In MBCT programmes, participants meet together as a class (with a mindfulness teacher) two hours a week for eight weeks, plus one all day session between weeks 5 and 7. We also offer a monthly practice session for those who have completed the course, whether with Ridgeway Mindful Psychology or with another organisation.
You will not be compelled to tell everyone all about yourself and why you came to the class, but you may be invited to share some information in pairs if you wish. Some people like to socialise during the coffee break, others prefer to sit quietly, or go for a brief walk.
There is a set of CDs to accompany the programme, which you use to practise on your own at home once a day. Sometimes we’re asked how important it is to practice at home. Actually, it is probably the most important element of the course. If this is going to be impossible for you, it may be more appropriate to think of a different way of using mindfulness at the moment. Please feel free to call us and we would be more than happy to discuss the best approach for you at this particular time.
Some people think that mindfulness meditation would be impossible for them, because their minds are constantly full of thoughts – believing that it’s necessary to empty the mind before being mindful! But thinking goes on all the time, if you are human! Mindfulness practices can help to train the wandering mind, if you choose, – noticing when thoughts have come in and hijacked your attention away from where you intended it to be. There is plenty of time to practice gently “rescuing” your attention from uninvited thoughts. This way, you are no longer at the mercy of them, and the unhelpful emotions and body-states that they can generate. This can leave you with a greater sense of control over your life.
In the classes, there is an opportunity to talk about your experiences with the home practices, the obstacles that inevitably arise, and how to deal with them skilfully.