Primary Care Mindfulness Course - Ashford
Time & Location
About the Event
This is an 8 Week Mindfulness course specifically aimed at primary care staff. Your mindfulness teacher will teach and guide you in how to achieve the many positive benefits of developing a personal daily mindfulness practice.
Mindfulness is a non-religious, evidence-based practice through which we learn to pay attention to the reality of our experience , as opposed to the tendency we all have to spend a great deal of our time living in our heads (often without even knowing it), thinking about the past or worrying about the future. This isn’t always helpful and can lead to increasing stress, anxiety and, especially in our current professional climate, GP burnout.
There are many systemic issues in the current NHS Primary Care environment that do need addressing, and a mindfulness course is not just a way of “Making the Canary in the Coalmine more Resilient!”.
Of course system changes are required but my experience is that many GPs and primary care staff are so ground down that they just do not have the resources to lead on implementing the necessary changes.
A mindfulness course is not a panacea but may help and has been shown to enhance well-being across a range of clinical and non-clinical settings.
It is NICE approved for use in preventing relapse in patients who have suffered depression, is being increasingly taught in schools and in professional sports environments to improve performance. Leaders in the corporate sector are finding its benefits in increasing creativity, reducing stress and improving productivity.
There has also been encouraging evidence of its benefits in reducing GP burnout in pilot studies from the US and Holland and most recently in Ashford, Kent, which we published in 2019 and can be found here.
And the good news is that mindfulness is a skill that can be learnt.
But it is learnt in a very different way to that which you may have been used to. Although there is some reading involved in this course, by far the most important component of the course will be spent doing the meditation practices, both in the sessions and as part of the daily homework which will be set each week.
There is no getting away from it…meditation sounds a little bit weird!
But if you can get past this, and are willing to try for yourself something radically different, and yet something for which there is an increasing evidence base, you may open a door to a different way of being.
Many people who take a mindfulness course find that it brings them a sense of calmness; they are able to solve problems in more skillful ways than in the past and there can be a sense of waking up to one's life. An increased sense of wellbeing and happiness is often the outcome.
The course consists of 8 weekly 2 hour evening sessions - 6:30 -8:30pm, starting Monday 27th January 2020 with the last session on Monday 16th MArch 2020.
The sessions consist of meditation practices and exercises and you will be invited to share your experiences of the practices themselves, if you wish, although the sharing of personal histories is not required or encouraged. Some people who take the courses may not say anything at all during the sessions but still gain considerable benefit.
You will need to purchase a copy of the book 'Mindfulness Finding Peace in a Frantic World' by Mark Williams and Danny Penman (around £10 from Amazon or bookshops) and should read the first 4 chapters before the course starts. Please resist the urge to read ahead…all will be revealed in good time.
The book will be the main course text and includes CDs of guided meditations for the home practice , which is an integral part of the course. In order to gain maximum benefit, participants will be expected to dedicate 20-30 minutes a day to the home practices that will be set at each session.
As a busy professional, with the ongoing task of juggling work and home life, this will sound challenging, and can be, but there are often solutions to be found which will be discussed at the 1st session.
The practices can also be streamed from the following link:
It is clear from the feedback of people who have done such courses that the more you do the home practices, the greater the benefit. Our experience is that mindfulness practice somehow seems to create more time in the day. It’s only 8 weeks of your life…what have you got to lose?
You may wish to use this course for your PDP and as part of your CPD hourly requirements there will be up to 16 hours session time.
It is fine to come with uncertainty or even cynicism but please do so with an open mind and judge whether the course has been of any benefit to you at the end of the 8 weeks – as with many things, meaningful changes take time!
We look forward to welcoming you to the course.