Telephone 01332 343000

8-Week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Stress Reduction Programme (MBCT / SR)

From 17th February to 14th April 2015

What is ‘Mindfulness’?

‘Mindfulness’ is a term used to describe a particular way of paying attention to your current experience. It involves deliberately ‘tuning in’ to what is happening within or around you, without judging it or trying to change it (for example by trying to hold onto or chase enjoyable experiences, or by pushing away or trying to avoid unwanted experiences). It is a way of learning to stay in the present, rather than following our minds into the past or the future. In practice, ‘mindfulness’ is a set of skills that can help us to focus on the moment for what it is and be open to it whether it is something that we are enjoying or something we are finding difficult. Learning to become more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations as they occur can help us to step out of unhelpful patterns that can contribute to difficulties in our mood, our relationships and our physical well-being.

What does the course involve?

The course runs over 8 weeks in 2-2.5 hour sessions and will cater for up to 15 individuals. There is also an opportunity to take part in a day long practice as part of this programme. The skill of mindfulness is taught through both formal and informal mindfulness practices. Group discussions on practices are an important part of the process and within each session there will be opportunity to talk through your experience of home and session based exercises, including any challenges you might encounter in your efforts to introduce new skills. To get the most out of the course, participants are asked to commit to completing up to one-hour of home practice on a daily basis between classes. This can of course be challenging. However doing so is likely to enhance your learning experience.

Who can benefit from this course?

Evidence supports the benefits of mindfulness for a range of difficulties, both physical (e.g. heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, cancer, fatigue) and psychological (e.g. symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and panic). However, even in the absence of these difficulties, the majority of us often experience situations where we could benefit from developing more helpful ways of responding. Although learning mindfulness will not change or get rid of difficulties that we encounter, it can offer an alternative way of coping to reduce the impact that these difficulties can have on us either personally or professionally. Sometimes people want to do the course for professional reasons, maybe as first step towards learning to use the approach to help others. We encourage participants as fully as possible to allow this experience to be an opportunity for both personal and professional development.

Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

If you are interested in taking part of the programme, it may be helpful to consider the following before making a commitment:

  • Attending weekly sessions and fully participating in the programme will require planning and likely involve changes to your current routine
  • The process of regular practice can feel quite intense. The challenge is however, manageable and experienced by most as worthwhile. It may also be helpful to bear in mind that this is a short-term commitment
  • Towards the end of the programme you will be invited to identify a practice that fits in with your general lifestyle
  • As a participant, you will be encouraged to bring a greater sense of awareness to as much of your experiences as you can. This will naturally involve paying attention to some difficult things (thoughts, feelings, sensations or situations). Learning to face and sit with difficulty is a key skill introduced throughout the programme and this can be challenging at times. It can however also enhance our ability to experience the pleasure of aspects of our lives that can often go unnoticed and as a result, unappreciated.
  • Should you experience any difficulties in connection with the course you are encouraged to discuss this with your teacher or bring it to the group for discussion. It is helpful to important to make use of these resources rather than get stuck in any difficulty.

Your Teachers

Your teachers have trained in mindfulness under the Bangor Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice as well as within other Buddhist Centres. In accordance with Good Practice Guidelines they are involved in an on-going process of practice, training and supervision in mindfulness meditation.
Your teachers on the daytime course are Bridgeen Rea and Michele Kavanagh.

Bridgeen Rea is a full-time Mindfulness Teacher who trained on the Masters in Mindfulness Programme at Bangor University, Wales and at Plum Village Practice Centre in France. Her inspiration to practice comes from her teacher Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She offers courses, classes and retreats of mindfulness across Northern Ireland.

Michele Kavanagh is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who works as an independent practitioner and is an Assistant Director on the DClin Psych Training Programme at QUB. Her mindfulness teaching is rooted in an appreciation of power of our connected vulnerability. She offers mindfulness groups to professionals and training therapists who work within challenging HSC and third sector contexts.

Your teachers on the evening time course are Emma Carol and Lynne Pollen.

Emma Carroll is a Clinical Psychologist within Belfast HSCT working across two areas – Adult Physical Health and the Occupational Health Service. Since completing an introductory programme with Bangor in 2007, she (slowly) developed a personal practice which sparked an interest in bringing mindfulness into her clinical work. She delivers 8 week mindfulness programmes for HSC staff and is keen to support others in the development of a practice, be it for personal or professional reasons.

Lynne Pollen is a mindfulness facilitator who has trained in Mindfulness Based Approaches at Bangor University, Wales. She has 20 years experience of social work in the statutory and voluntary sectors. She has delivered mindfulness teaching in the NHS in Edinburgh, Stirling and Belfast, as well as voluntary organisations.

Programme information

Two training programmes are being offered one during the day and the other in the evening. Please indicate your preference by selecting which venue on the booking form. The programmes provide a blend of MBCT and MBSR. They are designed to support practitioners in their practice are an accredited induction for those who are seeking to progress towards teacher training.


You are invited to register a preference for the daytime or evening programme. When we have received your initial registration you will be required to complete an application form as fully and openly as possible. We will forward a link to this form upon receipt of your registration.
All information is used for assessment of training suitability only and is not passed on, shared or disclosed to any third party. Occasionally it is necessary for the teacher to contact you in advance of course commencement to discuss any information you may have provided.
By providing this information and submitting the registration you agree for the teacher to store your information on their secure system and share it with the other teachers as necessary to both administer and deliver the required training.

Dates of training programme:

Week One: Tuesday 17th Feb 2015
Week Two:Tuesday 24th Feb 2015
Week Three: Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Week Four: Tuesday 10th March 2015
Week Five: Tuesday 24th March 2015
Week Six: Tuesday 31st March 2015
Week Seven: Tuesday 7th April 2015
Week Eight:Tuesday 14th April 2015

Programme One : Tuesdays 2.15-4.15pm
Venue: Clotworthy House, Antrim

Programme Two: Tuesdays 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: Keir Building, QUB

Day long Silent Retreat will be offered on 21st March support and extend your home practice. This will be optional and offered at an additional cost.


You will need to wear loose fitting clothes and bring warm socks along with a cushion, mat and blanket. Water and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224506.


Clotworthy House (Afternoons)

Antrim Castle Gardens , Randals Town Road , Antrim , BT41 4LH •  Website

Keir Building, QUB (Evenings)

Queen’s University Belfast , David Keir Building , 18-30 Malone Road , Belfast , BT9 5BN •  Website•  Directions

The David Keir Building has entrances on both Malone Road and Stranmillis Road.

Additional Information

Click here to download further information.

PDFBPS Booking Terms and Conditions
PDFMap to Clotworthy House
PDFDirections to Clotworthy House