University of Oxford Mindfulness Research Centre
Our research was instrumental in MBCT becoming a NICE treatment of choice for prevention of recurrent depression
Recent publications in The Lancet and JAMA Psychiatry
The University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre works with partners around the world to prevent depression and enhance human potential through the therapeutic use of mindfulness.
Our research has been instrumental in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) becoming a treatment of choice for prevention of recurrent depression. We have pioneered the use of MBCT for suicidal depression, bipolar disorder and serious health anxiety and our research has led to significant breakthroughs in understanding the basic psychological processes that contribute to vulnerability in these disorders.
We take a translational approach and our research spans the entire arc from basic science, exploring the mechanisms underlying common psychological disorders, to research on effective implementation of mindfulness based approaches in healthcare and school settings. Although our early work focused on prevention of relapse in depression, our current focus is much broader. The Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence (MYRIAD) project , funded by a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust, examines the efficacy of mindfulness training as a means of primary prevention of depression and other mental health problems, and enhancement of wellbeing in adolescence. Further details of this project are provided below.
What is the MYRIAD Project?
The MYRIAD Project is a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award led by Willem Kuyken and Mark Williams (University of Oxford), Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (University College London) and Tim Dalgleish (Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit).
The project has the following aims:
- To investigate whether mindfulness training (MT) improves resilience in young adolescents, how it affects their processing of thoughts and feelings, whether there are different effects at different stages of development, and to examine effects among both those with poor and good mental health.
- To investigate the best way to train teachers to deliver an MT curriculum and examine how MT is currently implemented in schools.
- To conduct a large cluster-randomised controlled trial to establish whether MT in schools is effective and cost effective.
Accessibility and implementation in UK services of an effective depression relapse prevention programme: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
What is the ASPIRE Project?
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a cost effective psychosocial prevention programme that helps people with recurrent depression stay well in the long term. It was singled out in the 2009 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Depression Guideline as a key priority for implementation.
The ASPIRE Project has two main aims:
1. To scope current MBCT practice across the UK.
2. To develop a set of key recommendations for introducing Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy into health service delivery.
The purpose of the Mindlock Project is to enhance our understanding of what keeps people at persistent risk for suicidal relapse, and how we can help people to stay well. We are currently conducting a set of studies run by Dr. Bergljot Gjelsvik and Dr. Catherine Crane at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in collaboration with Professor Keith Hawton at the Centre for Suicide Research, both within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford.
We hope our findings will support development of effective treatment interventions for people struggling with recurrent suicidal depression.
Alongside our research we train the next generation of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teachers and make MBCT more accessible to those interested in trying the approach to improve their psychological wellbeing. This splicing together of research, training and education in psychological therapies builds on the rich legacy of John Teasdale, David Clark and Melanie Fennel who first worked in Oxford pioneering cognitive therapy more than 40 years ago.