IPA-Acknowledged Mindfulness-Based Programs

There has been an explosion of interest in mindfulness-based programs (MBPs) such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This is demonstrated in increased research, implementation of MBPs in healthcare, educational, criminal justice and workplace settings, and in mainstream interest.
see Which Mindfulness-based Program to choose?

With their article “What Defines Mindfulness-Based Programs? The Warp and the Weft.” Rebecca Crane et al provided a framework to define the essential characteristics of the family of MBPs originating from the parent program MBSR, and the processes which inform adaptations of MBPs for different populations or contexts. The framework addresses the essential characteristics of the program and of the teacher.

The International Panel for Acknowledgement (IPA) has based its criteria on this article and others (see sources) to evaluate newly developed and adapted mindfulness-based programs (MBP’s), and to promote safe, ethical and inclusive practices in the field of evidence-based secular mindfulness teaching.
The list of IPA acknowledged programs is meant to inform the decision-making process of people who wish to participate in an acknowledged mindfulness-based program.

MBP – Mindfulness Based Program

MBP means mindfulness-based program. IPA adopts the definition of  R S CraneJ BrewerC Feldman, J Kabat-ZinnS SantorelliJ M G Williams, W Kuyken source:
“MBPs are informed by theories and practices that draw from a confluence of contemplative traditions, science, and the major disciplines of medicine, psychology and education; underpinned by a model of human experience which addresses the causes of human distress and the pathways to relieving it; develop a new relationship with experience characterized by present moment focus, decentering and an approach orientation; catalyze the development of qualities such as joy, compassion, wisdom, equanimity and greater attentional, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, and engage participants in a sustained intensive training in mindfulness meditation practice, in an experiential inquiry-based learning process and in exercises to develop.”

IPA-recognition means that

  • an MBP meets the criteria for definition as a mindfulness-based program,
  • it adheres to standards of quality and integrity,
  • it is safe and effective,
  • it is innovative, in the sense that it meets the needs of a population or context, not currently provided for by an already existing MBP, and
  • it contributes to the flourishing of mindfulness practice.

Recognition of a mindfulness-based program by the IPA does not include accreditation of training pathways or training institutions that deliver MBP’s.
Acknowledgement as a mindfulness-based program is an important first step that can lead to the accreditation of mindfulness-based training and certification of teachers who have successfully trained to deliver recognised MBP’s.

More information on the process of IPA evaluation and acknowledgement.

The classification as Emergent or Established  conveys the current state of evidence in support of a program’s efficacy and safety.

IPA-Acknowledged mindfulness-based programs

MBSR and MBCT are the original secular mindfulness-based programs for which an impressive body of evidence regarding the effects of the practice have been amounted.

The MBSR program is described in detail in Kabat-Zinn’s 1990 book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. 

The MBCT program is described in detail in the book Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: a new approach to preventing relapse by Zindel V. Segal, J. Mark G. Williams and John D. Teasdale.

Nowadays, a variety of mindfulness-based programs is available tailored to specific health conditions and contexts, all honouring the essence of the original MBSR-format. eamba is committed to have innovative programs evaluated and with acknowledge program that are aligned with criteria adopted by IPA based on academic research and advice. eamba encourages developers to have their program evaluated and made visible to decision makers and policy makers.

MBP Creator(s) Acknowledgement valid until Established
Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living
Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster (Netherlands) June 2026
Finding Peace in a Frantic World Mark Williams and Danny Penman (UK) June 2026
Mindfulness-Based Organisational Education
Mark Leonard (UK) June 2026
Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting_Fear (MBCP-Fear) Irena Veringa (Netherlands) June 2026
Breathworks Vidyamala Burch (UK)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway
Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery (MBAR) Valerie Mason-John (Canada, UK)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway
Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Nancy Bardacke (US)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway
Mindfulness for Life (also known as MBCT-L Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Life) University of Oxford Mindfulness Foundation (UK)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway
Mindfulness-Based Living Course (MBLC) Mindfulness Association (UK)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) Susan Bowen and Allan Marlatt (US)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway
Mindfulness for Life (Youth Mindfulness) Michael Bready (UK)
BAMBA-acknowledged MBP & training pathway