If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, recurrent depression or feel generally ‘dissatisfied’ with your life, a mindfulness course could help you develop skills to better respond to the ‘ups and downs’ of everyday living. Previous participants say that their course helped them to be more in the present moment, realise that they are not their thoughts, and be kinder to themselves. The programme is not being offered as a treatment for any specific physical or psychological conditions. It is not suitable for people who are currently experiencing very severe problems in these areas.
“To have learnt that ‘thoughts are not facts’ has been an absolute revelation for me”
You will learn to deal more skilfully with the stresses and strains of daily living. Practicing the skill of deliberately paying attention to what happens in mind and body we become more familiar with the workings of our own mind patterns and habits, some habits that may no longer be helpful for us. You learn to spot our own ‘warning signs’ early, before the stress or depression become too overwhelming. We can then make plans for how best to respond, rather than react in our old familiar, often unhelpful ways. There will be a combination of guided meditation practices and cognitive exercises. In between sessions, there will be home practice for people to do and we estimate this takes upto 40 min/day.
Research shows that practising mindfulness has many benefits. We have strong evidence that mindfulness-based programmes reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and help people cope with illness and pain (Khoury et al., 2013). Some studies show that the practice of mindfulness increases positive moods and cultivates compassion for self and others (Eberth & Sedlmeier, 2012; Khoury, Sharma, Rush, & Fournier, 2015). It may also improve some forms of attention and memory (Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011) and there is also preliminary evidence that practising mindfulness has measurable effects on the brain (Tang, Holzel, & Posner, 2015).
The MBCT course runs for 8 consecutive weeks on a Thursday from 5:30pm and are about 2 - 2.5 hours duration. COVID allowing, it will be held in the conference room at St. Michaels Church in Rondebosch. There is also a Saturday session from 9am-2pm, which is between the 6th and 7th sessions. The course is a 30 hour intervention and it costs R5400 (which includes all tuition and materials). This amount is redeemable from most medical aids.
Matthew Watkin is a registered clinical psychologist and mindfulness teacher. Since 2006 he has worked as a psychotherapist in private practise. His practise focuses primarily on individual psychotherapy with adolescents and adults with stress, anxiety and mood dysregulation. He is also involved in training groups in the public and private sectors using mindfulness-based approaches. His Masters thesis explored the factors underpinning change in people practising mindfulness. After graduation, in 2003, he completed an internship in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre. Since his return to South Africa in 2004 he has facilitated the standard 8 –week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) programs for stress, mood and anxiety disorders. He is a director and founding member of the South African Institute for Mindfulness (IMISA). His primary interests include the application of mindfulness in mood and anxiety disorders, stress management, and self-development.
If you would like to know more about this work, you are welcome contact Matthew directly at 021-6855775 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If one is interested in participating in the next course, then the next step is to arrange for a brief zoom meeting (no charge). When you are ready please book for the course online.
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