Our associates are teachers and trainers whose competency and integrity are highly valued by us as an organisation, and who have the knowledge, skills and personal qualities to teach or train the courses that we offer.
Several are champions who are supportive of our vision and can help to influence others to widen our reach.
Another group are those who help us on the ‘ground’ who willingly give their time to support our courses and activities.
Dr Marcus Averbeck – Teacher/Trainer
Dr Marcus Averbeck is a Consultant Psychotherapist and Head of Family Psychotherapy at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust since 2003, having worked in the NHS as a Systemic Psychotherapist for over 20 years. He is the clinical lead for MBCT in his Trust and has been influential in building up, supporting, and supervising a workforce that can provide MBCT for patients, carers, and staff. In addition, Marcus works as a Consultant Psychotherapist in Canterbury where he offers MBCT classes for groups, couples and individuals, as well as supervision for MBCT teachers. Marcus is also an authorised Zen teacher and leads weekly groups and regular retreats.
Dr Paul Bernard – Teacher/Trainer
Dr Paul Bernard is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Mindfulness in the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. He has a longstanding mindfulness practice and trained as an MBCT teacher in 2007. Paul runs regular introductory workshops about mindfulness and has taught numerous 8 week programmes for staff, adult patients and young people. He supervises colleagues who are teaching clinical mindfulness programmes and has developed the ‘Staff Mindfulness Project’ which provides twelve 8 week programmes per year for Trust staff. Paul has been an OMC Associate Teacher since 2012 when he co-facilitated an intensive teacher training course with Mark Williams. He has also been trained in the Mindfulness in Schools .b programme.
Debbie Clarke – Teacher
Debbie Clarke has been a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for twenty years in the NHS, working with adults in both Primary and Secondary care. Together with a colleague she teaches MBCT programmes in Psychological Services for the Oxford Health Trust. She also teaches Mindfulness courses, based on the book Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams and Danny Penman, to Health Service staff. For the past 4 years she has been an Associate Teacher at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Helen Close -Teacher
Dr Helen Close is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and MBCT teacher. She has worked for over twenty years in the NHS, predominantly with adults of working age with chronic difficulties predominantly delivering formulation driven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. For the last five years she has been teaching the MBCT programme in Psychological Services for the Oxford Health NHS Trust. She has also taught Mindfulness courses, based on the book Finding Peace in a Frantic World, to Health Service staff. For the past 4 years she has been an Associate Teacher at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Dr Melanie Fennell – Teacher/Trainer
Dr Melanie Fennell was a pioneer of cognitive therapy for depression in the UK. As a research clinician in the Oxford University Dept of Psychiatry, she contributed to developing and evaluating cognitive behavioural treatments for depression and anxiety disorders. Between 2003 and 2013 she worked with Professor Mark Williams, helping to develop MBCT for people suffering recurrent depression who are also recurrently suicidal. She developed and led the Oxford Diploma in Cognitive Therapy, the Oxford Diploma/MSc in Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies, and (with Professor Williams) the Oxford MSt in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (on which she still teaches). She has extensive experience of teaching, training and supervising CBT and MBCT. Her book “Overcoming low self-esteem” has become a classic of self-help literature, recommended by the UK NHS’s “Books on Prescription” scheme. In July 2002, she was voted “Most Influential Female UK Cognitive Therapist” by the membership of the BABCP, and in 2013 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Association.
Dr Kim Griffiths – Teacher/Trainer
Dr Kim Griffiths is a Clinical Psychologist working in the NHS in South East London. He trained in MBCT in 2008 and since that time has undertaken further mindfulness training, including supervision training. His journey with mindfulness originated through a Vipassana retreat in SE Asia.
As a Clinical Psychologist he works in adult mental health on an acute inpatient ward and specialist mental health community teams. He has been involved in the development of MBCT throughout the Trust including mindfulness teacher training and supervision. Clinically he provides MBCT groups for adults with a primary presentation of depression, as well as couples groups, staff groups and individual clinical work. He has an interest in research and exploring the use of MBCT in the field of mental health. He has been an Associate Teacher with Oxford since 2011
Conroy Harris works as a freelance Mindfulness Teacher and mental health trainer. He completed his MBCT training with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in 2015 when he gained his ‘Certificate of Competence to teach MBCT’. He regularly teaches on the public courses at the OMC. Conroy has a Certificate in Counselling, is an experienced Mental Health practitioner, CBT Group worker and Workshop Leader within the Oxford Mental Health community. His background is in Adult Mental Health, where, since the late 1990s, he has worked as a Mental Health advocate, a Mind Mental Health Day Centre Manager, BME Out- reach worker and Fathers Development worker. He is currently in the process of setting up ‘A Band of Brothers’ group in Oxford, supporting and mentoring young men within the Criminal Justice System. Conroy has a particular interest in working with disadvantaged and ‘hard to reach’ populations in the community. He is a member of the OMC ‘Accessibility Group’, working on ‘diversity’ issues and improving access to MBCT courses.
Dr Maura Kenny – Teacher/Trainer
Dr Maura Kenny is a Consultant Psychiatrist and has been the Coordinator of the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Programs at the Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety & Depression, South Australia Health since 2005. She specialises in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy in the areas of Stress, Mood and Anxiety disorders, has conducted some research in these areas, and has used these approaches in clinical, organisational and workplace settings. She has developed a 6 week mindfulness course for health professionals and is interested in the wellbeing and resilience of junior doctors. Maura is also the convenor of the Mindfulness Research Group at the University of Adelaide, and Co-Director of the Mindfulness Training Institute Australasia which offers a training and supervision pathway in mindfulness-based interventions
Dr S. Helen Ma – Teacher/Trainer
Dr Helen Ma is a clinical psychologist with experience working in Hong Kong and Australia. She began a regular mindfulness meditation practice in 1992 and started teaching MBSR in 1997. She first taught MBCT in 2001 under the supervision of Dr. John Teasdale, while conducting her doctoral research on MBCT at the University of Cambridge. Since then, she has been teaching MBSR and MBCT, leading meditation retreats, conducting training programs and supervising professionals in mindfulness-based approaches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
Dr Sue MacPherson – Teacher/Trainer
Sue MacPherson is a chartered Clinical Psychologist with 25 years’ experience of working in the NHS in the U.K. and in New Zealand. She is also a CBT Therapist and MBCT teacher and trainer. She began a regular meditation practice in 1999 and first taught mindfulness in her work as part of an adapted DBT skills group within an acute psychiatric inpatient setting. She began teaching MBCT in 2007 in adult mental health to people with a range of diagnoses. Since 2010 she has been co-developing and co-running a supervised training pathway/”internship” for mental health staff in the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. Sue is the lead for mindfulness courses at the University of Birmingham, currently co-ordinating and teaching MBCT courses and MBCT Teacher development workshops.
Jill Roberts – Teacher/Trainer
Jill Roberts works as a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in mental health for over thirty years. She is an accredited CBT therapist, and provides individual and group CBT, and CBT supervision within the NHS. She has led mindfulness classes within the NHS since 1999, and has worked with people with physical and emotional problems, and with staff groups. She has also taught MBCT classes for professionals through Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, and public classes for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
Dr Diana Sanders – Teacher
Dr Diana Sanders is an HCPC registered Counseling Psychologist and a BABCP Accredited Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapist and has published a number of books on CBT. Her background is in psychological therapies for people with medical conditions, health anxiety and medically unexplained symptoms, and in general mental health. She is involved in providing psychological training and supervision for staff in palliative care, and introducing mindfulness in these settings. She is currently running MBCT groups for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and mindfulness courses in Oxford University.
Professor Anne Speckens – Teacher/Trainer
Anne Speckens is a Professor of Psychiatry at Raboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands since 2005. She is the founder and director of the Radboudumc Centre for Mindfulness. The Centre offers mindfulness courses for patients with psychological and somatic problems, university and hospital staff, and the general public. It also provides a 1.5 years teacher training course for professionals with a health, education or business background. Anne conducts clinical research into the (cost)effectiveness and working mechanisms of mindfulness for both clinical populations and health care professionals in collaboration with both national and international colleagues.
Dr Antonia Sumbundu – Teacher/Trainer
Antonia Sumbundu is a clinical psychologist, who has specialised in CBT and supervision. In 2010, she was awarded a Master of Studies in MBCT by the University of Oxford. Antonia has been interested in the clinical applications of meditation for a long time, and has been teaching and lecturing on MBCT and MBSR both nationally and internationally for a number of years. She has extensive experience of leading meditation retreats and training programs, supervising professionals in mindfulness-based approaches, and leading MBCT classes. She is an Associate Trainer for the Oxford Mindfulness Center and has been involved in several research projects.
Tim Sweeney – Teacher/Trainer
Tim Sweeney is a mental health nurse, accredited CBT therapist and an experienced MBCT teacher and trainer. He leads the MBCT service in Nottinghamshire NHS Trust which has 50 staff running MBCT groups across primary and secondary care for a diverse range of problems including depression, anxiety, cancer, chronic pain, psychosis and many more. He has extensive experience of MBCT teaching, training and supervision both in the UK and internationally.
Tim is also involved in several MBCT research projects with the University of Nottingham and has recently finished running an adapted MBCT programme for elite athletes at Loughborough University.
Dr Sian Warriner
Dr Sian Warriner is a Consultant Midwife at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has a lead role in midwife led care and normal childbirth. With the OMC Sian has pioneered the introduction on Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) into the UK. Sian leads the NHS MBCP programme in Oxfordshire and she also teaches Mindfulness courses, based on the book Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams and Danny Penman, to Health Service staff.
Tessa Watt is co-leader of the Workplace strand of the Mindfulness Initiative, a team supporting the All-party Parliamentary Group for Mindfulness at Westminster. This has involved working with parliamentarians, policy makers and the mindfulness community to develop recommendations on the role of mindfulness in the workplace. Tessa is a mindfulness teacher and consultant, running public courses and training in organisations since 2009, as director of Being Mindful, a London-based mindfulness training organisation. Tessa has practiced meditation for over 20 years and is author of Introducing Mindfulness: A Practical Guide (Icon, 2012) and Mindful London (Virgin, August 2014). She is co-presenter of Be Mindful Online, the Mental Health Foundation’s online mindfulness course. In her earlier career she was a research fellow in History at Cambridge University, and a senior producer with BBC Radio and Music.
Alison Yiangou has a background in Psychology and over 40 years experience of working internationally with meditation and mindful awareness in non-clinical settings. She is trained in both MBSR and MBCT and has a particular interest in the potential of MBCT to promote flourishing and wellbeing and in broadening access to MBCT. She teaches MBCT for the general public at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and in Gloucestershire where her courses include workplace settings and bringing mindfulness to disadvantaged populations.
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