Professional Training Diploma Course in Teaching MBSR/MBCT starts February 2020


‘I enrolled on the Diploma in Mindfulness Based Interventions in January 2016 … and it was a life changing experience which is difficult to describe. Learning the skill of living in the moment,  [understanding] the tricks of the mind,  the meaning of compassion and empathy, learning to trust in the moment to moment joy of living – Josephine and Helen are extraordinarily skilled in bringing students on a personal journey in a steady, supportive, fun and, where it is necessary to growth, challenging way. The many gifted teachers who also guided us on the journey are as inspiring as they are brilliant.  I cannot recommend this course highly enough, it will challenge and delight in equal measure’.

Blathnaid Bergin, Director, The Business of Food.

‘I obtained a Diploma in Teaching Mindfulness-based Interventions from the Mindfulness Centre In 2017. The training had a very strong focus on supported experiential learning in terms of personal practice and applying this to teaching others from a more authentic and embodied approach.  Helen and Josephine fostered a warm and caring environment and there was a lightness and humour also to their teaching which helped us all to be our truest selves.  Undertaking the course took considerable commitment and, exactly like the practice of mindfulness itself, was challenging at times, but the learning was extremely rich and life changing. I would do it again in a heartbeat!’

Martin Towey MSc, BA mod, Dip MBI, Neurological Physiotherapist, Dublin.

The next 18 month professional training programme in teaching MBSR and MBCT will start in February 2020 and run to September 2021.  

As this programme requires a certain amount of life experience we invite applications from people over 25 years old.

Programme Goals:

  • To offer teacher training of the highest quality in line with best international practice and good practice guidelines;
  • To cover all that is necessary and important in the preparation of teachers intending to work in this dynamic and exciting field;
  • To support participants in furthering their personal understanding and deepening their practice of mindfulness;
  • To support trainee teachers in developing a deep understanding of the MBSR/MBCT curricula  from the inside out;
  • To provide a growing community of support for participants in this pioneering field.

The Programme Includes:

  • The History of Mindfulness – how Western science now understands mindfulness and the brain;
  • Research in contemporary Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity – how the brain can change;
  • Understanding implicit and explicit bias and how mindfulness allows us more choice;
  • Understanding the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of the mind on auto-pilot;
  • Learning the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) curricula in depth, and how to deliver them effectively;
  • The use of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice;
  • Adapting Mindfulness to match the needs of group context;
  • Principals of pedagogy and andragogy;
  • Group dynamics.

There are 9 Components in this Training Programme:

  1.  2 x 4-day Residential Teacher Training Retreats
  2.  A 7-day Residential Silent Meditation Retreat led by internationally renowned teachers Melissa Blacker and David Rynick (USA).
  3.  7 non-residential  weekend teaching blocks. The non-residential blocks will be held on Saturdays and Sundays, meeting approximately every 2 months over the course of the training.  Dates are posted below.
  4.  Apprenticeship-style teaching model with experienced MBSR/MBCT teacher.
  5.  Small seminar ‘pods’ to meet bi-monthly by Zoom for the duration of the programme. These are practice and study groups.
  6.  Daily personal mindfulness practice of 45 minutes or more; written and recorded assignments, reading and study.
  7.  Trainee teachers are expected to develop a daily body awareness practice such as Hatha Yoga, T’ai Chi, Qi Gung, 5 Rhythms Dance etc. and, if necessary, to attend an appropriate class local to them.
  8. Assessment will be based on the submission of video of the student teaching a full 8-week MBSR or MBCT course, under supervision, using the ‘Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Teacher Assessment Criteria’ (MBI:TAC).  This instrument was developed at Bangor, Oxford and Exeter Universities, led by Dr. Rebecca Crane and is now regarded as the gold standard in assessing mindfulness teachers.   The Directors of The Mindfulness Centre have been fully trained in its use by Dr. Crane.  The recordings will be accompanied by a written reflection on the teaching of the course, recordings of the main practices and a copy of the handbook prepared for your course participants.  You need to show readiness to teach in all of the domains to be awarded your Diploma.
  9. Mentoring for your practice where this is deemed helpful and supervision for your teaching.


  • Residential Teacher Training 1: Feb 6th – 9th 2020
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 1: Apr 4th & 5th 2020
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 2: Jun 13th & 14th 2020
  • Day of Practice: 12th July 2020
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 3: Oct 17th & 18th 2020
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 4: Dec 5th & 6th 2020
  • Residential Teacher Training 2: Feb 11th – 14th 2021
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 5: Apr 24th & 25th 2021
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 6: June 5th & 6th 2021
  • Non-residential Teaching Block 7: Sept 11th & 12th 2021

The Faculty:

includes highly experienced practitioners and teachers of mindfulness, both Irish and international, who are experts in the fields of teaching mindfulness-based interventions, the research behind them and the Eastern and Western psychologies underpinning them.  Among them will be: Fiona O’Donnell, Niamh Barrett, Alvina Cassidy, Dr Sarah-Jane Cullinane, Niamh Digan, Sarah Silverton, Emma Philbin Bowman, Marian O’Brien Hughes, Dr Elma Hedderman, Dr Terry Hyland, Josephine Lynch & Helen Byrne.

Click Here for biographies of the faculty

Our Philosophy:

This training programme is founded on the premise that learning to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction and/or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy requires a long and sustained engagement.  The kind of training we offer suits people who are willing to engage deeply in both a personal and a professional development process, not just over the 18 months of training, but on into the future.  This involves a high degree of personal commitment. We offer the same commitment to our own practice, our on-going training, and to our teacher trainees.

Emma Philbin Bowman says: “This training goes beyond being a technical training in teaching the 8 week course.  It is also an opportunity to spend 18 months within an intimate community of students deepening their relationship with mindfulness in a richly human process that supports personal development.   The training is rooted within the Irish cultural context, and because it is offered outside of academia and over a substantial period of time, has a unique flavour that nourishes students and allows for a genuinely integrated process of learning within authentic community.”

Click Here  to download a PDF of the course brochure

Click Here  to download an application form

For expressions of interest or for more information please contact:  


“Helen and Josephine bring all of their heart and wisdom to teaching and training others to teach mindfulness. I have been personally blessed to know them as students and as colleagues.”

Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, Guiding Teacher and Abbot, Boundless Way Zen, Worcester, MA 01602 USA. From 1993 until 2012 Melissa was the Associate Director of the University of Massachusetts Centre for Mindfulness and Director of professional training programs at the Center.

“I have worked for several years with both Helen Byrne and Josephine Lynch. While I haven’t experienced their trainings directly, I have had supervisees working with them as well as my personal experience as colleagues. They do top notch work, holding both the didactic aspects and, more importantly, encouraging folks to bring all of themselves to the work. Great to have them both as friends and colleagues”

Pam Erdmann, M. Ed., Senior Teacher Trainer and Supervisor at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts and Visiting Teacher to Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice since 2003.

“Josephine and Helen have engaged in developing their skills for a decade and with teachers who themselves trained with the originators of modern day mindfulness such as Jon Kabat-Zin and Mark Williams. As all good trainers do, they continue to engage in learning and development for their personal and teaching practices. As a result the integrity and skill of what they offer shines through their training. People training with them can feel confident that they will become part of an informed, ethical, professional team working around the world to share mindfulness.”

Sarah Silverton M.Ed., now an independent mindfulness teacher and trainer, Sarah was a senior teacher in the CFMRP at Bangor University from 2008 until 2017.

Student testimonials:

“My journey in Mindfulness with Josephine & Helen has given me a insight & profoundness that awakening to life is intriguing when I stop trying to make things different than what they are. Acceptance through investigations with kindness & compassion can supersede & transform my difficulties in allowing life to be as it is right now. Thank you both.”


“The personal open integrity and generosity as trainers from both Josephine and Helen facilitated a grounded depth in my own personal mindfulness practice that equipped each of us with a solid teaching competency. I looked forward eagerly to each learning opportunity provided in the teacher training course and appreciate the clear understanding and experience of teaching mindfulness received in a warm, safe setting with plenty of laughter involved also! Having completed the teacher training course with Helen and Josephine and presently enjoying teaching MBSR/MBCT I can highly recommend it to anyone intending to pursue professional mindfulness teaching training.”

Maria M.Sc. Counselling




2020-01-08T10:01:03+00:00 Professional Training|