Research and Evaluation Workshop (Oxford, UK)

Workshop details

Course Leader

Ruth Baer

How long is this Workshop?

One day from 9:30am to 5pm

Who is this Workshop for?

Teachers of MBCT and those training to teach MBCT

Where is the Workshop?

POWIC Building, Oxford

How many people on the Workshop?

Up to 30

How much does this Workshop cost?

£135 including lunch and refreshments

Research and evaluation Workshop 

29th September 2020

What is this Workshop about?

MBCT is an evidence-based program. Effective teachers need an understanding of the evidence base in order to communicate effectively with potential participants and other interested parties about what the evidence shows and the limitations of current knowledge. Effective teachers also adopt an empirical mind-set. Rather than assuming that their courses must be effective because the literature says MBCT is helpful, they collect data to find out how their participants are responding to the course.


The first half of the day provides an informative summary of the evidence base for MBCT and other important topics in the mindfulness field. Topics covered include:

  1. Assessment of mindfulness. Why should we attempt to measure mindfulness, what methods are available, how effective are they, and what have we learned about mindfulness and MBPs from this research?
  2. Efficacy of MBPs. What does research tell us about the benefits of MBPs? What do they help with, and how much? How do they compare with other evidence-based approaches to mental health and wellbeing?
  3. Other questions about efficacy. How much home practice are participants doing, and does it matter? Are self-help and online programs effective? Is MBCT cost-effective? What are the effects on the brain? Can evidence-based MBPs cause harm?
  4. Mechanisms of change in MPBs. How do beneficial effects of MBPs come about? What are the important changes?
  5. Effects of mindfulness training on kindness and compassion.


The second half of the day cultivates teachers’ skills for adopting an empirical attitude about the courses they teach. Topics include:

  1. Why evaluating the courses we teach is important
  2. How to develop useful questions about the courses we teach
  3. Measures recommended by the OMC for assessing outcomes, mechanisms of change, acceptability, harmful and unpleasant experiences, and home practice
  4. Thinking empirically about the findings obtained
  5. Evaluating our teaching using the MBI-TAC framework

Ruth Baer

Ruth is a clinical psychologist and a mindfulness researcher, teacher, trainer, and practitioner. Following a long career as a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, she was very fortunate to move to Oxford to work with the OMC. Her interests include conceptualisation and assessment of mindfulness, effects of mindfulness-based programs, mechanisms of change, and professional training and ethics in the mindfulness field. She enjoys taking a broad perspective, and so she has studied a wide range of mindfulness-based interventions, including MBCT and MBSR as well as DBT, ACT, and MBRP.

Ruth’s work at the OMC includes teaching, training, and research. She’s the lead for the non-academic teacher training pathway and also work with the Master of Studies in MBCT. She teaches mindfulness courses for the general public and for Oxford students and staff, and works with competency assessment. On the research side, Ruth collaborates on manuscripts based on the data coming in from the MYRIAD project and other projects with OMC colleagues.