Further Education Programme in MBSR-MBCT Teacher Training - VNÆR2


NTNU in Gjøvik and the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches have collaborated on the development of a further education program in MBSR-MBCT teacher training.

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program was founded in 1979 by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the Stress Reduction Clinic of the University of Massachusetts, Department of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A. MBSR has been successfully implemented in hundreds of hospitals, clinics, health centers, educational, management and other settings around the world. In Europe the program has been taught successfully since the early 1990s and interest has continued to grow steadily. A significant number of scientific studies underline the effectiveness of the MBSR program. The studies document impressively that a high percentage of course participants experience one or more of the following results:

  • decrease of physical and psychosomatic symptoms
  • being able to cope more effectively with stressful situations
  • increased capacity to relax
  • a growing self-confidence and capacity for self-acceptance
  • increased vitality 

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was created by Professors John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Mark Williams. They adapted elements of MBSR and combined them with elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to develop a program to prevent relapse of depression. 
The U.K. National Institute of Clinical Excellence has endorsed MBCT as an “effective treatment for prevention of relapse.” MBCT has now been recommended for use within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) for the prevention of recurrent depression since 2004.

The training program is highly structured, at the same time encouraging personal creativity and expression. The multidisciplinary team is committed to each
participant finding his/her own identity as a teacher. The training invites each participant to practice and integrate mindfulness skills in their own daily lives
before passing them on to others.
This program is challenging and asks for commitment: to one’s own practice as well
as to completing the requirements. Our faculty take the position that we cannot ask someone else to do what we have not done ourselves. Thus trainees in the program
are asked to do the same work and homework as participants in mindfulness-based courses.
Some students who join our programs have already been teaching mindfulness- based approaches for some time. They join, they tell us, because they want to immerse themselves in a systematic, in-depth training, to profit from the faculty’s extensive experience, and to bring together the strands of techniques and methods they have gathered over time in an integrated and thorough way.

Students learn and practice the main formal exercises of the MBSR/MBCT programs (body scan, mindful bodywork based on gentle yoga, sitting meditation and walking meditation), as well as learning how to teach these exercises to others. The training program emphasizes the deepening of one’s own meditation practice as the basis for teaching others. The curriculums of both the eight-week MBSR and MBCT courses are examined in detail and elements of the weekly sessions are taught within the training program.

A valuable resource of the program is the collegial network opportunities that develop through participation in training. The students start the program and finish it together. This training structure allows for intensive collaboration between students as well as with the faculty. The requirement that students already have an established mindfulness practice before entering the program ensures a high level and in-depth exploration of mindfulness, its practice and applications. Students teach their own self-organized eight-week MBSR course during the third semester of the training program. Students must participate in a minimum of six, 50-minute, individual, telephone sessions with a mentor during the time they teach their own eight-week course.
Students write and create their own Audios for each of the main exercises (Body Scan, Mindful Yoga and Sitting Meditation). These exercises will be covered extensively in the training program. Students receive an extensive MBSR teacher-handbook in English.

A sample handbook for an MBSR eight-week course participants in Norwegian
and/or English is available in digital format to modify and adapt for one’s own
courses. Additional hand-out
material will be provided by the IMA.
The program is based on a highly interactive, collaborative and participatory educational philosophy and practice. The intention is to create a group process that feels safe and trustworthy as well as an open and spacious learning environment that encourages spontaneity and creativity.

Studiets varighet, omfang og nivå

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Forventet læringsutbytte

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Opptakskrav og rangering

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Studiets innhold, oppbygging og sammensetning

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Tekniske forutsetninger

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Course table 2016-2017

Emnekode Emnets navn O/V *) Studiepoeng pr. semester
  S1(V) S2(H) S3(V)
VIU8501 MBSR-MBCT Teacher Training O 10 10 10
Sum: 0 0 30
*) O - Obligatorisk emne, V - Valgbare emne