I have been regularly practising mindfulness meditation since the 1970s, including going on 5–12-day, silent retreats most years. I was delighted to start work with Mark Williams in the 1990s on the first research trial of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), bringing together my skills as a therapist with my interest in meditation.
I am a founder staff member of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University, and was trained to teach Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and MBCT by teachers from the Center for Mindfulness in the USA, along with CMRP teachers. As well as teaching eight-week mindfulness-based courses, I started training MBSR and MBCT teachers both through CMRP’s CPD work, and through their Master’s programmes, which I directed for six years.
I learned with Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff through their Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) short and full courses from 2011, and trained as an MSC teacher with them in March 2014. I have been teaching the MSC course since then, and trained MSC teachers in 2014 and 2015. I have also been teaching silent meditation retreats since 2013, and together with Vanessa Hope have developed five-day retreats focusing on mindfulness and self-compassion, which include all the MSC practices, both formal and informal.
I have worked as a supervisor of mindfulness-based teachers for over 10 years, and more recently I supervise MSC teachers. I very much enjoy this work, both on a one-to-one basis with more experienced teachers, as well as working with new teachers in the Center for MSC’s online consultation groups. We explore both the practicalities and the emotional depths of teaching, and I also value our enquiring into and supporting the supervisee’s personal meditation practice and the relationship of mindfulness to their life and work. I was one of the group working with Rebecca Crane to develop the Mindfulness-based Interventions: Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC), which I can use to support supervisees in recognising their teaching strengths and learning needs.
My main interest at present is in compassion-based teaching and personal work, with a strong grounding in the practice and attitudes of mindfulness. If my MSC supervisees are also teaching MBSR or MBCT, I can give general support with this work too. Although I am not teaching MBCT or MBSR at present, I organise and teach on our local monthly follow-up group for mindfulness-based course graduates. My own practice is founded in Theravada Buddhism, but unless requested otherwise, my supervision work is secular.