Mindfulness Teachers and Healthcare Professionals

The MBCL appears to connect well with patients in mental healthcare. However, also people with less suffering but with just a stressful life find the MBCL course very helpful and deepening. And the feedback of trainers in MBSR/MBCT and health care professionals who took part in the training modules MBCL for professionals have been very positive.

Compassionate mind training can be of benefit for therapists themselves for their personal health, their efficacy as therapists and to deal with stress and ‘empathy fatigue’ at work. Insights of Buddhist and western psychology regarding the benefits of cultivating compassion can be integrated in the therapeutic work.
Therapists can decide to explicitly train their clients in compassion practice. Of course therapists can use specific exercises to teach their clients individually.

An introductory workshop (Foundation Course of 3 days) has specifically been developed for healthcare professionals as an introduction. As for teaching the whole course, a number of conditions are addressed concerning on how to become a trainer. An additional training module 2 (also 3 days) has specifically been developed for mindfulness teachers who wish to teach the MBCL course. A similar commitment is asked for as in mindfulness teaching; the importance that teachers teach from their own practice is emphasized.


Feedback TT-programme Ireland 2016

‘MBCL is an important offering that provides people with the opportunity to deepen mindfulness and more fully engage in compassion. It is not just the content that is impressive – the way that it is so skilfully and beautifully taught by Erik and Frits is inspirational. MBCL is a gift for those with a readiness to encounter more vividly, the seasons of the heart. Thank you!’

‘Apart from the content which I loved you held the space with great skill to facilitate an atmosphere of loving kindness in the group and had a lovely ‘presence’ with the participants. You also have lovely chemistry and fun between you.’

‘I found this workshop to be excellent.’

‘Thank you for all the humour, kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity’

Training for health care professionals and mindfulness teachers

Among therapists and other healthcare professionals, who personally discovered the wholesome effects of mindfulness, there is a growing need for ways to deepen their practice. The growing emphasis on productivity in modern health care is not seldom accompanied by ‘compassion fatigue’ (or ‘empathy fatigue’) and lack of self-compassion. Besides, many therapists seek ways to integrate a compassionate attitude and exercises to cultivate compassion into individual work with clients. Furthermore, many mindfulness trainers recognize the need to deepen their practice in loving kindness and compassion, not only within themselves, but also among clients who already participated in previous MBSR or MBCT courses.

To meet those different needs several modules are available for therapists and mindfulness teachers to acquire skills in practising and teaching MBCL:

  • 8 week MBCL course: for healthcare professionals (8 sessions of 2½ hours and an extra silent session, similarly as the course offered to clients.
  • 5-7 day MBCL retreat: for professionals wishing personal deepening in their practice by experientially going through the whole MBCL program in condensed form in a retreat setting. The most important exercises are delivered, alternated with periods of silent practice and interpersonal mindfulness exercises in which the main themes are explored in contemplation.
  • Foundation Course (in German called Grundlagenseminar): this is an introductory and mostly experiential workshop MBCL for healthcare professionals and mindfulness trainers (3 days): 
  • MBCL for health professionals – Module 1 (3 days): for therapists and mindfulness trainers who wish to work with their clients with methods that develop, deepen and maintain (self-)compassion, either in groups or individually. The MBCL curriculum is explored session by session, both experientially and theoretically. The scientific foundation of the curriculum and the roots in western and Buddhist psychology are accounted for.
  • MBCL for health professionals – Module 2 (3/4 days): in this train-the-trainers module participants learn how to deliver the curriculum, guide the exercises, facilitate the group process, do inquiry and deal with didactic topics.
  • Teacher Training Programme (6 days): in Ireland Module 1 and Module 2 are being taught as one residential Teacher Training Programme of 6 days.

N.B. To teach MBCL one needs to:

  • be a certified mindfulnessteacher;
  • have followed at least the modules 1 and 2;
  • have followed either the 8 week MBCL course (preferably in a group) or the 7 day retreat and have deepened their established personal mindfulness practice with compassion practice for at least a year.
  • When the 8 week course or the 7 day retreat is not yet available locally, alternatively one can follow an introductory workshop of 3 days prior to module 1 and 2, such as already offered in several European countries. Besides it is possible to form a skype-group for the 8 week course with others living geographically far apart.

Before teaching the course on their own beginning MBCL-teachers are in any case advised to first work as co-trainers with a more experienced teacher.