Fiona O’Donnell

We provided 5 places at the OMC Summer School 2016 to MBCT teachers, who could demonstrate that they would use the Summer School experience to widen access and participation in MBCT. Fiona O'Donnell was one of the bursary holders.

Fiona O’Donnell of The Mindfulness Centre in Dublin, Ireland, completed a 3 year Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches at Bangor University, Wales. She has completed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training Levels 1 & 2 at Bangor University and is also a trained teacher in Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) with The Centre for Mindful Self Compassion, California. Fiona has also attended training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Here she explains the impact of the bursary on her teaching and in widening access and participation in MBCT.

“Being part of this week gave me the opportunity to meet other people teaching MBRP and to share some of the difficulties we encounter, as well as sharing our learnings”


What did you get out of your attendance at the summer school?

It was a great opportunity to listen and learn from experts in the field, as well as an excellent opportunity to meet other mindfulness teachers from all around the world.

I really enjoyed listening and meeting the desgners and developers of the MBCT programme. It was a wonderful way to learn and deepen my understanding of how the MBCT programme developed and the new learnings emerging since the original implementation.

As the bursaries are designed for those working with hard to reach groups, could you say something about your work in this area?

Part of my work is with people in recovery from substance misuse teaching Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), as well as working with people in cancer teaching MBCT. It was great to get a deeper understanding of how the MBCT programme developed, as well as hearing that there seemed to be a bigger emphasis on Loving Kindness than perhaps I had originally understood from the MBCT green book and my training.

Being part of this week also gave me the opportunity to meet other people teaching MBRP and to share some of the difficulties we encounter, as well as sharing our learnings.

Have you been able to share what you have learned at the Summer School within your organisation, or the wider Mindfulness community?

Yes, I have been able to feed back to The Mindfulness Centre, the details of this week with the other teachers at the Centre, which was very useful. I have also recently been asked to be an Assistant Teacher for an 18 month Professional Diploma run by the Mindfulness Centre and the Summer School will support and inform my work here.

See the Mindfulness Centre website for free meditations under Resources.


For information on our Summer School in 2017, click here.