(+34) 660 44 78 40 Bodhin Philip Woodward, Director of Training

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

Frequently asked questions From some of our students....

Frequently asked questions

Click on the + to read our answers....

Q. Does your MBSR Teacher Training programme comply with the minimum duration of 12 months.

Mindful Academy follow the Mindfulness Best Practice guidelines which state that teachers of MBSR should have - 'completion of an in-depth, rigorous mindfulness-based teacher training programme or supervised pathway over a minimum duration of 12 months.' 

The 12 month pathway includes the pre course study which is sent to you when you have been accepted and secured your space, completion of the MBSR Foundation Teacher Training TTR1 course and the MBSR Advanced Teacher Training TTR2 course. The pathway also includes supervision and mentoring. Every students needs are different which is why the Best Practice are guidelines and not fixed rules. The guidelines are there so that each student achieves the required standards of competence and the confidence to deliver the mindfulness MBSR core practices and 8 Week MBSR course over a period of time to suit their existing skills and MBSR Teaching development.

To assist this development, during both the MBSR Foundation Teacher Training TTR1 course and MBSR Advanced Teacher Training TTR2 course we individually assess each student using the Mindfulness based teaching assessment criteria (MBI-TAC) and discuss their next steps and ongoing teaching development including supervision and mentoring. In the case of the MBSR Foundation Teacher Training TTR1 course this discussion would include what development is required before being accepted on the Advanced course. 

For more details on the Mindful Academy Teacher Training Pathway please visit: Our Training Pathways

For more details on Supervision please visit our website: Mindful Academy supervision

I'm confused by all the different training courses, some at universities, what is the difference?

There are Mindfulness course run by both private Training Companies like ourselves, and in some Universities. For example Bangor offer 3 different types of training routes -

1. A Masters programme which gives you a certificate of competency to teach Mindfulness based courses. This is usually taken by those who wish to go into Mindfulness Research

2. A new extended Teacher Training pathway which also offers a certificate of competency and takes a minimum of 3 - 4 years to complete. 

3. A Continued Personal and Professional Development programme attendance course of a TTR1 of 50hrs and a TTR2 of 50hrs.

The Mindful Academy course is a 200hr taken over 2 modules also called TTR1 and TTR2. Our course is not an attendance only course, and you must demonstrate certain standards in order to be able to graduate from TTR1 and be able to apply for a place on TTR2. All assessments are carried out using the Mindfulness Industry standard Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC)  On graduation you are given a certificate to say that you are an Accredited MBSR Teacher with Mindful Academy. The course does not teach you to teach MBCT and it is not equivalent to Masters programme which takes several years.

Our course is registered with the Yoga Alliance Professionals in the UK and on completion you can register (at your own cost) and have your details shown on their website. If you are UK based (and some other countries, see website www.yogaalliance.co.uk for details) you would also be eligable to take out insurance to teach.

If you are UK based you would also be able to apply to join the Mindfulness Network, this is the register of teachers who have applied to be listed and have been able to demonstrate (via assessment process) that they meet the UK Good Practice Guidance for Mindfulness-Based Teachers i.e. they are suitably trained, committed to continuous professional development, hold appropriate insurance and are receiving supervision for their teaching. For full details please visit their website https://www.mindfulness-network.org/listingspagenew.php This is as close as it gets for regulating MBSR in the UK at the present time. We cannot comment on what might occur in the future, however I feel that if you are registered with the Mindfulness Network then this demonstrates the quality of your training and your commitment to the Best Practice Guidelines.

We cannot comment on the requirements of other organisations regarding what they would expect in order to be able to teach. 

In order to be able to attend the course, you would need to have taken a Live MBSR 8 Week course as a participant, this can either be in your home location, via distance learning or a 5 day Intensive. 

Do you offer Supervision for MBSR Teachers who have not trained with Mindful Academy?

Yes, we are able to offer Supervision to Graduates and Students on Teaching Pathways with both Mindful Academy and other similar Training Organisations. Please click here for details Supervision

There are no MBSR 8 Week Courses in my area, what can I do?

We are very keen to provide accessible ways of supporting you to experience the 8 Week MBSR Course, and in response to requests from people who may not have access to a mindfulness-based course in their home location, we are pleased to offer the Mindful Academy Distance Learning Mindfulness Course from your own home. For more details see our Distance Learning

How your course is accredited?

We are an Accredited Training Provider with the Internationally accepted Yoga Alliance Professionals, and the MBSR course is an accredited 200hr course. We also adhere to the Good Practice Guidelines and assess students using the Mindfulness-based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC). Mindfulness based teaching is at present self regulating using the Good Practice Guidelines for both teachers and teacher trainers which are being viewed as the gold standard around the world.

With our accreditation it is also possible to apply for listing on the Mindfulness Teachers UK. The guidelines state that you do not need to have trained with a UK Network organisation but you will need to demonstrate that your training meets the requirements of the Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs) which our training pathway does. 

Is it possible to get listed on mindfulnessteachersuk.org.uk with your MBSR Teacher Accreditation certificate?

Yes it is possible to apply for listing on the Mindfulness Teachers UK with our 200hr Accreditation certificate. Their guidelines state that you do not need to have trained with a UK Network organisation but you will need to demonstrate that your training meets the requirements of the Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs) which our training pathway does. 

You would also need to show that you have covered the elements laid out in the Mindfulness Teachers UK FAQ's for the GPGs about a training pathway over a 12 month period. This can take the form of a portfolio of training such as TTR1 and TTR2, any Continued Professional Development CPD courses you have taken and of course Mindfulness Supervision.

Your application would then be reviewed by a Mindfulness Teachers UK designated person which is outside of our control, however after graduation we would work with you to ensure that your application demonstrates fully how your teacher training and ongoing teaching practice meets the GPGs (and the GPG FAQs). It is also my understanding that you would need to have taught 2 x 8 week MBSR courses with Supervision before you can apply. 

Q. I’m not English but I do speak English every day in my job. Do you think I could anyway take part in the course? Are your courses normally attended only by native English speakers?

The courses are attended by many nationalities not all of which are native English speakers. All of the teaching and manuals are in English and you would need to feel confident in delivering the MBSR core practices and Mindful Movement in English. In this instance we would suggest a Skype call to discuss your concerns. Once your application has been accepted we would also provide pre-course study work to help you prepare. 

Q. Can I do TTR1 with you and TTR2 with another school?

Normally each school will want you to do all their levels to be able to give you their certification. Each school has slightly different pathways and there are small differences in curriculum. In order to graduate as an accredited MBSR Teacher with Mindful Academy, we ask all students to take both TTR1 and TTR2 with us.

These courses are NOT attendance courses and to graduate you must have reached required levels of competence in MBSR class based teaching during course assessments.

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Q. Can you tell me if the course would be suitable/compatible to practice in my home Country?

Unfortunately it is not possible for us to say if the course would be suitable/compatible with courses in your own Country as we have no knowledge of the Mindfulness MBSR community there. The development and interest in Mindfulness MBSR is rapidly growing and training processes are therefore becoming more structured. What we can say however is that within the UK and Spain there are currently no formal or official qualifications/certification processes which regulate competency in teaching mindfulness- based approaches, this may or not be the case in your country.

This requires those of us working in this developing field to inquire deeply into our own practice, our integrity, our intentions and the boundaries of our skill, competencies and understandings. To meet these recommendations and as a professional and accredited Teacher Training School we exceed the Educational Standards required by the Yoga Alliance for teaching professional MBSR Meditation Teachers and follow the UK Network for Mindfulness-based Teacher Trainers Best Practice Guidelines. We are also involved in setting up the Best Practice Guidelines for Spain.

Our course is accredited and registered with the Yoga Alliance in the UK, so on graduation from both TTR1 and TTR2 you will have a recognised qualification as a MBSR Teacher. If you are a resident of the UK or Ireland this registration also includes insurance to teach. We recommend that all graduates take out teaching insurance, if you already have professional insurance as Therapist or Yoga Teacher you may just need to send a copy of your certificate to your insurance Company for them to add MBSR Teaching to your cover. Perhaps this would be a way for you to check compatibility in your home Country.

Q. If I were to practice in Europe and the UK is insurance required and is your certificate recognised by insurers?

Our course and qualification is accredited with the Yoga Alliance in the UK and on graduation from both TTR1 and TTR2 you would be able to register with them as a MBSR Meditation Teacher, if you are a resident of the UK or Ireland this registration also includes insurance to teach. We recommend that all graduates take out teaching insurance, if you already have insurance as a Therapist or Yoga Teacher you may just need to send a copy of your certificate to your Insurance Company for them to add MBSR Meditation to your cover. Regarding other insurers, we can confirm that our qualification is also recognised by Balens Insurance, they cover both the UK and several European countries (including Spain) details are on their website.  Balens Insurance

Q: How should I practice to prepare for TTR1? Is it OK to mix up different practices?

Ideally you would want to practice the Mindfulness MBSR core practices for the 30 - 45 minutes rather than breaking it up with different practices. Our recordings are 45 minutes for the Body Scan and 30 minutes for other practices so they will support you.

I would also recommend that you just sit with the intention of just sitting, moving from doing to being, using the anchor of your breath to open to your experience in the moment. There is no need to strive towards doing better, rather have a beginners mind to being with what it there be it pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. When you find the mind has wandered to body sensations, thoughts or emotions (and it will, that's what minds do!) just notice where it has gone and then choosing to return your awareness to the anchor of your breath. You may need to do this many many times and that's OK you are strengthening your mindfulness muscle!

Q: After the TTR1 course will I be able to teach the 8 week MBSR Stress Reduction course or do we need to take TTR2 as well?

On successful completion of TTR1 you would have the skills and confidence to teach Meditation classes and in some cases depending on both your personal and professional skills, the 8 week MBSR Stress Reduction Course. However we normally advise students to take TTR2 before teaching the MBSR 8 week course due to its complexity.   

During TTR1 and also during a review at the end of the course, we give you feedback and advise where we feel you are as a Teacher, and your areas of development going forward. We also offer mentoring and supervision to support your development.

One big benefit of waiting until after taking TTR2 before teaching the 8 week MBSR Stress Reduction course is that it also gives you what we call "A business in a box" with MBSR lesson plans, MBSR participants handbook and mp3 recordings so you can start your business quickly and professionally. Of course you also receive the graduation certificate demonstrating that you have achieved the required standard and are an accredited MBSR Teacher! 

Q. Hi I am very interested in attending this course . Is it a recognised in line with other courses TTR1?

The Mindful Academy Teacher Training Retreat TTR1 is similar to the TTR1 offered by many of the UK universities with some major differences. 

Our TTR1 is 100hrs compared to 50hrs with other organisations. This enables us to give you the practical skills and confidence to actually teach the Mindfulness MBSR core practices including Enquiry and Mindful Movement without the need to take additional courses.

Our course is accredited and registered with the Yoga Alliance in the UK, so on graduation from both TTR1 and TTR2 you will have a recognized qualification as a MBSR Meditation Teacher where as some other courses are Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses.

Importantly, in the Mindful Academy TTR1, using the provided scripts you will practice teaching in a safe and nurturing environment with feedback both from your peers as well as more formal feedback following the UK Mindfulness-based Teaching Intervention criteria (otherwise known as the MBI TAC´s!) from Bodhin and myself. Our intention is to support your development, so that once home you can immediately integrate the practices into your professional life.  We also offer Supervison and Mentoring to ensure that we are on hand should you need additional support.

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