This programme has borrowed from a myriad of sources, to whom I am very grateful: it is primarily informed by Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) and Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery (MBAR), and I am very grateful to the developers of both of these programmes as, without their hard work, MEAR would not have been possible in this format. The SOBER breathing space used throughout was developed for MBRP, and the ABC of mindful recovery was developed from MBAR’s similar ABC. There are a few exercises and meditations that are wholly down to these programmes, and I am wholeheartedly grateful to them.
The first Western, secular mindfulness programme was Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at UMass Memorial Healthcare Center for Mindfulness, and which led to the development of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), at Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC). Without these programmes, arguably mindfulness programmes as we know them, including this one, would not exist today.
Elements from the following have been adapted and used with gratitude for parts of the programme:
- SAMHSA’s Anger Management for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Clients workbook;
- Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC);
- My Live Well with Pain, a resource set up by health care professionals to help people manage pain;
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EMDR).
The following people and ideas also inspired the development of MEAR:
- Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE);
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT);
- Vidyamala Burch’s work;
- Anita Lewis‘ teaching on the polyvagal system;
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, a fantastic book that every mindfulness teacher should read!
Big thank-yous to:
Kay Octigan, and Marie Johansson, who supported me in many ways during my training, and without whom this would not exist.
Ian Frampton, and Devin Ashwood, who have helped me clarify my thoughts, even through the thickest of fogs.
Ella and Colette Nicholson, for their fantastic illustrations.
The team at Howard House – and the web of support we weave together.
And of course Mark, without whose support I couldn’t have done any of this.
This resource is freely available for practitioners to use, as long as adequately trained in mindfulness teaching, and with experience of addictions work. The British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA) provides details of standards and accreditation for mindfulness teaching, while the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners (FDAP) does the same for substance misuse work.
If charging for courses, please always include a couple of free/very low-cost places for those who can’t afford it, in the spirit of providing these groups so that everyone can access them.
I have put a lot of time into developing this course – if you would like to show your appreciation thank you! I would like any donations to go to SMART, a small charity with a big heart in the UK, who provide crucial services for those with addictions and for the homeless, and who really put people first. Find out more about them here.