Why mindfulness meditation and compassion?

Mindfulness is an awareness of the present moment without judgment, simply noticing things as they are.

As we practice a range of meditations this skill develops, allowing us to improve our attention and tune into the rich detail of life’s experiences. There is now a strong scientific evidence base for the efficacy of a range of mindfulness-based interventions. Recently, studies specifically exploring the benefits of combining traditional mindfulness with practices which help cultivate compassion, both directed towards ourselves and others, have been showing positive results. This is an exciting area of development, as tools that support resiliency in challenging times are increasingly in demand in the modern world.

When we bring compassion and kindness to what we notice, holding the pleasant and unpleasant experiences in gentle awareness, we discover we have more space for choice and an opportunity to respond rather than react. This helps us feel more connected, reducing stress and anxiety, as we learn to judge ourselves and others less harshly.

Regular meditators have found the practices support pain management, and provide a mental tool kit for managing anxiety, depression or lowering stress levels. The practices and teaching help develop resiliency, communication skills, and promote more positive physical and mental well-being, as we wake up to the life we have with a greater sense of appreciation and self-awareness.

I’m a trained Mindfulness and Compassion Teacher through MindfulnessUK accredited by CPCAB (Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body) and an Alumni member of MindfulnessUK.

What I offer:

Bespoke Mindfulness & Compassion Training

I provide one to one mindfulness meditation and compassion practices to support clients at a pace that is suitable to them. Sessions can be tailored to the client’s needs and availability, either in person or on-line. This bespoke program is perfect for clients who want to explore mindfulness and compassion for self-care and wellbeing. The first session lasts around 75 minutes and includes an initial assessment, follow up sessions are 60 minutes duration.

Compassionate Mindful Resilience (CMR) Programme

I also offer the MindfulnessUK Compassionate Mindful Resilience (CMR) programme. This course is designed for individuals or organisations who want to learn shorter bespoke practices and coping strategies, which aim to promote higher levels of self-kindness, emotional resilience and empowerment.

This course is ideal for staff in education or care settings, as mentally healthy schools and workplaces understand that supporting staff wellbeing has a positive effect on both staff, and those under their care. In schools it can be delivered during staff inset days, after school, or as an on-line offering at a time that is convenient. Why not tie this in with Stress Awareness Month, Mental Health Awareness Week, or International Week of Happiness at Work?

The CMR Programme is also suitable for parents who care for children with various SEND needs. As a parent of an autistic child I can appreciate the joys and challenges of caring for a child with additional needs. This course provides a gentle introduction to mindfulness and compassion to support you in your caring role. I believe there is an additional benefit that comes from meeting other parents, who may have different parenting experiences with a shared appreciation of the unique challenges which are faced daily. The course availability is within school hours, online or in-person, to allow parents the time and space to take care of themselves.

CMR Programme details:

The CMR course is taught over 4 weeks and each session is approximately 2 hours duration. Where time is more limited, the course can be offered over 8 weeks in one-hour sessions. No previous experience of mindfulness is needed as this is an introductory course that teaches simple, effective, evidence-based practices, skills and techniques to help manage stress, develop resilience and enhance well-being using Mindfulness and Compassion. Participants are given a 10-minute daily practice to complete for 5 of the 7 days each week; over the 4 weeks each session builds the participants knowledge and wellbeing tool kit.

Over the 4 weeks you will:

Learn Mindfulness and Compassion practices to support emotional well-being and build resiliency in a range of ways.

Understand more about stress and how it affects the mind, body and emotions.

Recognise compassion fatigue and how to overcome it.

Develop resources creatively to embrace mindfulness and compassion within your life.

Research Opportunity

The Compassionate Mindful Resilience course is currently part of an efficacy research study at Newcastle University. Participants may be offered the opportunity to contribute to this work, however this is completely voluntary and not a requirement of participation. The research takes an additional 30 minutes in sessions 1 and 4.

Mindfulness for children and young people.

As a trained HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) I also offer the teach.breath course to children aged 9-14. The course is designed to support mental wellbeing and reduce stress at times of transition, such as moving to secondary school. This course can be delivered across 4 PACE lessons or as an after-school Mindfulness Club over 6 weeks. I also offer .breathe as an introduction to a longer course specifically for more introverted children who struggle with anxiety and worry. This can be offered one to one but is more effective in a group of 4 participants, where children can support each other as they learn these new skills to explore the wandering mind and attention, understanding why we worry, improve sleep and learn how to work skilfully with friendships and other relationships.

Both the CMR programme and the bespoke pathway are suitable for teenagers. Learning mindfulness meditation and compassion practices as a young person provides a set of tools to face life’s challenges with greater emotional resilience. These tools may prove useful before exams, to calm and ground, bringing clarity and focus at a stressful time. They also help participants identify unhelpful habits and patterns of behaviour, such as self-criticism, rumination and excessive worry. With greater self-awareness they can chose more skilful and compassionate responses, which calm mental busyness and help prevent overwhelm. Once learnt, these practices are a lifelong resource and an excellent foundation to deeper mindfulness training.

I deliver Mindfulness and Compassion teaching within the BAMBA good practice guidelines https://bamba.org.uk/ I attend regular CPD, peer support sessions, retreats and maintain my own daily mindfulness practice. I am currently on a year long training pathway to deliver the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 8-week MBSR programme.

I am a Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Teacher, completing my training with David Treleaven through the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre in 2021 and have a TQUK Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills from Cambridge Regional College 2021.

Free mindfulness taster with the Mindful Book Club

I also be host the Mindful Book Club using MS Teams. The group meet at 7pm on the last Monday of the month, every other month, to share a good book and come together as a mindful sitting group. So if you fancy a mindful Monday to look forward to, send me an e-mail to say you are interested and we'll add you to the mailing list so you receive an invitation to the meeting. You can keep up to date with the reading by visiting www.mindfulbookclub.co.uk

'You can't stop the waves but you can learn how to surf' - Jon Kabat-Zinn