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Teaching Mindfulness is the first in-depth treatment of the person and skills of the mindfulness teacher. It is intended as a practical guide to the landscape of teaching, to help those with a new or growing interest in mindfulness-based interventions to develop both the personal authenticity and the practical know-how that can make teaching mindfulness a highly rewarding and effective way of working with others. The detail of theory and praxis it contains can also help seasoned mindfulness practitioners and teachers to articulate and understand more clearly their own pedagogical approaches.

I recommend this book to all who work with mindfulness For anyone looking for information, help, guidance, or support in teaching mindfulness in pretty much any setting, this book is an absolute must. I certainly will be referring to it and mining it for years to come. Miller, Philosophical Practice, Vol. This helpful book is easy to read and practical The use of mindfulness is very popular and clients can benefit greatly.

Kaniuk, Doody's Review Service, June, I recommend this book be read by anyone with an interest in teaching mindfulness formally or informally, novice or expert. What it ends up being is a jewel in the young, turbulent waters of Western mindfulness prac. It is written for healthcare practitioners as well as counselors, nurses, therapists, clergy, and educators. It is also appropriate for individuals, such as coaches like myself, who have an established interest in mindfulness interventions.

I found this book to be a valuable resource and a tool that I can use to take the next steps in increasing my knowledge and capabilities. Fox, Doody's Review Service, September, Country of Publication: US Dimensions cm : Help Centre. The e-mail addresses that you supply to use this service will not be used for any other purpose without your consent.

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Create a link to share a read only version of this article with your colleagues and friends. Please read and accept the terms and conditions and check the box to generate a sharing link. Standard mindfulness-based interventions have significant at-home assignments of formal mindfulness practice as a key component. Engagement with formal home practice has been correlated with treatment outcomes, but participants often complete less than the assigned amounts. Here, we explore the requirements for technology tools that can support and encourage home practice, in a way that is appropriate and consistent with the core principles of mindfulness-based interventions.

Interviews were held with a group of five highly experienced mindfulness teachers and a group of five participants who had previously completed an eight-week course. Data was subjected to thematic analysis. A key finding was that providing teachers with information on how students practice could support communication around difficulties with home practice. We also identified questions around the appropriateness of adapting the course in response to participant difficulties and participant preferences.

Both teachers and students made numerous suggestions for ways to augment their training using technology, such as via practice reminders and provision of teacher-specific content.

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Finally, a major design issue for technology developers is how to support participants in reflecting on their experiences of mindfulness practice, and subsequent learning, but not to critically evaluate their practice. Standard eight-week mindfulness courses, as for other psychological therapies, require participants to complete at-home assignments, in addition to group sessions.

At-home assignments provide opportunities to practice new skills, test new ideas, and generalise learning outside of sessions with the therapist.

Formal practice includes the Body Scan typically a lying down meditation, focused on sensations in the body , yoga, and sitting meditations, generally supported by audio guides, and consists of around 45 minutes per day over the eight-week course. Practice is emphasised as one of the key means for people to become aware of, and relate differently, to mental habits.

Completion of home practice is often a challenge for participants, similar to home assignments in other psychological therapies. Home assignments can take many formats in CBT, including symptom logs, self-reflective journals, and specific, structured activities like exposure and other behavioural experiments. These meta-analyses indicate that there is a small to moderate association between home assignment completion and treatment outcomes. That is, completing more home assignments is associated with better outcomes. The positive associations between home assignment completion and outcome hold, even when attendance at CBT treatment is taken into account, along with initial symptom severity.

For MBSR and MBCT, a recent meta-analysis of 48 studies found that participants reported completing a significant amount of home practice around 30 min a day, 6 days per week on average , but less than the recommended 45 min. Furthermore, the amount of practices that participants reported doing was highly variable: some reported practising even more than the assigned amounts and some did far less.

Given the importance of practice, it is crucial to understand the obstacles that participants face in its completion. A number of qualitative studies have emerged that describe some of the obstacles. Lack of time is perhaps the most frequently discussed issue.

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One major issue in our understanding of how participants practice at home, and how this impacts on outcomes, relates to the way in which practice is typically recorded. The problems with retrospective self-report are numerous, and include memory lapses, socially desirable responding, and inaccurate recall, as well as loss of paper diaries.

Technology provides a means to address this practice measurement limitation. This could enable monitoring of formal home practice completion by both the participant and teacher in real time over the course of a mindfulness-based intervention. Often these training courses do not include a face-to-face group and have no human teacher, relying instead on automated and self-guided standalone programmes, which differ substantially from standard formats.

For instance, one study using a mindfulness app with cancer patients, assigned 15 min of home practice to participants, substantially less than the 45 min assigned in MBCT or MBSR. Just over half of the patients continued to use the mindfulness app consistently until week 10, completing a median number of exercises of four at week 1, dropping to a median of two at week Mindfulness apps are now widely available, and are popular among the general population. However, there has been substantially less empirical testing of mindfulness apps compared to CBT-based apps.

However, the majority offered standalone guided meditations, timers, or reminders only. Consistent with this, a recent review of the 16 most popular iPhone meditation apps reported that the primary function of most was to provide guided meditations. In this study, we hope to clarify the necessary features for mobile technology tools designed to support formal home practice for participants in MBSR and MBCT courses.

Specifically, we aim to understand the requirements of participants and teachers for mobile technology tools that can support participants in face-to-face MBSR and MBCT courses. While studies to date have focused on the experiences of course participants, we also sought the perspectives of experienced mindfulness teachers, who bring a wealth of understanding about the course principles and participant challenges.

We therefore interviewed mindfulness teachers and past course participants about i their experiences with home practice and ii how technology should be designed to support engagement with the course. While we focused on MBSR course teachers and participants, we note that MBCT has the same schedule of home practice, 22 and the two courses are closely related.

The interview with course participants students took place in March, and the teacher interview in June Participants attended these MBSR courses for a range of physical and psychological health issues three for general stress, one for chronic back pain, one for head injury.


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Booster sessions are offered as a means to support ongoing mindfulness practice, and people attend for a variety of reasons. Other students notice a drop-off in their practice and want to re-start. All were trained to international standards in delivering MBSR. Semi-structured interview schedules were used to guide discussion in both participant groups.

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The composition of these sessions was influenced by the Experience-Centered Design framework. Interviews are not only about technology and attitudes to technology, but more broadly consider participant experiences. Therefore, the interview schedules asked different questions of the two groups, but both were designed to encourage participants to reflect upon and discuss their experiences either in completing or teaching MBSR courses. Both groups were told that we were interested in designing technology tools to support participants in engaging with the MBSR course.

Teachers were asked what they currently do to encourage practices, whether there is information that would be helpful in their teaching but which is currently inaccessible, and whether they see any conflicts between the goals and processes of mindfulness training and the idea of technological monitoring.

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Students were asked about how they approached their mindfulness practices, any issues they encountered, whether they used any technological tools or other support for their practice, and how they might feel about monitoring approaches. The same moderator ran both interview groups. The interview time was approximately 2. Interviews were conducted in a room at Aarhus University, and were video-recorded and transcribed fully before coding.

Thematic analysis 25 was used to identify key themes and subthemes within the data. An exploratory inductive approach was considered appropriate because of the novelty of the area being investigated. Initial sets of codes were produced independently by the first and senior author, each going through the open coding process twice. Initial codes were refined through discussion between the coders and a consensus code book was established.

The new set of codes was then reapplied to the data by both coders, again refining as appropriate.

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At this point, a meeting was held in which codes were collapsed into themes. One coder then double-checked the fit of the themes to the data through close reading. Figures of the themes and codes were merged to a single graphic model Figure 1.


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  6. In qualitative research, the subjectivity of the researcher is considered a valuable tool in understanding and interpreting data. There is no attempt made to achieve objectivity. Nonetheless, steps must be taken in order to ensure that findings of research do not simply reflect the existing assumptions or biases of researchers. At the outset of the project, the researchers had significant concerns over the appropriateness of engaging with technology while practising mindfulness, but were also hopeful about the potential for using technology to remind people to practice.

    These positions were noted and were referred to throughout the process of data analysis, to avoid simply searching for data that supported our existing assumptions. All participants provided written informed consent before taking part in this study. We followed the procedures of the local ethics committee and the project was registered with the Danish Data Protection agency AU Results suggest four overarching themes that describe the experiences of teachers and students in relation to home practices in MBSR, as well as their thoughts and concerns regarding how technology can support those experiences.

    The four themes were adapting the MBSR programme when home practice is difficult, reflecting but not evaluating, supporting communication and understanding between teachers and students, and augmenting the course with mobile technology see Figure 1. Participants from the teacher group were labelled T1—T5, participants from the student group were labelled S1—S5. The first theme describes both the difficulties that students experience in completing a demanding schedule of daily exercises during the MBSR course, and the various ways that teachers respond upon identifying student difficulties.

    Both teachers and students spent large portions of the interviews discussing the difficulties with engaging regularly in home practice. Students in MBSR are expected to engage in a set of regular exercises in order to achieve benefit, and teachers e. T1 advise students to set one regular time slot in which to practices every day. S1, S2 and S3 stated that they did not practice every day and that they should have. Two students S2 and S3 regularly practiced at the same time slot each day or at least each day that they practiced.

    S1 did not have a set time slot, but felt that, in hindsight, she would have liked to. S4 suggested that a set time would have been negative for her, and that she enjoyed the freedom to fit the exercises within her day. Given these reports, a question remains as to whether flexibly scheduling exercises would increase or decrease engagement in MBSR home activities.

    One of the teachers T1 suggested that a significant problem may lie in the length of home practice sessions, which last 45 min to 1 h per day. Indeed, S2 and S3 suggested that the length of each practice time was a fine positive aspect of the course. S2 suggested that it took at least 20 min at the beginning of a session for her to engage fully with the practice, while S3 felt he needed practice, and regularly extended the sessions beyond 1 h. S4 reported that it was difficult to engage in long sessions, but this was due to the emotional difficulties involved in the task, rather than scheduling time.