Happy New Year: Reflections on the last decade at the OMC and looking to the future
Here we are, one decade ending and another starting. We sometimes pause at these transition points to take stock and reformulate our intentions and plans.
At the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre our vision is of a world without the devastating effects of depression. A world where people can live with awareness, wisdom and compassion, and where we all have the possibility of realising our potential and flourishing.
We’re enormously proud of our work these last ten years on Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for adults who suffer recurrent episodes of depression. We’ve established that MBCT is effective and cost-effective. We’ve learned a great deal about how it works, for whom it works, and how to make MBCT accessible. We’ve trained thousands of people around the world as mindfulness teachers. Whenever possible, we’ve done this by supporting new, emerging centres of training and research excellence, developing collaborations and friendships along the way.
So what’s next? Here are four of our priorities for the next ten years:
- We are currently taking mindfulness training “upstream” and asking whether mindfulness training can enhance young people’s resilience and prevent depression – the Wellcome funded “MYRIAD project.”
- We are developing mindfulness-based curricula that extend MBCT to new populations (e.g., teachers, parents, healthcare staff) and contexts (e.g., schools, prisons, workplaces).
- We are developing a coherent teaching and training pathway that can support people in an ongoing way, as both the science and broader field evolve.
- We are building a network of national and international partnerships to work collaboratively on the three priorities above. We will work with these partners setting standards, sharing best practice and supporting MBCT teachers, trainers and training centres.
Finally, we’ve long believed how we work is as important as what we do. So, we’ll hold ourselves to the same standards of walking the talk; being the change we would like to see in the world.
Wishing you much joy, love and fulfilment in the 2020’s.
Ritblat Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science
Director, University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre
Chairman of the Oxford Mindfulness Foundation Board
Chief Executive Officer, University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre