Which Mindfulness-based Program to choose?

Regardless of the program you choose, all Mindfulness-based Programs will address the following aspects:

  • understanding the mind’s natural tendency to be scattered and to wander; how to train attention to create choices about where and how we place attention, and how this can fundamentally shape our experience.
  • exploring different ways of being and knowing; recognising how much of our experience is shaped by thought; that other more experiential and observing modes are also available to us, and how we can learn to use them to help us flourish over time.
  • recognizing the difference between reacting and responding; developing ways to create the space to make choices between them, and exploring how this understanding can shape our experience and the quality of our lives.

A local Mindfulness-based Teacher is best suited to listen to your needs and advise about the program best suited for you.
Here are some of the most well-researched programs.

Secular Mindfulness training started in 1979, when Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts to treat chronically ill patients. This program sparked the application of mindfulness ideas and practices in medicine for the treatment of a variety of conditions in both healthy and unhealthy people; many options have been developed to suit particular needs.

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.

MBSR – Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction is an 8-week course, started in 1979.
shows that it is enormously empowering for patients with stress due to e.g., chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as for psychological problems such as anxiety and panic.
MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, yoga and exploration of patterns of behaviour, thinking, feeling and action.
While MBSR has its roots in wisdom teachings of Zen Buddhism, Hatha Yoga, Vipassana and Advaita Vedanta, the program itself is secular and based on science and the major disciplines of medicine, psychology and education as well.
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. 

MBCT – Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy / Training is also an 8-week, it started in 1992. It is a group-based psychosocial approach that uses mindfulness training and cognitive-behavioural exercises that teach people to recognise the early warning signs of depression, relate to them in a decentered and embodied way, and step out of old patterns of reactivity. MBCT was adapted from the MBSR program so it could be used specifically for people who had suffered repeated bouts of depression in their lives.
The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse. 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. It was specifically addressing the need to prevent depression and relapsing into depression.
Developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, John Teasdale,  MBCT and was further developed at Bangor University and University of Oxford.

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 developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
For example, progams acknowledged by IPA, the International Panel for the acknowledgement of  evidence-based mindfulness-based programs.

If you are a developer of a mindfulness-based program and are seeking recognition for the program you created, you are invited to connect with the IPA for more information regarding the IPA-process.  Mail to: contact address.