Organisational Applications of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental training technique with its origins in the contemplative traditions of the East. It is rapidly gaining popularity in the West due to its ability to help individuals overcome a multitude of physical and psychological problems.  The aspect of mindfulness practice that helps with difficulties such as stress, chronic pain and depression is training in the ability to sit with what is difficult, that is to turn towards, not away from, the experience, that is as Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994) asserts, to just pay attention, mindfully and without judgement. This represents a radical way of working with clients, yet is one that is yielding exceptional outcomes. Such has been the impact of mindfulness in the clinical field that there is an increasing interest by organisations looking to develop their employees’ resilience in times of unprecedented challenge (see Chaskalson in press). 

Studies of mindfulness-based interventions have shown reductions in employee stress levels (McCraty et al. 2003); improvements in well-being (Collard & Walsh, 2008); MBTIs have also been incorporated into legal training (Williams, 2010), occupational therapy education (Gura, 2010) and has been asserted as fundamental to developing the capacity for self-management, which the management guru, Peter Drucker, prior to his death, asserted was the single biggest challenge facing 21st century organisations developing knowledge management worker productive in the 21st Century (Hunter & Scherer, 2009).  A recent INSEAD report indicated that mindfulness-based leadership interventions resulted in behaviours that were more likely to lead to greater levels of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).


09:00 Registration/Tea and Coffee
09:30 Workshop starts (there will be a 30min break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


This workshop aims to provide the participant with an introductory overview of mindfulness, its origins in Eastern contemplative practice and current evidence base in the West. This will be presented alongside the most up to date review of the neural basis of the effects observed with mindfulness practice.  Linking psychological theory with the neuroanatomy of emotion regulation and attention, the course will provide a solid basis for practitioners to understand the relevance of this training for organizations and their staff. We will additionally consider the challenges that might face organisations as they begin to consider this radical approach to resilience building and the relevance of the facilitators own mindfulness training as they deliver this intervention. Experiential practice will be a key element of the day.

This is an introductory workshop looking at the potential challenges and benefits of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in organisations, particularly leadership and coaching. The content will use language and cover material that non-psychologists may find unfamiliar. However, capturing and understanding the anatomical /neuroscience (technical) piece is not essential, as the facilitators’ aim is to translate what is essential for participants to know in terms of designing interventions.  Post workshop reading, references and signposting to on-line discussion groups and networks will prove an invaluable ‘next steps’ in terms of participants’ choice to explore and build their knowledge. Delegates will be asked to read an article prior to attending the workshop.

Learning outcomes and objectives 

  • To define what mindfulness s is and its increasing popularity in clinical and organisational practice
  • To look at the neuro-science behind mindfulness; neuroanatomical mechanisms of mindfulness ;
  • To outline how attention attention training impacts on the structure and function of different parts of the brain and with what implications
  • To illustrate the links between the neuroscience of mindfulness and the developing field of neuro-leadership
  • To consider what and how to design mindfulness interventions in organisations (potential challenges & overcoming obstacles)
  • To provide plenty of space and opportunity to experience mindfulness in practice

Facilitator: Margaret A Chapman CPsychol AFBPsS CSci

Margaret has been at the forefront of developments in applied emotional intelligence (‘EQ’) and coaching psychology for over 10 years. She has published and presented keynotes, seminars, workshops and masterclasses to peer practitioners sharing her experiences and insights in order to ‘develop the developers.’ She has continually asked: ‘how do you develop EQ? This curiosity has seen her train in Gestalt, Existential, CBT, ACT, Solution-Focused and NLP/NLPt and apply these skills with both clinical and organisational clients; recent workshops she has designed and facilitated a number of popular workshops for the BPS including ‘Coaching for EQ with Gestalt” and How to Assess and Develop Emotional Intelligence.  Margaret began practising mindfulness in 2008 and has since participated in a range of MBCT & MBSR programmes.  In July 2011, she participated in her first teacher training with Bangor University and is author and co-author of a series of forthcoming articles on mindfulness, coaching and emotional intelligence (to appear in Coaching at Work (with Michael Chaskalson) and Counselling at Work). The second (10-year anniversary) edition of her text The Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook (in press) has been fully updated to reflect her on-going journey. In addition to her private practice Margaret is reading War & Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) and awarded a distinction for an original paper entitled ‘Mindfulness and the Military: An Oxymoron?.”

Booking information


  • Concessions: £60 + VAT
  • DOP members: £95 + 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.

Mon, 25/06/2012 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 2529925

Division of Occupational Psychology & BPS Learning Centre