients compassion training can be helpful.
  • To deepen the practice of mindfulness and clarify its relationship to compassion training.
  • Deepening the understanding of the structure and content of MBCL.
  • Learning how to teach the curriculum and how to guide MBCL exercises.
  • Introduction to leading inquiry following exercises.
  • Developing skills of how to present the background theory on compassion training.
  • Deepening one’s personal experience of compassion exercises.

Content of the MBCL Teacher Training-Programme:

  • The validation of pain and suffering.
  • How our brain has evolved to help us survive and how compassion is a necessity (not a luxury), for our wellbeing and survival.
  • Insight into the three basic emotion-regulation and motivation systems
  • How mental images and patterns can bring emotion-regulation systems out of balance and how compassionate imagery can restore the balance.
  • The psychological expressions of fight, flight & freeze: self-criticism, self-isolation and over-identification; and their antidotes: self-kindness, common humanity & mindfulness.
  • ‘Tend & befriend’ as a fourth reaction to stress in addition to fight, flight & freeze.
  • Dealing with desires and inner patterns; self-conscious emotions shame and self-blame; the inner critic and inner helper.
  • Developing the compassion mode with its attributes of care for wellbeing and relief of suffering, sensitivity to needs, sympathy, empathy, tolerance of distress and non-judgmental awareness.
  • The balanced cultivation of the four limitless qualities: compassion, loving kindness, joy and equanimity.
  • Compassion in action and practical ethics.
  • The structure of MBCL’s 8 sessions will be presented in detail from the teaching perspective.
  • The content and structure of compassion-focused exercises will be reviewed and practiced.
  • Participants will have more practice guiding MBCL exercises as well as leading inquiry into compassion practices.
  • Background knowledge and meta-perspectives for MBCL trainers, including:
    • Evolutionary perspectives
    • High and low routes toward compassion
    • The plasticity of the brain
    • The physiology of the breath
    • Individual and gender differences
    • Different attachment styles
    • MBCL and psychological problems, indications/contra-indications
    • MBCL in private practice settings
    • Content and attitude in communication
    • The differences and common ground between psychotherapy and MBCL training.

Requirements to attend:

All Applicants are required to have completed either:

-  a 3-day MBCL Foundation Course or

- an eight-week MBCL training as a participant with a qualified MBCL teacher, in person or online; or

- an MBCL retreat 

 (see https://www.mindfulness-secular-retreats.org.uk/calendar/ or www.compassionateliving.info or www.mbcl.org for different options)

In addition, applicants need to have:                                      

EITHER: qualified as a mindfulness teacher (MBSR or MBCT, or equivalent, e.g. Breathworks) from a recognized training institute. On successful completion of the MBCL TT Programme, and following a minimum of 3 hours of supervision during teaching MBCL to groups, one can obtain A-registration as an MBCL-teacher and offer the formal MBCL-programme as an advanced course to participants who completed a basic mindfulness course (MBSR/MBCT/Breathworks). This is in line with the Good Practice Guidelines for Mindfulness-Based teaching in the UK. As this is a postgraduate education one is expected to have the professional integrity and responsibility to judge when one is ready to offer MBCL independently. Those who do not feel confident to do so as yet after the TT are advised to seek further training and supervision and/or obtain experience as a co-teacher. Those who have almost completed their mindfulness teacher training and have an aspirant registration can also apply for the MBCL TT programme. However, they only obtain their A-registration following completion of their training and full professional registration as a mindfulness teacher.

OR: qualified in a (mental) health or other helping profession without MBSR/MBCT teacher qualification. They should have followed basic training and gained experience in mindfulness-based interventions (e.g. ACT, DBT, MBCT) and/or wish to do the training to deepen their own practice and their therapeutic or counseling skills with mindfulness-based and compassion-focused interventions. For this group the minimum requirements are that one has followed an eight-week MBSR/MBCT course and has at least one year regular practice in mindfulness meditation. Those belonging to this group can obtain B-registration as a professional being trained in guiding exercises and working with material from the MBCL programme and applying this in their own professional setting within the ethical guidelines of their profession, individually or in groups. Please note, one can only register as a formal MBCL-teacher and offer the full MBCL-programme under its name, when one is also a formal MBSR or MBCT teacher.

Please ensure you are able to attend the entire event. If this is not possible, please contact us to discuss before submitting an application.

About the teachers:

Bridgette O'Neill

Erik van den Brink


Dates and Timings - please note all times given are BST (British Summer Time):

Orientation: 24th July (4pm – 6pm)

Day 1: 25th July

Days 2 and 3: 30th and 31st July

Days 4 and 5: 6th and 7th Aug

Final day: 13th Aug

All training days run from 9am – 5.30pm with an optional practice session from 7.15am – 8am.


Location:

Online, via Zoom.

A Zoom link will be sent nearer to the start date. 


What to bring/wear:

A mat, cushions and a blanket would be helpful to support your meditation space at home. 


Fee Options:

  • Full rate of online event £750
  • Employer's rate £800

Employer's rate - Recognising the large administrative overhead of dealing with employers, we will be adding a £50 surcharge if the employer is paying directly; where possible we would advise applicants to pay themselves and reclaim on expenses to avoid the charge.


The Application Process: 

Our application and payment process involves the following steps:

  1. We receive your application form and assess it to ensure this course is suitable for you. We endeavour to make assessments within a week but if the course leader is on annual leave or on retreat this can take a little longer.
  2. Upon offering you a place, we will either invoice you for the non-refundable deposit (£100) or for the full amount, depending which option is chosen when completing your application.
  3. Your place is fully confirmed once we receive your deposit or full payment.
  4. If you selected to pay the deposit only, we will invoice you for the balance which is due three months before the retreat starts.
  5. We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.

Payment and Cancellation Policy:

Please read our Terms and Conditions for information regarding payments and cancellations.


For more information:

Please email us at retreats@mindfulness-network.org.


Click here to sign up to this event.