Paula Fairweather originally worked as an occupational therapist in a variety of in-patient and community mental health settings before obtaining her counselling qualifications in 1998.
As part of her work within GP surgeries, Paula helped set up the NHS Primary Care counselling and psychological therapies service in Cornwall. She left this role in 2011 to start a Community Interest Company (CIC) with Vici Williams that offers mindfulness training and supervision, plus individual and eight-week mindfulness courses for NHS primary and secondary care services, privately for the general public and for health and teaching staff.
Paula began her mindfulness training in 2006, attending both the Level 1 and 2 teacher training retreats with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University. She began to integrate her personal meditation practice and mental health work after attending an Introduction to Mindfulness day with Melanie Fennell in Oxford. In 2010, she went on to complete Bangor University's CMRP Certificate of Competency for teaching mindfulness-based approaches as well as the postgraduate diploma in teaching mindfulness-based approaches.
Paula's experience as a mindfulness teacher is based on many years of meditation practice. Her first retreat was in 1983 with Rigdzin Shikpo, Dharma Director of Longchen Foundation in Oxford, and since then she has attended numerous retreats both within the UK and around the world. Specifically, she has attended retreats twice a year since 2006 at Trigonos, north Wales; Gregynog, mid Wales; Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre; and Gaia House. Her teachers have included John Kabat-Zinn, Christina Feldman, John Teasdale, Gregory Kramer and others.
As part of her role with the Exeter Mindfulness Network, Paula offers supervision both for students and externally.