Mindfulness: A Brain Friendly Approach to Managing Change and Uncertainty
Mindfulness has been the subject of growing attention and interest in recent years, thanks to a rapidly expanding evidence base, relating both to health and wellbeing and organisational applications of mindfulness, including the management of change.
Covid-19 has brought with it an unprecedented amount of uncertainty and change. Change also plays an unavoidable role in our day to day personal and professional lives. But how change-wise are we as individuals? And how brain friendly are we when it comes to managing change?
Mindfulness: A Brain Friendly Approach to Managing Change and Uncertainty is an 8-week group course (maximum 12 participants) designed to cultivate inner resources to support us through times of change. It is offered in recognition of the difficulties inherent in managing times of change and uncertainty and provides an opportunity to translate the understandings gained in the Mindfulness for Uncertainty and Change Introductory Workshop into new behaviours.
Through an understanding of neuroscience alongside your own cultivation of a meditation practice, group discussion and self-reflection participants will have the opportunity to cultivate
- develop a deeper, experiential understanding of the nature of change and uncertainty
- nurture self-care strategies supportive of physical, mental and emotional health
- improve focus and concentration
- increase self-awareness and emotional agility
- develop listening and communication skills
- cultivate skills and inner resources to manage difficulty and complexity more effectively
- nurture insight and problem solving.
Who is this course for?
This course is open to all (please see commitment required below prior to booking) and is suitable for beginners as well as those wishing to refresh or deepen their mindfulness practice.
It is ideal for anyone experiencing personal, professional, organisational or societal change who wishes to better understand and manage uncertainty and change. It may also be of interest to those with responsibility for managing others through periods of change and uncertainty.
Taught in a secular format it is suitable for people of all faiths and people who do not identify with a particular religious or spiritual tradition.
Participants may join for a variety of reasons, including concerns about the general pace of change, a desire to ‘hold your ground’ amidst changing circumstances and/or a wish to explore the possibility of living and working differently.
Mindfulness is the cultivation of present moment awareness. To cultivate increased awareness in this way we first need to develop a stability of attention.
So as to ensure the best learning environment for yourselves and others we ask that you
- treat this session as you would a face to face event, being there in person (recordings will not be made/offered) wherever possible with your camera function enabled.
- limit distractions as best you can, ensuring that
- mobiles are both on airplane mode and out of sight
- other applications are closed so that you will not be interrupted by emails etc.
- colleagues and/or family are aware that you are in a live training session, maybe putting a note on the door to remind people if need be.
- make yourselves comfortable with a glass of water or cup of tea/coffee.
Format of the sessions
This course will be offered through zoom, upon booking you will be sent a link to access the online training room.
If required please use the link below to access a 1 minute guidance video ‘Join a Meeting’ on how to use zoom https://zoom.us/resources
We’ve been surprised by how easily both we and others have adapted to zoom over recent weeks, if you do experience any technical difficulties though, zoom also offer a troubleshooting page. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200305593-Troubleshooting
We recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early so that we can try to resolve any technical issues prior to the start time.
Is it the right time for me to practice mindfulness?
It is not unusual for people to turn to mindfulness during periods of change and/or difficulty with many often finding mindfulness courses both more challenging and more rewarding than they expected.
There are however times when attending a group mindfulness course might not be beneficial. UMASS (the university from which Mindfulness-Based Interventions originate) list the following as areas requiring particular care ‘addiction, early recovery, untreated psychosis, acute depression, suicidality, PTSD, social anxiety, recent loss’.
These circumstances or conditions do not necessarily rule out the possibility of attending a class as suitability is very much influenced by;
- Your current psychological health
- The extent to which you have previously explored areas of particular difficulty and
- The support networks that you have around you, such as friends, family and mental health professionals
We would ask that if any of these apply that they are clearly stated on your booking form alongside details of the points above. The booking form is also an opportunity to make us aware of any other additional needs you may have. If you are currently receiving treatment for an ongoing mental health problem we strongly advise that you discuss your course attendance with your mental health professional before booking.
For those attending courses we would also strongly recommend not making any changes to any medication during or immediately after a course – however well you may be feeling at that time. Instead giving yourself time to fully establish your mindfulness practice and any new routines associated with it before considering subsequent changes with a trained healthcare professional.
Please contact us to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding workshop and/or course suitability. We are happy to discuss your particular circumstances and how you may best be supported. If a course is not felt to be suitable at this time alternatives will be offered including, for example, suggesting healthcare professionals who integrate mindfulness into their work.
Eight week mindfulness courses are not designed to be a “quick fix”, relaxation classes or group therapy sessions. Nor are they simply a meditation class. Offering instead the opportunity to learn (or deepen) a valuable life skill. Like any new skill, mindfulness requires a significant personal commitment both to attending all eight classes and developing a regular meditation practice at home. This includes a commitment to 30 minutes meditation daily for the duration of the course alongside a willingness to explore mindfulness within your day to day live.
As each class builds on the preceding week, we would recommend that anyone who misses a class attends a “catch up session”. We are happy to accommodate this in the case of illness etc., but regret that if more than two classes are missed, or two classes in a row, you may not be able to finish the course. Catch ups are usually provided on a one-to-one/small group basis, either prior to or following the following week’s class and take 30 minutes to complete. There is a nominal charge of £15 for this service.
We would also strongly advise not missing weeks 5 and 6. We therefore recommend carefully checking the course schedule before reserving a place.
Covid-19: We would encourage those suffering from Covid-19 to rest as much as possible. Please let us know if you are unwell so that we can agree how best to proceed, be that catch up sessions so that you may continue with the current course or the possibility of deferring onto a subsequent course/refund if you prefer. Whilst we normally charge £15 for catch up sessions we appreciate these are difficult times for many hence will offer these sessions on a donation basis. Also, catch up sessions may include delegates from different groups so as to make best use of our time.
This course will be taught over eight classes from 14th May – 9th July 2020 (excluding 28th May half term). Each class will be 2 hours long and will take place on Thursday afternoons from 2 – 4pm.
The facilitator for this workshop is Sally Roberts. A former sceptic it took chronic illness in 2008 before Sally would consider something as ‘alternative’ as mindfulness!
Since training to teach mindfulness in 2012 Sally has had the privilege of sharing many journeys into mindfulness whilst teaching both public and workplace courses and continues to be inspired by the transformational impact these can have at both a personal and professional level. As a former HR manager (MCIPD) Sally has developed a particular interest in the role of mindfulness in managing change and cultivating more ‘brain friendly’ workplaces.
Frequently Asked Questions…
What if I miss a class?
We are happy to provide ‘catch up’ sessions for those who miss a class due to illness or emergency – please see above ‘commitment required’ for further details.
Is there disabled access to the venue?
n/a – online.
What further information will I receive?
All our delegates receive “Joining Advice” one week before their course commences. This email will include information on the class schedule, and a link to our “pre-course questionnaire” which we would be grateful if you could complete before the course commences.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you decide to cancel your place on this course, we will refund your full course fee, minus a £20 administration charge, if we receive notice from you at least 14 days before the 1st class, or thereafter:
- 75% of your course fee if notice is given before the 2nd class
- 50% of your course fee if notice is given before the 3rd class
- No refunds will be issued after the 3rd class
- In the case that the course is cancelled by The Northern Centre for Mindfulness and Compassion, all course fees will be refunded in full.
Covid-19: Please be aware that we will be applying our cancellation policy reasonably and flexibly during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Please let us know if you are unwell so that we can agree how best to proceed; be that a refund in line with our policy above, catch up sessions so that you may continue with the current course or the possibility of deferring onto a subsequent course if you prefer. If we as instructors become unwell, we will either arrange cover or for sessions to be rearranged. If this not possible we will offer the possibility of either deferring to a later course or receiving a refund.
How do I know if someone teaching a mindfulness course is appropriately trained?
There are no formal regulations stipulating who can teach mindfulness, however, we follow the UK Good Practice Guidance developed by leading teacher training organisations in the UK for Mindfulness-Based Teachers: https://bamba.org.uk/teacher-search/ (formally the UK Network).
I am considering training to teach mindfulness, will this course enable me to do this?
For those looking to teach mindfulness we would recommend having a look at the British Association for Mindfulness-Based Approaches which gives guidance on good practice and teacher training organisations within the UK. An 8-week MBSR, MBCT or 10-week MBLC course is generally considered a good starting point (including attendance on a day retreat) and often a pre-requisite to attending teaching training. Given several of our courses are adaptations of the traditional 8 week format, if you are looking to follow a particular training route it is worth checking any stipulated pre-requisites with your training provider.
My organisation are interested in/supportive of mindfulness – do you offer in-house training?
Yes we offer a full range of in-house mindfulness training, including stress reduction, resilience, change management, compassionate care, creativity and leadership development. Introductory workshops are an important first step for those wishing to offer mindfulness training. Please see our workplace webpage or get in touch for further information. We have also agreed employee discounts with a number of local organisations. If you are unsure as to whether or not your organisation has this offer in place please check with your HR/Staff Benefits/Management team.
We recognize the importance of protecting your personal information and are committed to processing it responsibly and in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Please click on the link below to see our Privacy Statement which describes what happens to any personal data that you give to us, or any that we may collect from or about you. It applies to all courses and services, and instances where we collect your personal data: https://yorkmbsr.co.uk/privacy-policy
If you have a question which has not been answered,
further FAQs are available on our website or you can contact us directly at email@example.com.