This Diploma course is intended to give a preliminary grounding in the basic theory and practice of mindfulness within psychotherapeutic practice. The course introduces participants to key therapeutic contemplative practices and relational skills, grounded in the practice of Core Process Psychotherapy, one of the original mindfulness-based therapeutic forms. Its curriculum draws on over thirty years of experience in offering psychotherapy trainings based on mindfulness practice. It invites us to listen at depth to self, other and to the relational field through adapting ancient Buddhist mindfulness practices for working jointly in relationship.
Course participants develop the ability to deepen into a state of presence and learn to bring this state of awareness into Relational Mindfulness which then becomes the ground of enquiry into self and interpersonal process. In this endeavour, mindfulness practices are integrated with western psychodynamics and psychotherapy skills yielding a fully integrated approach. The main focus is a cultivation of qualities of presence, compassionate awareness, and enquiry that we can bring to self and other within relationship, and the extension of this both into our clinical work and in our everyday lives. It will be of interest to therapists in many fields of practice including psychotherapy, counselling, practitioners of complementary and orthodox medicine, body-oriented therapies such as Craniosacral Therapy and mindfulness-based practitioners in general.
The course is made up of 2 x 5-day residential modules at the Karuna Institute, set within the beautiful Dartmoor National Park in Devon.
(1) "Mindfulness in Relationship" (Part 1 of the Diploma in Relational Mindfulness) :
The inherent spaciousness and openness of being can become a fundamental resource in our lives and a guiding light within both meditation and clinical practice. It is through this spacious awareness intrinsic within our human condition, that suffering may be relinquished.
All of this has important implications for psychotherapy and the psychotherapeutic relationship. The heart of the therapeutic process is not to re-work or change our self-nature, but to perceive it as it is, and appreciate our inherent freedom. Psychotherapeutic activity is understood to take place within the context of a relational field within which the state of consciousness of both therapist and client are not separate. Both therapist and client are thus on a mutual journey of exploration in which their processes are interdependent. This goes beyond the usual concepts of transference and projection, and extends into a mutually arising field of consciousness. The psychotherapist learns to perceive the information that is communicated within this wider field, and to respond appropriately.
(2) "Liminal Mind" (Part 2 of the Diploma in Relational Mindfulness) :
Building on the first module, we will continue to explore the subtle and subliminal territories of mind. The "Liminality of Mind" allows us to move between conditioned consensual reality and qualities of knowing beyond our individual constrictions. This threshold and the relational field that holds the dual co-emergent natures of mind is sometimes called a "Bardo". Our capacity to stay open in a place where the old and known drops away but the emergent or realised has not arisen is encouraged. Supported relationally we might find the courage to go "beyond our limits" whilst still able to abide in witness consciousness.
The Diploma in Relational Mindfulness - 80 continuing professional development (CPD) hours
The intention is to help participants feel more resourced, whole and protected, both within themselves and when with others. As such, time and space is given for cultivating personal wellbeing and resiliency through reflective exercises, mindfulness practices and enquiry into what supports and hinders our wellbeing. Participants often find that the course helps them to deepen into a state of presence and learn to bring this state of awareness into relationship.
We welcome people from all spiritual traditions or none - it is certainly not necessary to be a Buddhist to do this course, or have any prior knowledge of Buddhism. We respect and encourage the diverse ways people can connect with personal forms of wellbeing such as through nature, animals, music, art, dance and movement.