Bridgette O’Neill

In addition to my work with the Mindfulness Network, I am a member of the core training team for the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University, where I teach on the Masters and continuing development programmes. I also work for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, (SMC) as a trainer and supervisor and teach mindfulness-based approaches (MBAs) to NHS staff and clients. I am a clinical psychologist by professional training and have taught mindfulness in the NHS since 2002. I am also a meditation instructor and teacher within the Shambhala Buddhist tradition and a Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living (MBCL) teacher.


Qualifications

  • Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living teacher training with Erik Van Den Brink, Compassionate Wellbeing (2017)
  • CMRP’s Teacher Training Retreats 1, 2 and 3 (2004 – 2015)
  • CMRP’s supervision training (2011)
  • Teacher training with Shambhala Europe (2007)
  • Meditation Instructor training with Shambhala Europe (2005)
  • City retreat staff training Brighton Shambhala (2003)
  • Leadership training – Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority (2004)
  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Southampton University (1995 – 98)

Teaching Training Specialisms

  • MBCL
  • MBCT in clinical settings (3rd sector, secondary care and IAPT)
  • MBCT/ MBSR for health care staff and the general public
  • Adapted MBAs in settings where the eight-week course is not advised e.g. recovery college

Retreat Lead Experience

Since 2005, I have been involved in leading weekend, week and ten-day retreats within a Shambhala Buddhist context in France and in the UK, generally working as part of a team of four or 5 people; these have included retreats for beginning and experienced practitioners and for families. I have also led weekend and day retreats for MBSR and MBCT teachers, and practitioners in the UK and Ireland. More recently, I have begun leading teacher training MBSR/CT and MBCL foundation retreats for CMRP.


Retreat Specialisms

  • Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living retreats
  • City retreats (non-residential)

Personal Practice

I have been practising mindfulness meditation since 2000. This connection grew out of a committed Chi Kung and T’ai Chi practice and a growing interest in Buddhism after a friend lent me Pema Chodron’s book ‘When Things fall Apart.’ While beginning to engage in meditation through Shambhala Buddhism and the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa, Sakyong Mipham and other senior teachers within Tibetan Buddhism, I also began to explore mindfulness practice in the context of MBCT and MBSR. I continue to find that teachings within both contexts enrich and clarify one another. During the last couple of years, I have been delighted to encounter MBCL, which offers a further integration of traditional Buddhist teachings and practices and contemporary understandings of wellbeing.


Research Activities and Interests

I have taught on the Live Mind trial with SMC piloting a brief MBI for people with complex mental health challenges, and a mindfulness trial for staff and students at Sussex University. Currently I am involved in SMC’s Staff Well-being project piloting MBCT for Life with NHS staff. I would very much like to undertake qualitative research into the experience of retreats for people training to be mindfulness teachers. Please get in touch if you’d like to explore this for your doctorate or Masters research project.


Publications

Moss, D., & O’Neill, B. (2003) Just another technique? Possibilities and paradoxes in working with mindfulness. Clinical Psychology, 31, 29 – 33.