What is Mindfulness Supervision?

"Mindfulness supervision is a regular space that is contracted between supervisor and supervisee that enables them to reflect together on the supervisee's mindfulness practice and explore how it impacts and integrates with their work and life. This process is dedicated to developing and deepening the growth, understanding, integrity, safety and effectiveness of the supervisee's application of mindfulness, both personally and in their working life."
Cindy Cooper and Jody Mardula, June 2016

On-going mindfulness supervision is an important part of the good practice requirements for teachers of mindfulness-based courses. The mindfulness-based supervision offered through the Mindfulness Network is specifically for those training or for those who have already trained to teach MBSR/MBCT. We suggest that before applying for supervision, you have completed training to Level 1 or equivalent with a training organisation who is a member of the UK Network for Mindfulness-based Teacher Training Organisations. We acknowledge that many teachers also train to deliver other mindfulness-based courses after they've completed their MBSR/MBCT training. Some of our listed supervisors have knowledge and experience in these other applications or could support your teaching with the foundational aspects of mindfulness that you bring to your teaching.

Mindfulness Supervision can provide you with an invaluable opportunity to reflect upon and inquire about your mindfulness teaching and practice.

"Supervision provides me with a space in which together we can explore my teaching and personal practice and my internal processing. The safety of this space and the trust that has built up between us enables me to go to the edges of my practice and to hold more tenderly my humanness. Our relationship supports my development and deepens my understanding of mindfulness."

Unlike other experiences of supervision that you may have had, mindfulness supervision focuses not only on your teaching work, but necessarily includes your personal mindfulness practice and how it impacts on your work and your everyday life. Also unique to mindfulness supervision is that the session itself is imbued with mindfulness in terms of practice, embodied presence and compassion. The sessions may include live, on-the-spot teaching practice and feedback, inquiry around issues arising in your teaching, discussion based on videoed sessions, discussion about your personal meditation practice and/or some periods of meditation.

The sessions are very much a collaborative process. The intention is to create an alliance between you and your supervisor that will foster an open and creative exploration of your personal practice and how it might interweave with your teaching and mindfulness in work.

"I feel such gratitude for supervision. We have a space of deep mutual respect and regard where I can explore whatever is arising for me, celebrating the good and unpicking and embracing the challenges, warts and all. My supervisor's wisdom and experience is invaluable and she shares it with such a light touch. Some of the learning is direct, through roleplay and phrases that she uses, and on another level her teaching is by osmosis, because she embodies it."

Principles for Supervision of MBSR and MBCT Teachers

Supervision of mindfulness-based teachers has a range of roles and functions, including:

  • Supervision as a component in an MBCT/MBSR teacher training pathway in line with both the Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses and associated FAQ

  • Investigating and clarifying the integration of mindfulness in the supervisee's professional role including:
    - Understanding both the context and the essential essence of mindfulness when adapting programme forms to the supervisee's context
    - Supporting the supervisee to hold the paradox of non-striving and non-fixing in secular, results-oriented contexts

  • Using mindfulness practice and teaching skills to:

      - Bring inquiry to the exploration of the supervisee's experience
  • Guiding and mentoring the supervisee's personal meditation practice in terms of:
    - on-going development and deepening of personal practice
    - supporting the interface of personal practice with MBCT/MBSR teaching, therapeutic work and everyday life

  • Mindfully holding and balancing the supportive, educational and ethical strands of supervision
    Because mindfulness supervision is complex, the Mindfulness Network sets high standards for our supervisors. All of our listed supervisors adhere to the UK Network's Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching Mindfulness-based Courses. They also meet our own requirements, which you can read about here.

    Practical Aspects of Supervision

    Most of our listed supervisors will offer both individual and group supervision sessions via face-to-face meetings, telephone and skype.

    Supervision sessions generally last 30 minutes or one hour, and can occur at intervals (e.g. weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.) that suit your requirements. There is an initial paid contracting session with your supervisor to explore whether you feel comfortable working together, to discuss what your and the supervisor's intentions are for the supervision, and how you intend to work together.

    Cost

    Your supervisor will arrange the fee with you direct and this may be dependent on your individual needs. As a guide the below fees are average UK Mindfulness Supervision charges:

    Charge to supervisee
    Registration fee (one-off) - Paid to the Mindfulness Network CIC at point of registration£25.00 + VAT
    ½ hour initial contracting session with supervisor £25.00
    1 hour individual session£50.00
    ½ hour individual session£25.00
    DVD viewing£35.00
    Shared supervision with 2 supervisees facilitating different courses. (Hourly rate remains at £50 if both supervisees are on the same course as co-leaders)£75.00 per hour (2 people)
    Group supervision£100.00 per hour (negotiable)

    How to apply for supervision

    We suggest reading the Frequently Asked Questions before making your application. All of our supervisors are listed on the Our Supervisors page. Please scroll through the list to read each supervisor's profile with an eye to your requirements, but please be aware that you will not be able to choose a supervisor who doesn't have availability. You can apply for supervision by clicking on the button below.

    How to apply for a supervision bursary

    We have a vision in the Mindfulness Network to support people to access good-quality supervision who would otherwise be unable to attend due to financial pressures. We are constantly looking at ways to fund this vision and would welcome donations into our Bursary Fund which we use to support people most in need. To donate, please contact the Admin Team via info@mindfulness-network.org or you can make a donation via the home page of our website. We are also grateful to our associates who also contribute to this fund.

    To apply for a bursary for supervision please take the time to read, reflect and complete this form and submit to the Admin Team, please note bursaries are dependent on funds being in the account and may not always be available.