Summer school offers the chance to explore how the self can become highly fragile
The Summer School will bring together leading mindfulness practitioners and researchers Melanie Fennell and Mark Williams, who here describe the Summer School experience.
“The summer school offers the chance to explore in detail the way the self can become highly fragile for any of us. Our workshop will focus on how, for some people, such fragility is sometimes expressed through suicidal thinking and actions. There is a sense of not being able to live with yourself anymore, that everyone would be better off without you.
Few of us have not been touched by such feelings, however fleetingly, either in ourselves or in the lives of friends or family.
We hope participants will become more aware of how and why vulnerability sometimes takes this form, and how MBCT might be shaped to meet the needs of such people, especially those whose childhood has been scarred by traumatic experience.”
Melanie Fennell and Mark Williams, together with colleagues Catherine Crane and Thorsten Barnhofer, carried out a series of investigations at Oxford on the psychological processes underlying suicidal depression. In the light of these understandings, they adapted MBCT for these highly vulnerable people, conducting a clinical trial in collaboration with colleagues in Bangor (including experienced teachers, Becca Crane and Sarah Silverton).
Based on their book “MBCT for Suicidal Depression” (with Thorsten Barnhofer, Becca Crane and Sarah Silverton), Summer School participants will learn how to identify and map suicidal vulnerability, how to prepare participants for mindfulness classes, and how MBCT might be modified to take account of these vulnerabilities. They will talk about how any of us, as friends, family members or as mindfulness teachers, can stay steady and kind in the presence of such intense distress and despair.
Williams et al., JCPP 2014 Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Preventing Relapse in Recurrent Depression: A Randomized Dismantling Trial
CraneWilliams2010 Factors Associated with Attrition from Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Patients with a History of Suicidal Depression
Barnhofer et al MBCT and suicidal ideation Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Reduces the Association between Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Cognitions in Patients with a History of Suicidal Depression