Good Practice Guidelines for Mindful Eating Teachers

A Mindful Eating Teacher is defined as a professional who offers a Mindful Eating program during at least 18 hours and a minimum of 6 sessions to a group or individuals.


The Center for Mindful Eating encourages professionals meet the following Good Practice Guidelines for Mindful Eating Teachers:


1.    A professional degree in mental or physical health care, education or social care, or background in ecology, biology or food technology science, with adherence to the ethical framework and best practice guidelines appropriate to the teacher’s professional background and working context.

2.    Completion, as a participant, of a mindfulness based program such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, (MBCT) and/or long-term practice under guidance of a senior teacher in a contemplative tradition (minimum 3 years).

3.    Completion of a 5 day or longer in-person professional mindful eating teacher training which adheres to TCME’s Guidelines for Mindful Eating Teacher Trainings.

4.    Completion of an online training is only equivalent when the participant has a Mindfulness based teacher background (attended a MBSR, MBCT or other MBI teacher training pathways) or long-term meditation practice under guidance of an experienced meditation teacher before the start of the online teacher training.


5.    As part of the teacher training, the teacher-in-training is mentored by a senior mindful eating instructor during a minimum of 10 private sessions while offering a cycle of mindful eating program.

6.    Knowledge and experience of the specific populations that the mindful eating program will be delivered to (people with disordered eating behavior; such as overeating, binge eating, extreme restrictive eating, anorexia, bulimia and orthorexia), including experience of teaching, therapeutic or other care provision with these groups and/or individuals

7.    Commitment to a personal mindfulness practice through daily formal and informal practice, and participation in at least one residential teacher-led silent mindfulness meditation retreat during the mindful eating training pathway.  Annual mindfulness meditation retreats are recommended to maintain and deepen the practice of a mindful eating teacher.

8.    Commitment to ongoing development as a teacher through further training, keeping up to date with evidence-based research, and regular contact with other professionals who share the same values

9.    Supervision/mentoring under guidance of an experienced mindful eating mentor during the teaching of minimum one mindful eating 8-week program. A mindful eating mentor might be the trainer of a professional mindful eating teacher training or a mentor appointed by the trainer.


Acknowledgements:

This position statement is grounded in the Good Practice Guidelines of Mindfulness Based Interventions. Our special gratitude to the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teachers.

Further reading:

Crane, R.S., Eames, C., Kuyken, W., Hastings, R.P., Williams, J.M., Bartley, T. et al. (2013) Development and validation of the mindfulness-based interventions - teaching assessment criteria (MBI:TAC). Assessment, 20, 681-688.
Crane, R.S., Kuyken, W., Hastings, R.P., Rothwell, N., Williams, J.M.G. (2010) Training teachers to deliver mindfulness-based interventions: Learning from the UK experience. Mindfulness, 1, 74-86.
Cullen, M. (2011). Mindfulness-Based Interventions: An emerging phenomenon. Mindfulness, 2, 186-193.
UK Network of Mindfulness Teacher Training Organisations (www.mindfulnessteachersuk.org.uk): Good Practice Guidance for Teachers (April 2015)
Woods, S.L. (2009). Training professionals in mindfulness: The heart of teaching. In F. Didonna (Ed.), Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness (pp. 463-475). New York: Springer.


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