Mindfulness for Personal and Professional Change Course

8 week course Priory Street Centre, York
24th September 2019
18:30 to 20:30
From £260 (discount options available)
Mindfulness for change

Mindfulness for Personal and Professional Change (MfC) is an 8-week group course designed to cultivate inner resources to support us through times of change. The course also offers a rare opportunity to consider and actively begin to cultivate skills supportive of bringing about change in our personal and professional lives.

Like it or not, change permeates our lives, personally and professionally.

Personally, even the life changes we expect can bring difficulty with each new phase offering its own challenges and opportunities (studying, new jobs, new relationships, marriage, parenting, ageing etc) and that’s before considering the unexpected changes which can blindside us on some otherwise normal day (loss of a loved one, loss of a job, illness, to name but a few).

Professionally it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or jaded by what can feel like ceaseless change. Or maybe we are so passionate about bringing about change in our particular area of expertise that we neglect our own well-being or relationships in the process.

Course Overview

Our Mindfulness for Personal and Professional Change (MfC) course integrates evidence-based techniques from neuroscience and contemplative traditions. Inspired by the well established and researched 8-week MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) courses MfC focuses on change as opposed to health, offering mindfulness as an effective and dependable inner resource to both manage periods of change effectively and to nurture changes we would like to make in our lives.

Each class includes guided mindfulness meditations, group discussions and practical exercises, all led by an experienced facilitator in a warm, friendly atmosphere with a maximum of 12 participants. Through an understanding of neuroscience alongside your own cultivation of a meditation practice, group discussion and self-reflection you will develop:

  • A deeper, experiential understanding of the nature of change
  • An awareness of your personal response to and relationship with change
  • Practical skills and inner resources to manage periods of change more effectively
  • The ability to identify habitual patterns that can inadvertently maintain the status quo
  • Space to consider the importance of values-based personal and professional change

Please note that whilst this course will offer powerful possibilities for transforming organisational approaches to change, within the context of mindfulness-based change these will arise from your own ongoing commitment to a personal meditation practice alongside a continued exploration of your personal relationship to change – please see ‘who is this course for’ and ‘personal commitment required’ below before booking.

Who is this course for?

Mindfulness for Change is open to all* and is suitable for beginners as well as those wishing to refresh or deepen their mindfulness practice. 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 and feeling disheartened and/or exhausted by personal, professional or organisational change
  • a desire to be able to ‘hold your ground’ admist changing circumstances
  • a wish to explore the possibility of living and working differently
  • you may have already made a commitment to make changes in your personal and/or professional life but are either not sure how to get started or feel yourself slipping back into old patterns or being drawn into cultural norms

Whilst your interest may stem from a professional role or a wish to bring about meaningful and sustainable change in your organisation, you will first and foremost be

  • interested in exploring your own relationship to change
  • committed to facilitating personal and professional change within your life before considering the role mindfulness/values-based change may play for others/your wider organisation

Regardless, you will understand the level of personal commitment required in cultivating a mindfulness practice – please see below for further details before booking.

*Whilst this course, has at its heart a desire to support personal, professional and hence organisational change, please do not be discouraged from attending if you do not ‘work’. It may for example be that you wish to explore a personal life change such as retirement, and how your approach to change may benefit the ‘organisations’ of which you are a part (family, social networks, volunteering etc).

Is this the right time for me to attend a mindfulness course?

It is not unusual for people to attend mindfulness courses during periods of change and/or difficulty in their lives 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. 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 the course instructor to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding course suitability. They will be happy to discuss your particular circumstances and how you may best be supported during the course. 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.

Commitment Required

Mindfulness for Change is not designed to be a “quick fix”, relaxation class or group therapy session. Nor is it simply a meditation class. The goal will not be to be ‘up to speed’ with what might be perceived as the latest organisational development technique or to explore how others might use mindfulness to bring about organisational change (please see question below for those interested in training to teach mindfulness) but to engage personally in learning a valuable life skill offering a wide range of potential benefits. The development of which 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 life.

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 week 5. We therefore recommend carefully checking the course schedule below before reserving a place.

Course Schedule

This course will be taught over eight classes from 24th September to 19th November (excluding a break on 29th October). Each class will be 2 hours long and will take place on Tuesdays from 18:30 to 20:30.

Course Facilitator

The facilitator for this course is Sally Roberts. Not a natural candidate for mindfulness, it took chronic illness in 2008 before Sally would consider something as ‘alternative’ as mindfulness! To her surprise embracing mindfulness resulted in significant personal growth. Since training to teach mindfulness in 2012 Sally has had the privilege of sharing many journeys into mindfulness 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 particular interests in how organisations equip individuals to manage change and in the conscious cultivation of insight in leadership and human resources..

Workplace examples of the centre’s work in organisations and a thought leadership piece on the role of insight in Human Resources are shared as contributory authors in Chapman-Clarke’s ‘Mindfulness in the Workplace: An Evidence-based Approach to Improving Wellbeing and Maximizing Performance’.

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?

The venue is accessible.

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, venue and facilities, 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.

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://www.ukmindfulnessnetwork.co.uk/uk-listing/

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 UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Organisations 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 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 is 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.

What is your privacy policy?

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 relax@yorkmbsr.co.uk.