Professor of Clinical Psychology
- Director, Oxford Mindfulness Centre
- Honorary Professor, University of Exeter Medical School
My work focuses on depression and evidence-based approaches to depression. In particular, my research examines how mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can prevent depression and enhance human potential across the lifespan. Several studies have arisen out of this work that suggest MBCT as an alternative to maintenance antidepressants (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2008; Lancet, 2015), as well as a universal approach to preventing depression in adolescence (British Journal of Psychiatry, 2013). I am also interested in the interface of ancient wisdom traditions and contemporary science, in particular the role of compassion. I co-authored Compassion in the Landscape of Suffering, with Christina Feldman.
Another research focus is cognitive-behavioural therapy, with a particular emphasis on collaborative case conceptualization, the crucible where “science and art/practice” come together. My work explores how therapists develop and share conceptualizations to enhance the effectiveness of therapy. I co-authored Collaborative Case Conceptualization: Working Effectively with Clients in Cognitive-behavioral Therapy, with Christine Padesky and Rob Dudley (2009). This book was described by Aaron T. Beck as “setting a gold standard for how to develop individualized case conceptualizations with our clients.” I have supervised and mentored more than 40 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to productive careers in research, teaching and the health service. My research has been supported by the National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council, NHS, Oxford Mindfulness Foundation, Medical Research Council and British Academy.
I am a research clinical psychologist. I earned my PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, and my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Salomon's Clinical Psychology Training Programme. I learned cognitive-behavioural therapy over two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania / Beck Institute, working with Aaron T. Beck. Since the mid-1990s, my training in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has included: participation in MBCT/MBSR workshops and retreats; supervision with John Teasdale, Trish Bartley and others; and support of my mindfulness practice in the insight/vipassana tradition from Christina Feldman and Catherine McGee.
From 1999 to 2014, I worked at the University of Exeter, where I held a number of roles including heading up the doctoral clinical psychology training programme (2001-2004) and leading the clinical research group (2001-2010). During my time in Exeter, I co-founded the Mood Disorders Centre, directing it through its formative years (2004-2012) and co-founded the Masters in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies (2008). Since 2014 I have directed the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. I was awarded the May Davidson award for clinical psychologists who "have made an outstanding contribution to the development of clinical psychology within the first ten years of their work as a qualified clinical psychologist." I am a "grand-fathered" Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.
Declaration of Interest Statement
Since arriving in Oxford, I receive no payment for public engagement or consultancy, and any remuneration is paid in full to the not-for-profit charity Oxford Mindfulness Foundation. I receive royalties for my co-authored book (above).
Key Publications7 False True
Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomised controlled trial.
Kuyken W. et al, (2015), Lancet, 386, 63 - 73
Accessibility and implementation in UK services of an effective depression relapse prevention programme - mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT): ASPIRE study protocol.
Rycroft-Malone J. et al, (2014), Implement Sci, 9
Effectiveness of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme: non-randomised controlled feasibility study.
Kuyken W. et al, (2013), Br J Psychiatry, 203, 126 - 131
Cognitive behavioural therapy as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for primary care based patients with treatment resistant depression: results of the CoBalT randomised controlled trial.
Wiles N. et al, (2013), Lancet, 381, 375 - 384
How does mindfulness-based cognitive therapy work?
Kuyken W. et al, (2010), Behav Res Ther, 48, 1105 - 1112
Does mindfulness based cognitive therapy prevent relapse of depression?
Kuyken W. et al, (2012), BMJ, 345
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent relapse in recurrent depression.
Kuyken W. et al, (2008), J Consult Clin Psychol, 76, 966 - 978
Nath S. et al, (2016), Psychol Med, 46, 1719 - 1733
Huijbers MJ. et al, (2016), Br J Psychiatry, 208, 366 - 373
Kuyken W. et al, (2016), Behav Cogn Psychother, 44, 179 - 192
Beshai S. et al, (2016), Mindfulness, 7, 198 - 208
Wiles NJ. et al, (2016), Lancet Psychiatry, 3, 137 - 144