I have worked in mental health services since the 1980’s, initially as an Approved Social Worker based in a multi-disciplinary community team. At this time, Professor Mark Williams was our group supervisor and invited our service to refer clients to the first trial into Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). When the trial was concluded, I took part in the staff course aimed at introducing professionals to MBCT and from there, I began my rather meandering but rich relationship with mindfulness.
In 2002, I began to teach MBCT for clinical populations and, in 2012, I taught MBCT for the follow-up groups on the Staying Well after Depression Trial, again led by Professor Mark Williams.
I now teach Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for non-clinical populations. Most recently, I have been teaching adapted six-week and an eight-week mindfulness courses in the workplace for the staff of third sector organisations, statutory services and university staff. I have also taught an adaptation of MBSR for parents of children with enduring disabilities. I am able to teach mindfulness in both Welsh and English depending on the needs of the group.
In tandem since 2002, I have been working as an accredited psychotherapist and for eight years was a student counsellor at a Further Education College.
Another thread to my interest in mental health work is as a Lay member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in Wales. This work is important to me because it affords me the opportunity to stay attuned to those who suffer acute and enduring mental health challenges and who can so easily become disenfranchised in the psychiatric system. I am a strong believer in an individual’s right to be actively engaged in decisions about their own health and well-being.
Master of Arts (Mindfulness Based Approaches), Bangor University
Accredited Counsellor, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Approved Social Worker, Gwynedd County Council
CQSW Diploma in Social Work, University of North Wales, Bangor
B.A. Hons (2:1) Sociology, Thames Polytechnic, London
I am a member of the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) core training team and am gathering training experience at present. I am particularly interested in mindfulness in one-to-one work, mindful inquiry and group work. I also have a special interest in mindfulness and trauma as well as mindfulness with young adults.
MBCT for clinical populations
MBSR for generic populations
MBSR adapted for parents
MBSR adapted for the workplace
Mindfulness in one-to-one Therapy
Well where do I start! This ongoing process of personal practice has been at times like riding in the Grand National, meaning that I have felt over-faced, under-competent and a bit of a fraud when drawn to compare myself with other mindfulness practitioners. I have also fallen off many, many times. I am very pleased to say that none of this has put me off and, in fact, by now my practice feels woven into the fabric of my life in so many ways.
The less guilty I feel about not practicing the more drawn to practicing I become, what irony eh! I savor the moments of my life and feel very blessed to be here. I look around me and wonder at the gift of being part of this amazing planet. I aim to appreciate the people and places I encounter in all their unique detail and sometimes I even feel at ease with myself. Perhaps I would have encountered this state without having a mindfulness practice, I don’t know, but I do know that by nature I lack discipline and at times compassion and that by committing myself to regularly practicing mindfulness I am supported to be kinder in general and to remember my love affair with life.
Research Activities and Interests
Regional Research Recruiter on the Wellcome funded SWAD trial (2008 - 2012)
Undertook a survey of F.E staff attitudes to student self-harm as part of MA dissertation (2010)
Co-authored a small grant bid to NWGC (2010) Project Title: Mindfulness in Education (MinE): A pilot study exploring the
Relationship between stress and mental health problems in a further education college in North Wales
Taught MBSR (adapted) for parents of children with disabilities as part of a PhD project
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Preventing Relapse in Recurrent Depression: A Randomized Dismantling Trial: J. Williams, Catherine Crane, Thorsten Barnhofer, et al (2013), Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Pre Adult onset and patterns of suicidality in patients with a history of recurrent depression: J Williams, Thorsten Barnhofer, Catherine Crane, et al (2012), Journal of Affective Disorders.
New Strategies for Dealing with Self-Harm: Mariel Jones and Catrin Eames. The Welsh Agenda (IWA), spring 2012, issue 46.