MBCT ATTI: Advanced Teacher Training Intensive for MBCT Teachers

An advanced MBCT teacher training, qualifying for the UCSD Certification Pathway

Take your next step in developing as a MBCT teacher at this 5-day Advanced Teacher Training Intensive. This intensive interactive training is designed to support the ongoing development of guiding mindfulness meditation practices and cultivating an embodied mindful presence to better practice mindful inquiry. This is done through a mix of didactic, experiential, and small group learning, and includes periods of silent personal mindfulness practice, the opportunity to role-play client-practitioner encounters in a simulated MBCT classroom, self- and within group reflection, and to receive feedback from the trainers. The strong experiential emphasis of this training supports the developing teacher to further discern between the ‘doing’ versus ‘being, non-doing’ modes of mind, gain additional experience teaching from the mode of ‘non-doing’ and further exploring the potential of how embodying a mode of ‘non-doing’ and be helpful for MBCT participants. This training, intended for those who have taught at least five full MBCT courses, will draw upon your own experiences, challenges, breakthroughs and insights within a community of fellow teachers as a means of learning from each other for the good of our participants, and of ourselves.

This course satisfies the requirement for advanced teacher training in the UC San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI) certification pathway for teachers of MBCT.


This advanced teacher training intensive will be led by experienced clinicians, MBCT teachers and retreat leaders, Mark Lau, PhD and Andrea Grabovac, MD, FRCPC both UCSD MBPTI mentors.

Mark has over 23 years experience offering MBCT in both group and individual formats and training mental health professionals in MBCT single and multi-day professional trainings internationally. Mark was first introduced to MBCT in 1995 when he began working with Dr. Zindel Segal in Toronto to help conduct the first MBCT outcome study. He spent 11 years working with Dr. Segal before moving out to Vancouver in 2006.

Andrea has been delivering MBCT groups to oncology, sexual medicine and psychiatric populations for 15 years, and training clinicians in MBCT for over 10 years. She has co-developed MBI competency and training guidelines for Canadian psychiatrists and brings a keen interest in the mechanisms of mindfulness to her teaching. She draws on her experience training clinicians in the delivery of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to this advance teacher training.

Together Andrea & Mark bring their extensive teaching/mentoring experience to the retreat like setting to create a safe, kind, caring container within which to deepen one’s practice of teaching MBCT.

Registration will be limited to 40 participants for this advanced training in order to provide an environment that promotes in depth learning in an atmosphere of intimacy and shared experience.


At the completion of this training, the participants should be able to:

  • describe the components and characteristics of inquiry
  • demonstrate and lead inquiry from one’s own mindful observation of personal present moment experience with greater confidence
  • identify and articulate MBCT session themes and teaching points
  • demonstrate, while facilitating inquiry, increased proficiency in embodying a receptive, equanimous present moment observation without using it to further develop personal narrative
  • describe how mindfulness offers the opportunity to cultivate a different relationship to mood states and modes of mind that contribute to depression and anxiety.

Target Audience

This 5-day advanced teacher training intensive is intended for MBCT teachers who have completed a 5-day professional MBCT training. Participants will have taught five 8-week MBCT courses and be licensed in their health field. All participants will have an ongoing personal mindfulness practice and have attended an annual 5 to 7-day silent teacher led mindfulness meditation retreat; MBCT professional trainings are not considered a silent mindfulness retreat.

Acceptance Criteria

  • Attendance at a 5-day professional MBCT training Teaching experience or equivalent
  • Facilitation of a minimum of 4 MBCT groups
  • Personal ongoing mindfulness meditation practice
  • Advanced degree in a health-related field

Application Form

During the registration, you will be required to fill out an online Advanced Teacher Training Intensive Application form. 

Your application for this training will not be taken under consideration until the application form has been submitted. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.

Tentative Schedule for Online Training

Day 1: Orientation & Welcome 3:30pm-6:30pm (PDT)
Day 2-5: 7am-5pm (PDT)
Day 6: 7am-12pm (PDT)

Tentative Schedule for In-person Training

First Day
Registration: 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
First Session: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Second-Fifth Day
Morning Session: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Breakfast 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:30 pm – 5:45 pm
Dinner 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Evening Sessions: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Sixth Day
Morning Session: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Breakfast: 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm

Needs Assessment

The utilization of mindfulness in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health field in the past few years. The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially each year and the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. The first level training in MBCT has been offered for the past fourteen years through the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, with increasing enrollments each year, as well as at other sites across the country and around the world. This has led to a growing number of practitioners who have some experience in teaching MBCT and are seeking further opportunities for professional development in the field.

Continuing Education Credit

Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 30.0 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 30.0 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 36.0 contact hours.

Required Reading

Suggested Reading

  • Teaching Mindfulness (2010) Donald McCown, Diane Reibel and Marc S. Micozzi
  • The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness: Williams, Teasdale, Segal & Kabat-Zinn
  • The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress (2014): Teasdale, Williams & Segal
  • Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness (Pages 463-476, Training Professionals in Mindfulness: The Heart of Teaching): Susan Woods; Edited by Fabrizio Didonna
  • The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa (John Yates) (2015) – a review of concentration practice technique and theory.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am flying in for the training. What are my options and what do you recommend?

See our LOCATIONS page for details about travel to the retreat centers and preferred airports. The UCSD Center for Mindfulness will set up a Ride Share Bulletin Board in coordinating shuttle rides for those arriving by air at local airports.

What time should I plan to arrive? When do we finish?

We will begin checking people into the retreat at 3 pm on the first day of the training. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 3 pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5 pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at dinnertime. We plan to end the retreat by 12 pm on the last day so please plan your travel accordingly, using the time guidelines above. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.

Is there wireless service/cellular phone use?

Please do not expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature of the training, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the training there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.

Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?

The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat is over is not likely to be a possibility. You can of course arrange to stay at lodging near the retreat center if you would like to extend your stay. Contact the retreat center to make such arrangements.

What do I need to bring?

If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a few cushions but not enough to go around, so if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.

The relatively remote location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.

What should I expect regarding the format of the training?

This training is taught in a retreat format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the training, and we want to reiterate that now so you are not surprised when you get here. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious.

What should I read prior to arriving?

Check the “Required Reading” section to find a list of books you should read prior to the training.

What if I require some special accommodations or have dietary restrictions?

While you are asked to note specific food restrictions on your registration application, if there are any additional food or medical concerns we should be aware of please let us know of these in advance so we may assist you.

Continuing Education Credit Fees

Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.

Psychologists, Psychotherapists (LCSW, MFT, LPC)$75

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable minimum deposit of $300 USD is due upon registration.

Please be aware that the early-bird rate is available for all participants who register and pay their balance in full by the early-bird deadline (see registration information above). All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance on or after the early-bird deadline will have their fees automatically adjusted to the General Session Rate.

All remaining balances must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the training or your registration will be cancelled for non-payment and you will not be permitted to attend.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus your $300 non-refundable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date.

In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency Statement
California Assembly Bill 1195 requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. It is the intent of the bill, which went into effect on July 1, 2006, to encourage physicians and surgeons, CME providers in the state of California, and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to meet the cultural and linguistic concerns of a diverse patient population through appropriate professional development. The planners, speakers and authors of this activity have been encouraged to address issues relevant in their topic area. In addition, a variety of resources are available that address cultural and linguistic competency, some of which are included in your syllabus or handout materials. Additional resources and information about AB1195 can be found on the CME website.

It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to an educational activity being delivered to the learners through one of the following mechanisms 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review. All persons are also required to disclose any discussions of off label/unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Persons who refuse or fail to disclose are disqualified from participating in the activity. Participants will be asked to evaluate whether the speaker’s outside interests reflect a possible bias in the planning or presentation of the activity. This information is used to plan future activities. All faculty members listed above have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. The MBPTI staff, meeting planners, planning committee and MBPTI committee reviewers do not have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine or University of California, San Diego Medical Center.