The Mindfulness for Students Network is made up of mindfulness teachers who are interested in supporting the practice of mindfulness in higher education. We have come together to create a forum for sharing resources, information and good practice.
The practice of mindfulness in universities and colleges is a relatively recent development and we hope to encourage more institutions to offer their students mindfulness training to help them manage the normal stresses of student life effectively so as to be able to work in a way which is enjoyable, creative and productive.
From left to right Chris Cullen, Ruth Collins, Siobhan Lynch, Steven Stanley Kate Malleson, Ariana Faris
Ariana Faris is a UKCP registered Systemic Psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher in independent practice. She has undertaken training in MBCT with Mark Williams and Melanie Fennell and attended training retreats with John Kabat Zinn and John Teasdale, leaders in the field of mindfulness based interventions. Ariana was a senior lecturer for several years at Newport University where she first taught mindfulness skills to students. Since then she has introduced 8 week courses in Mindfulness for Performance Anxiety at the Royal Welsh College of Music and drama which have now been running twice a year since 2009. She also teaches 8 week mindfulness courses for the general public and for children and teens who are not currently attending mainstream school.
Kate Malleson is a Professor of Law at Queen Mary, University of London. Her personal experience of the benefits of mindfulness training led her to develop an interest in finding a means to provide the same invaluable resource to students facing different but equivalent academic stress. Kate is particularly keen to develop rigorous methods of evaluating the effectiveness of Mindfulness For Students programmes. She is a trustee of Gaia House Insight Meditation Centre in the UK.
Chris Cullen works as a mindfulness teacher and psychotherapist. He co-founded the Mindfulness in Schools Project, and teaches mindfulness courses for MPs and Peers in the Houses of Parliament, for students at Oxford University and for musicians and actors at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Chris trained to teach Insight Meditation with Christina Feldman, and regularly teaches retreats at Gaia House in Devon and elsewhere. He has a Master’s degree from Oxford University in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
Steven Stanley is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. His research interests are in the cultural, social and relational dimensions of mindfulness practices and their relevance to the critical study of society and psychology. He has published articles in Theory & Psychology, New Ideas in Psychology and Social & Personality Psychology Compass. His teaching explores mindfulness as a methodology for contemplative education. He recently completed the Committed Dharma Practitioners Programme (Gaia House/Sharpham Trust). He is currently writing a book titled Awakening Social Psychology which engages with radical traditions of Buddhist sociology.
Siobhan Lynch is a researcher in Higher Education and an undergraduate tutor at King’s College London. After learning to meditate during adolescence she became interested in mindfulness research during her MSc in Clinical Psychology and Research Methods at the University of Wales, Bangor. Following on from this she undertook a PhD exploring on the benefits of mindfulness training for university students with Prof Harald Walach. Her current research interest focuses on the intersection between student mental health, mindfulness and learning and teaching
Ruth Collins holds Doctorates in Experimental Psychology and Counselling Psychology and works for the University of Oxford as a Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor and Research Tutor as well as maintaining a private clinical practice. She has been practising insight meditation since her teens but was more formally introduced to mindfulness whilst working as a researcher for Mark Williams in 2007 and went on to receive training in MBCT from him and his team. Ruth has been offering termly MBCT courses for students through the University Counselling Service since 2009; she also runs mindfulness and MBCT courses for University academic and administrative staff. She believes that mindfulness is a valuable intervention that can be of fundamental benefit to students dealing with the stresses and challenges of University life.
Kitty Wheater is a DPhil student in the Department of Anthropology at Oxford University. She started practising mindfulness as an undergraduate and is currently writing her thesis on the experiences of self-transformation undergone by mindfulness practitioners in the UK. Since co-founding the Oxford Student Mindfulness Society, the first student mindfulness society in the UK, she has trained to teach Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and currently co-teaches mindfulness courses for students at Oxford University.’