The MBSR/MBCT Teacher-Training Program of the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches (IMA)
The Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches (IMA), located in Bedburg, Germany (near Cologne), has been offering MBSR teacher-training programs since 2002. It introduced an MBCT training program in 2007. The institute offers training programs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Poland.
The IMA’s faculty includes some of Europe’s most senior mindfulness-based approaches teachers and researchers, as well as guest teachers from the U.S.A. The high level of professionalism and experience of the institute’s teaching staff is a highlight of the program.
The faculty includes professors of psychology, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, professionals in medicine, social work, public health, nursing, education, physiotherapy, and teachers of Yoga, Tai Chi and Chi Kung.
The training program is highly structured, at the same time encouraging personal creativity and expression. The multidisciplinary team is committed to each participant finding his/her own identity as a teacher. The training invites each individual to practice and integrate mindfulness skills in their own daily lives before passing them on to others.
This program is challenging and asks for commitment: to one’s own practice as well as to completing the program’s requirements. We take the position that one cannot ask someone else to do what one has not done oneself. Thus trainees in the program are asked to do the same work and homework as participants in mindfulness-based courses. This commitment has been taken by over 300 participants of our teacher-training programs since 2002.
The IMA also makes a commitment to support each student to complete the program. Teaching MBSR or MBCT within the training program makes everything we do grounded in reality. When one finishes the program one can say that one is a trained MBSR or MBCT teacher. Not only because one has trained to teach, but because one has actually taught during the training programSome participants join our programs with experience in teaching mindfulness-based approaches already. The main reasons they take part, they tell us, are because they want to immerse themselves in a systematic, in-depth training, to profit from the faculty’s extensive experience, and to bring together the strands of techniques and methods they have gathered over time in an integrated and thorough way.
A graduate of our MBSR teacher-training described her experience as follows:
“I have never taken part in a training program, where so much of what was taught, was also actively practiced. So many of the participants ended up doing what they had been trained to do – in this case: teaching MBSR."
Some of the places where MBSR and MBCT are taught include:
- professional practices (e.g. psychologists, physiotherapists, physicians, etc.)
- psychosomatic clinics and hospitals (for patients)
- clinics, hospitals and other facilities (for personnel)
- schools (for teachers and students)
- universities and other institutions of higher education
- prisons (for staff and inmates)
- senior citizen homes
- company health programs
- leadership and management training seminars
- counseling centers
- crisis centers for women, children and the homeless
- coaching for individuals
- centers for oncology, fertility, chronic pain, diabetes, etc.