Mindfulness day retreat for Practitioners

The workshop will begin with informed consent and group guidelines, moving into a period of sustained, silent –guided – mindfulness practice. This will lead through to, and into, the lunch period whereby practice period terminates in mindfulness of eating meditation. Conversation resumes & there will be opportunities for networking over the remaining lunch period. In the afternoon there will be more dialogical & didactic exercises, including a debrief from the morning practices, exploration of various treatment protocols including the 8 week group model, acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT, 6 core processes) for both individual and group work, case-formulation from mindfulness perspective, and bespoke design of day to day ‘home-based’ mindfulness practice to suit both the client & the practitioner.

This workshop offers a combination of sustained & intense personal practice development alongside the more cerebral theoretical considerations of likely interest to scientist-practitioners. And the invitation to design bespoke practices for both practitioner and clients is enabling of the intention to maintain an ongoing experiential involvement in the cultivation of practice – as supervision: of both client-work and personal practice.


09:00 Registration/Tea and Coffee
09:30 Workshop starts (there will be a 30min break for lunch)
17:00 Workshop ends


In the last 5 years there has been an enormous swell of interest in the clinical application of mindfulness based approaches – and particularly from within the evidence-based school of cognitive behavioural therapy where Mindfulness Based Applications, MBA’s have become known collectively as ‘third wave cognitive behavioural therapy’. And there have, of course, been previous waves of interest in other schools of therapy eg: Jung, from the psychodynamic school, Perls & Assagioli, from humanistic and transpersonal schools. 

Emerging from the Theravadan Buddhist tradition 2500 years ago, recently translated by Jon Kabat-Zinn via the 8 week MBSR courses and further adapted by Williams, Teasdale et al into the MBCT. The clinical application of mindfulness, via MBCT was given the NICE seal of approval in 2004, but in UK there has still not been a roll-out of public sector provision. This is partly out of respect for the oft repeated cautions of the leading figures in this movement, (Kabat-Zinn, Kornfield, Goleman, Williams, Teasdale, Feldman, Titmuss) who insist that Mindfulness cannot be authentically facilitated as a manualised treatment protocol; that an effective mindfulness facilitator must have cultivated their own mindfulness practice in order to foster and further the practice in others. There are no shortcuts, but, under the pressure of demand for training, short courses are inevitably springing up which address the teaching of mindfulness skills to clients primarily as treatment protocols.

The four noble truths: the Buddha, circa -500 … (interpreted, Wilks,2010)

  1. to be human is to experience psychological unsatisfactoriness (dukka)
  2. dukka has a (twin) cause: clinging to that which is considered desirable, and avoiding or shrinking from that which is considered unacceptable
  3. to be free from suffering is to have extinguished the dual reactivities described in 2
  4. There is a  path of practice, a lifestyle recommended to achieve 3, known as the noble eightfold path: right mindfulness is one of the 8 components of this path

These 4 noble truths became the basis for the Abidhamma, the highly sophisticated school of Buddhist Psychology which Goleman, D writes about in “Varieties of meditative experience” From the same book comes a most apposite quote:
“Consciousness is the medium which carries the messages which compose experience. Psychotherapies are concerned with these messages and their meanings; meditation instead directs itself to the nature of the medium, consciousness. These two approaches are by no means mutually exclusive; rather, they are complementary. A therapy of the future may integrate techniques from both approaches, possibly producing a change in the whole person more thoroughgoing and more potent than either in isolation” (Varieties of Meditative Experience,1988)
Contemporary psychological models are still being formulated; we will briefly consider ‘Mechanisms of Mindfulness’ Shapiro et al, 2006

This workshop will be of interest to clinicians, specifically psychologists, who are either planning, or currently delivering mindfulness informed or 3rd wave interventions who are seeking supportive CPD. Clinicians new to 3rd wave interventions who want a day of CPD combining both experiential and theoretical grounding.

Learning outcomes and objectives 

  • Deepening in personal mindfulness through experience of sustained practice.
  • Setting intention for (& design of) ongoing personal mindfulness practice
  • Opportunity for supervision of client work & design of ongoing client mindfulness practice
  • Introduction to 6 core processes in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, ACT
  • Comparing various definitions of mindfulness leading to study of ‘Mechanisms of Mindfulness’, (Shapiro et al, 2006)

Facilitator: Martin Wilks 

Martin's interest in mindfulness began with Tai Chi and yoga in the early 80s. Daily mindfulness practice began after his first ten-day day retreats in 1984. Around the same time he became involved with the co-counselling community and began to develop an interest in integrating these two distinct modalities of personal development. Formal counselling training began in the Person centred tradition; he subsequently trained in experiential group facilitation and worked for a as a tutor on PC diploma courses. He has worked in the prison system for years; as a visiting Buddhist Minister to prisons (93-07), and as a manager and supervisor of the counselling services at Brixton prison (94-ongoing). Now Chartered counselling psychologist, he completed via the Independent route - attending retreats with Jon Kabat-Zinn & associates as a component of post-Masters training. Currently also an ACT therapist & trainer & MBCT facilitator in private practice. Certified trainer & teacher trainer, Co-counselling, Certificate in Experiential Group facilitation, 3yrs person-centred diploma trainer, 15yrs trainer in human potential movement, 2 yrs Act trainer (10 weekend workshops and many day trainings)

Booking information


  • Concessions: £90 + VAT
  • DCoP Members: £105 + VAT
  • Society members: £130 + VAT
  • Society non-members: £195 + VAT

Persons eligible for concessionary rates are student members of the Society, graduate members registered under Rule 15.ii, Rule 21 members, and members who are unemployed. For evidence of unemployment, we will require a copy of your job seekers allowance book.

How to book:


Please note: online bookings will close 24 hours prior to the event. Please call +44 (0)116 2529512 for availability after this point.

To pay by cheque or request an invoice complete and return the registration form.

Please note that we are only able to accept invoice requests more than 6 weeks before the event date.

Fri, 08/06/2012 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 2529925

Division of Counselling Psychology & BPS Learning Centre