FAQs

BEFORE YOU BOOK - Choosing Your Course


What’s the difference between the six and eight-week courses?

Participants can choose from four introductory courses, with many choosing to do an additional course at a later stage. 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR), 8-Week Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), 8-Week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) or 6-Week Finding Peace in a Frantic World?

All of courses offer weekly sessions and a full day retreat (with the exception of the Finding Peace in a Frantic World course which doesn't have a retreat day). They are all in a group format (unless booking a private course) and have weekly practices to do at home. They include some group discussion, formal meditation and experiential exercises. The courses cover overlapping themes, with the main difference being their specific area of focus.

The MBSR course is the most popular and well-known course, offering an ideal introduction to mindfulness for many people. In our MBSR course, we’ve also included some of the MBCT course components that explicitly address the negative thought patterns that can perpetuate stress and lead to depression and anxiety.

The MBCT course follows a very similar format to the MBSR course, with the addition of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) content. MBCT was developed to help those that have suffered from recurrent depression. For this reason, those that have experienced depression or anxiety in the past may benefit from the MBCT’s emphasis on depressive mood states.

The MSC course differs from the MBSR and MBCT in that it is a separate curriculum focused on the principles and practices of self-compassion and compassion. This course is a nurturing program which can be particularly useful for those that struggle with self-criticism, lack of self-compassion and perfectionism. Many participants find it helpful to do a MBSR/MBCT course and the MSC course (at different times) as they are complimentary.

The Finding Peace in a Frantic World course is based on the MBSR/MBCT course, but the session length, curriculum and practices have been distilled into a shorter format. This makes the course ideal for those with slightly busier lifestyles who may otherwise struggle to make the time for the sessions and the home practice.

What is the 6-Week Finding Peace in a Frantic World course?

The Frantic World course is a shorter introductory mindfulness course developed by the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, designed for those that do not have time for the full eight-week course, but that would still like to gain a foundation in mindfulness. As there is less time, the course pulls out the key learning points of the eight-week course and is not as in-depth. As well as being shorter in duration, classes are 30-minutes shorter (1.5 hours) and there is no retreat element.

If you wish to book onto a retreat day separately, we would recommend that you do so after the initial course. Although the course is shorter, it requires a level of commitment to fully reap the benefits. Participants should ensure they are able to build 20 minutes of home practice into each day during the course whenever possible. Please note, the Frantic World course is unsuitable if your ultimate aim is to become a mindfulness teacher or you wish to do the 12-Week Deepening Mindfulness Course, unless you plan to do an eight-week course in addition.

How many other people will be on my course?

All courses take part in small groups (excluding private courses). The number of people on the group course can vary, with an average of 10. In order to achieve an optimum group dynamic, we ordinarily require a minimum of eight participants and a maximum of 14. We occasionally make exceptions where we consider it suitable for the group.

Are there any criteria or requirements for the course?

There are no prerequisites for attending our eight-week courses, as long as you are fully committed to the course and the home practice. The eight-week courses are ideal for those new to mindfulness and looking to learn to meditate.

How much home practice is expected between sessions?

The MBSR and MBCT course prescribes 45 minutes of home practice each day between sessions. Due to the nature of the course, the Frantic World suggestion is 20 minutes each day. The MSC course is a more nurturing programme, as such the homework is comparatively reduced compared to the MBST, MBCT or Frantic World courses, and is more individualised. Ideally, participants should plan to build this time into their day. Much of the learning comes from the actual practice between sessions, so it is important that you make a commitment to doing it. There may be occasions during the course where you are not able to do the homework and working with the thoughts and emotions around that can also be valuable.

How much home practice is expected between sessions?

The course prescribes around 45 minutes of home practice each day between sessions. Ideally, participants should plan to build this time into their day. Much of the learning comes from the actual practice between sessions, so it is important that you make a commitment to doing it. There may be occasions during the course where you are not able to do the homework and working with the thoughts and emotions around that can also be valuable.

What’s the difference between the online course and the in-person course?

The structure of the course is the same for both the online and in-person course, as well as the group size, so this is really down to personal preference. Many people enjoy the dynamic of an in-person course whereas others find it more comfortable and convenient to complete the course from home. Our experience is that both programs offer the opportunity to create rich and meaningful connections with the practices and the group.

Please note: In-person courses cost slightly more, due to the space required.

COVID-19 update: Currently, we are operating online courses only due to Covid and hope to recommence in-person courses when the situation allows us to do this safely.

I have started learning mindfulness using a book at home. Is there any benefit in attending an 8-week course?

We sometimes hear from people who've started with one of the books that they have trouble really getting their practice started or maintaining it. In those cases, it can be helpful to have the structure/commitment of the eight-week course, the support of a teacher and the group interaction. There is a lot of experiential practice in the sessions and as homework in between, so you'll really have a chance to build a practice, which might prove challenging otherwise. There is also a lot of value in hearing other people's experiences, so doing the course in a group can be quite enriching.

I have a mental health condition, can I still do the course?

Research has indicated that the course is not ideal for those suffering from a current episode of depression or suicidality. The group format can also be difficult for some people with social anxiety. The course may not be suitable for those who are experiencing addiction (or are in early recovery), psychosis, PTSD, or that have suffered a recent loss or trauma. If you are suffering from one of these or any mental health condition, we suggest you contact us prior to registering to determine if this is the best time to embark on a course.

Can I do the course with a friend or relative?

This will partly be dependent on your preference, but it is important to consider the pros and cons of attending a course with someone that you know. One benefit is that it's really helpful to have someone close to you undertaking the same course so that you can support each other and make space for your home practice.

However, the process of learning mindfulness is ultimately a solitary pursuit and everyone has their own experience . There will be invitations to share your experience with the group during the course, and so you should consider if you will feel comfortable sharing these in front of someone you know. One thing we’ve found that can work well, is for two people to book on courses starting at similar times, so you still have the benefits of supporting each other with mindfulness whilst maintaining your own independent learning.

Are there concession rates available?

We do offer concession rates depending on the situation. We ask that prospective participants complete a brief questionnaire, so that we can verify eligibility for the course and the discounted rate. Please contact us and we will send a link to complete the questionnaire.

I do not enjoy speaking in group situations. Can I still attend the course?

There are times during each session where the teacher will encourage sharing of experiences; however there is no pressure to share in a group and you can talk to your teacher privately after the session if you wish to do so. If you do wish to share during the course, we request that all participants respect each other’s confidentiality and treat any information shared in the course group as confidential. The group format is designed to be supportive and compassionate. For this reason, participants can find it becomes easier to share their experience as the course progresses and their confidence builds. If you feel strongly that you do not want to do the course in a small group, we can arrange private sessions at an additional cost.

Are the classes recorded?

If you are attending an online course, please note that we do not record sessions in order to protect participants' privacy, unless otherwise stated for training purposes. We ask that you refer to your workbook if you are unable to attend a class instead.

Can I do a private course on a one-to-one basis or with a group?

Whilst we encourage people to do the course in a group format, for those that would prefer not to, we offer private one-to-one sessions on an individual basis at a cost of £75 per one-hour session.

Do you offer corporate mindfulness courses or workshops for teams?

We’ve been teaching corporate mindfulness for many years and have a full programme of courses and workshops, developed specifically for businesses and organisations. Please contact us at enquiry@londonmindful.com for a copy of our Corporate Mindfulness Pack for more information.

Can anyone under the age of 18 join a course?

Unfortunately, unless otherwise stated, our courses are unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18.

BOOKING YOUR COURSE


What is the latest I can book?

For administrative purposes, it is helpful if people book as early as possible and so we can ensure you are fully prepared for the course. This will also give us time to fully review your personal history questionnaire to ensure the course is right for you. We recommend booking at least 72 hours in advance, but will accept bookings on the start date. It is not possible to join a course after the first week as this can affect the group dynamic.

Do you need any information from me prior to the course starting?

We do require that each participant complete a brief personal history questionnaire, which you will be prompted to complete at the end of the registration process. This will allow us to make the course teacher aware of any issues that they need to be sensitive to during the course and to schedule a follow up call, if necessary.

If you have navigated away from the questionnaire you can access the link >here< .

I’ve booked my course but haven't received any further information?

Once you have booked your course you will receive a receipt via email within 24 hours. If you have not received this please check your spam before contacting us. A minimum of 24-hours before the start of the course we will email you with further course details, including Zoom login information if you are doing an online course. It is not necessary to prepare anything before the start of the course.

Please note, we are a small team and will get back to you as soon as possible. Your patience really is appreciated.

PREPARING FOR YOUR COURSE


Are resources provided during the course?

Where a workbook is provided as part of an online course, this will be sent in PDF format at least 24 hours prior to your first session. Please note, these are usually sent to the entire group, shortly before the start of the course and not upon booking. If you are booking within 48 hours we will send this to you as soon as possible. Please contact us if you’ve not received this six hours before the start of your course. Materials specific to each course are outlined below.

During the course your teacher will be able to recommend supplementary reading materials, should you ask for them. However, no reading is required to complete a course. Important: To ensure you receive all of the information, we ask that you mark The Mindfulness Project as a trusted source in your email. If for any reason you have not received an email, please ensure you check your spam before contacting us as this is often the issue.

MBSR, MBCT & Frantic World Courses: An in-depth course workbook is provided via email. For in-person courses, it will be given to you during the first session. The workbook covers the theory of each session and details the homework for each week. For both on and offline courses, audio files with guided meditation practices will also be provided via email prior to the first session. The workbook and audio files will also be accessible via our mobile app (see below).

Mindful Self-Compassion Courses: Participants will receive a detailed course workbook which will either be given to them in-person or in PDF format 24 hours prior to the start of the course (online courses only). Weekly follow-up session notes are also provided after each session. Please note, the Mindful Self-Compassion course does not include access to the app.

Please note: You will not be able to access the app until after the first session.

How does the mobile app work?

For participants of the MBSR, MBCT or MSC, you will be invited to join The Mindfulness Projects’ mobile app. We ask that you do not try to set up an account until after your first session when the app will be activated. If you try to do this beforehand you will not be able to access the app and we won’t be able to set up your account.

Once you have logged into the app, you will be able to access a copy of the workbook, as well as recorded meditations. This contains all of the course information you will need. Please note that you do not need to download the app to do the course -- the workbook and recorded meditations will also be provided via email and through a streaming/download link respectively. If you have any concerns about accessing the workbook and audio files electronically, please get in touch with us and we can discuss other options with you.

What do I wear to a course and do I need any special equipment?

In-person courses: We do ask that people remove their shoes before they go into the room, so you may want to ensure you have socks with you. Some course sessions involve doing a body-scan practice lying on a yoga mat or mindful movement practice. You do not need to wear anything special, but you may want to consider avoiding skirts, suits or other restrictive or revealing clothing on these days. The rest of the meditations will be done seated in a chair. Cushions and blocks are available as necessary.

Online courses: For online courses, we would also suggest wearing comfortable clothing. We recommend you have a clear space where you can lie down comfortably in a room where you can close the door so as not to be disturbed. A yoga mat is helpful if you have one but not a necessity. You may also want to have a chair, cushions, socks and a blanket and anything else that may help you to remain comfortable during the session. We recommend telling anyone else in your household that you are doing the course to avoid interruptions. You will also need to download Zoom onto your desktop, laptop or tablet and will require a webcam and microphone to complete the course. We recommend having a headset to hand if you have one. A stable internet connection is also required. If you want to text this before booking the course, please get in touch with us.

What if I need to miss the first session?

We do not allow participants to miss the first session unless they are able to schedule a make-up session with the teacher ahead of the second course session. This will come at an additional cost, which will depend on the teacher. You must first notify us if you plan to register for a course and not attend the first session.

What if I need to miss a session in the middle of the course?

Although it's not optimal, it is not a problem as such if you miss one session. However, we suggest that you not plan to miss more than two sessions during the eight weeks. We can arrange a private one-hour catch-up session if you prefer at a cost of £60.

Can I attend a missed session with a different group later?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. Due to group dynamics, we cannot allow participants to attend a missed session with a different course group. You will receive an in depth handbook which will cover the theory of each session, and so you will be able to read up on the session you have missed, as well as to follow along with the homework for that week too.

The only session where we may be able to accommodate a change is for the retreat day. It is optimal to attend the retreat day with your group on the date scheduled, however we recognise in some circumstances this may not be possible. In this case, we can offer participants the opportunity to book on to another retreat day with a different group, which is subject to availability and a £15 administration fee.

What is the retreat day?

The retreat day is an important part of the course, where you can take time out for a day or mindfulness practice, consolidate your learning and simply take a day for yourself. Most participants find the retreat day a really valuable and helpful part of the course. All 8-Week MBSR, MBCT and Mindful Self-Compassion courses include a full retreat day. If you are comparing mindfulness courses with another provider it’s important to check if this is included. You can read more about the retreat day on our blog, to do so click >here<. 

Following on from the course, many participants find a regular retreat day can be helpful in supporting long-term practise. We would recommend doing a full-day mindfulness retreat at least once a year -- either online or in-person -- to support your practice. The Mindfulness Project runs retreats and workshops on a regular basis, as well as weekly drop-in sessions. These can all be viewed on our >course calendar<. 

If you are unable to attend the retreat day, please contact us in advance to let us know as you may be able to join another group for this session. Please note, there is a £15 administration fee to transfer to an alternative retreat which may be waived in exceptional circumstances.

I’ve booked a place on a course, but I can no longer attend – can I get a refund?

If a cancellation is requested at least 14 days before the first session of a course, we will refund the full fee minus a £30 administrative fee. Alternatively, the full fee can be applied as a credit towards a future course, which must be booked in advance and is subject to availability. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any refunds or course transfers less than 14 days prior to the first session or after the course has begun.

Please see our full >Terms and Conditions< of bookings for more information.

I’m registering someone else for a course – how do I provide you with their information?

During the checkout process, the name and contact details collected will need to be related to the billing information. At the end of the checkout process, you will be directed to the participant questionnaire page, which will give you the option to forward the questionnaire to the person who will be attending. Please also email us to let us know the attendee’s name and email address.

If you inadvertently navigate away from the questionnaire page, you can return to it >here< .

COURSE COMPLETION


Will I get a certificate?

Upon request, we can provide a certificate of attendance upon completion of an eight-week course. This certificate will be suitable for anyone who is planning to do a teacher training course. Please note, you must attend seven out of the nine sessions in order to qualify for a certificate.

What happens after the course?

Your teacher will provide guidance on how to keep up your practice after the course. You will also be able to continue accessing the information and meditations on the app after your course. As well as tips and advice on our social media channels and in our e-newsletter, we offer small group drop-in sessions for those that would like to maintain the structure of a weekly class after their course. This can be an excellent way to connect with other meditators and to keep momentum.

We also offer ‘Beyond Beginners’ courses for those that have completed an eight-week course, such as the 12-Week Deepening Mindfulness Course and 8-Week Interpersonal Mindfulness Course. In addition, we host a range of retreat days and specialist workshops. We welcome participants to join our community and love to see them develop their practice after an initial course.

What happens after the course?

Your teacher will provide guidance on how to keep up your practice after the course. You will also be able to continue accessing the information and meditations on the app after your course. We run frequent workshops and courses for course graduates looking to deepen their practice, as well as evening and lunchtime drop-in sessions. Courses, workshops and drop-ins are detailed on our course calendar.

CONTACT DETAILS


General Course Enquiries - friend@londonmindful.com
Corporate Enquiries - enquiry@londonmindful.com