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There has been a groundswell of interest in the UK in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and its derivatives, particularly Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Many health, education and social work practitioners have sought ways to develop their competencies as mindfulness-based teachers, and increasing numbers of organisations are developing mindfulness-based training programmes. However, the rapid expansion of interest in mindfulness-based approaches has meant that those people offering training for MBSR and MBCT teachers have had to consider some quite fundamental questions about training processes, standards and competence. They also need to consider how to develop a robust professional context for the next generation of mindfulness-based teachers. The ways in which competencies are addressed in the secular mainstream contexts in which MBSR and MBCT are taught are examined to enable a consideration of the particularities of mindfulness-based teaching competence. A framework suggesting how competencies develop in trainees is presented. The current status of methodologies for assessing competencies used in mindfulness-based training and research programmes is reviewed. We argue that the time is ripe to continue to develop these dialogues across the international community of mindfulness-based trainers and teachers.
Evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is rapidly growing as interest in this field expands. By contrast, there are few empirical analyses of the pedagogy of MBSR and MBCT. Development of the evidence base concerning the teaching of MBCT or MBSR would support the integrity of the approach in the context of rapid expansion. This paper describes an applied conversation analysis (CA) of the characteristics of inquiry in the MBSR and MBCT teaching process. Audio-recordings of three 8-week MBCT and MBSR classes, with 24, 12, and 6 participants, were transcribed and systematically examined. The study focused on the teacher-led interactive inquiry which takes place in each session after a guided meditation practice. The study describes and analyzes three practices within the inquiry process that can be identified in sequences of talk: turn-taking talk involving questions and reformulations; the development of participant skills in a particular way of describing experience; and talk that constructs intersubjective connection and affiliation within the group. CA enables fine-grained analysis of the interactional work of mindfulness-based inquiry. Inquiry is a process of disciplined improvisation which is both highly specific to the conditions of the moment it took place in and uses repeated and recognizable patterns of interaction.
Over recent decades, there has been an exponential growth in mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). To disseminate MBIs with fidelity, care needs to be taken with the training and supervision of MBI teachers. A wealth of literature exists describing the process and practice of supervision in a range of clinical approaches, but, as of yet, little consideration has been given to how this can best be applied to the supervision of MBI teachers. This paper articulates a framework for supervision of MBI teachers. It was informed by the following: the experience of eight experienced mindfulness-based supervisors, the literature and understandings from MBIs, and by the authors’ experience of training and supervision. It sets out the nature and distinctive features of mindfulness-based supervision (MBS), representing this complex, multilayered process through a series of circles that denote its essence, form, content and process. This paper aims to be a basis for further dialogue on MBS, providing a foundation to increase the availability of competent supervision so that MBIs can expand without compromising integrity and efficacy.