Specialist Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Module 1

Specilist MBRP FLYER.001Specilist MBRP FLYER 2021.001





 Training with Devin Ashwood, assisted by Nicky Mouat


MBRP (Bowen, Chawla and Marlatt, 2011) is a novel treatment approach developed at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Although this model has been most robustly tested in substance misuse populations, the principles apply equally well to any behaviours with a compulsive element including: gambling, eating disorders, self-harm, aggression and compulsive sexual behaviours.


The program is designed to develop mindful awareness in individuals who have suffered from the addictive tendencies of the mind. MBRP practices are intended to foster increased awareness of triggers, destructive habitual patterns, and “automatic” reactions that seem to control many of our lives. The mindfulness practices in MBRP are designed to help us pause, observe present experience, and bring awareness to the range of choices before each of us in every moment. Ultimately, we are working towards freedom from deeply ingrained and sometimes catastrophic habits.


Similar to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for depression, MBRP is designed as an aftercare program integrating mindfulness practices and principles with cognitive-behavioural relapse prevention. In our experience, MBRP is best suited to individuals who are not currently engaging in addictive behaviours, but who wish develop a lifestyle that supports their well-being and recovery from these.


There is good evidence that the MBRP model is successful at reducing both craving and substance use with improved outcomes compared to treatment as usual and other cognitive behavioural approaches (Bowen et al., 2014). MBRP has also been successfully adapted to other populations (Sancho et al., 2018).


What is involved?

This course is taught over six days, the training offers participants an opportunity to appreciate the intentions and specifics of the MBRP programme in a nurturing and supportive environment that includes space for an appreciation of the links between personal practice and teaching. Students will develop and refine their teaching skills and explore the underpinning integration of scientifically tested approaches to addiction with ancient wisdom and meditation techniques.

We will practice in small and large groups, engaging in and leading mindfulness exercises before enquiring into them. Reflecting and feeding back on our work together will offer helpful support for our growing edges. Participants will have opportunities to practice teaching skills and to explore the experience of this.


Who is the programme for?

The course is open both to experienced mindfulness-based teachers, and newer teachers who want to develop MBRP teaching skills. It is particularly suitable for clinicians implementing MBRP in substance misuse contexts, and is relevant to those who want to develop greater clarity about how to attune to and respond to participant vulnerability during mindfulness-based teaching. 

All participants should have:

  • Personal experience of a MBRP, MBCT, MBSR or similar 8 week course.
  • 5 days Mindfulness silence retreat participation at an accredited entity (e.g., Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness, Gaia House, CFM UMASS, Vipassana Meditation)
  • An established personal mindfulness practice.
  • An appreciation of cognitive behavioural psychology and therapy.
  • Ideally a professional background and/or equivalent knowledge and experience of the populations that the programme will be delivered to.


If you are unsure whether the programme is suitable for you please contact the programme teacher devin1649@gmail.com)



8 Weeks Specialist training


Course Aim

To build on personal mindfulness experience and previous teacher training and support participants tod eliver the MBRP curriculum with an appreciation of the particularities of the course content and teaching style.


Course Objectives

  • To encourage deepening personal practice.
  • To encourage deepening of teaching practice.
  • To consider MBRP teaching with specific population.
  • To devel understanding of the interaction between course curriculum, context and population.


Learning outcomes

Participants will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the MBRP curriculum
  • Experience participati and delivery of the MBRP curriculum specific elements, particularly the interactive workshop exercises.
  • Understand the intention of MBRP
  • Understand processes involved in addictive behaviour and relapse and the proposed mechanisms of MBRP
  • Understand the culture of MBRP teaching -­‐ differentiating between MBRP and mindfulness-­‐based
  • Deepen connection between personal practice and teaching.


PLEASE NOTE: Course will be taught in English.




Trainers & Assistant Trainer:

Devin Ashwood - An upbringing and early life that offered first-hand experience of substance misuse and poverty created personal challenges, but also the motivation to grow beyond these conditions and become a person who is able to support others.
I have worked therapeutically, as a trainer and leader in a range of addiction treatment settings for over twelve years.   I was Program Leader and Lecturer in addictions counselling at the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies and the University of Bath and have become the primary Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention teacher trainer in the UK.  I’ve been practicing mindfulness daily for the past 20 years. I received a first class Master’s Degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches from the University of Bangor and teach mindfulness to professionals and clients. I also organize and lead a number of meditation groups and retreats throughout the year, including working as a Buddhist Chaplain to the prison service for the past 10 years.  For the past three years, I have worked as the Director at the Gaia House meditation retreat centre. 



- Ashwood, D & Rowley, J., (2016). Improving Addiction Workforce Skills. In W. Mistral. (Ed.), Integrated Approaches to Drug & Alcohol Problems: Action on Addiction. London, UK: Routledge. 

- Ashwood, D. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictions 1: Core Practices. UK:  Action on Addiction & Psychotherapy.net. Available on-line: https://www.psychotherapy.net/video/mindfulness-based-relapse-prevention-for-addiction 

- Ashwood, D. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictions 2: MBRP. UK:  Action on Addiction & Psychotherapy.net. Available on-line: https://www.psychotherapy.net/video/mindfulness-based-relapse-prevention-for-addiction 

- Ashwood, D. & Leighton, T. (2015).  Group Therapy for Addictions: An Interpersonal Relapse Prevention Approach. UK:  Action on Addiction / Psychotherapy.net. . Available on-line: https://www.psychotherapy.net/video/group-therapy-addiction 

- Ashwood, D., (2014). Buddhism and Addiction. In A. Pycroft. (Ed.), Key concepts in substance misuse (pp. 134-143). London, UK: Sage. 

Key reference for the MBRP model and evidence base:

- Bowen, S., Chawla, N., & Marlatt, G. A. (2011). Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviors: A Clinician’s Guide(1st ed.). London: Guilford Press.

- Bowen, S., Witkiewitz, K., Clifasefi, S. L., Grow, J., Chawla, N., Hsu, S. H., Carroll, H. A., Harrop, E., Collins, S. E., Lustyk, M. K. & Larimer, M.E. (2014). Relative Efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Standard Relapse Prevention, and Treatment as Usual for Substance Use Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry; 71(5), 547-556.

- Sancho, M., De Gracia, M., Rodríguez, R. C., Mallorquí-Bagué, N., Sánchez-González, J., Trujols, J., ... & Menchón, J. M. (2018). Mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of substance and behavioral addictions: a systematic review. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 95.


Nicky Mouat is a Mental Health Nurse with many years of working in both Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Treatment services in the UK and Australia. She trained as a Mindfulness teacher in 2015 (with Devin Ashwood and Sarah Bowen) and has enjoyed teaching MBRP in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services in the UK since then. She is particularly interested in increasing access to mindfulness for those who would normally find that difficult


Course Dates


SESSION 1: D1 - Wednesday 23rd Oct 9:30-12:30 (morning) =3 hrs 
SESSION 2: D1 - Wednesday 23rd Oct 13:30-17:30 (afternoon) =4 hrs 
SESSION 3: D2 Wednesday 30th Oct 12:30-16:30 (afternoon) =4 hrs 
SESSION 4: D3 Wednesday 6th Nov 12:30-16:30 (afternoon)  =4 hrs 
SESSION 5: D4 Wednesday 13th Nov 12:30-16:30 (afternoon) =4 hrs 
SESSION 6: D5 Wednesday 20th Nov 9:30-13:30 (morning) =4 hrs 
SESSION 7: D5 Wednesday 20th Nov 14:00-18:00 (afternoon) =4 hrs 
SESSION 8: D6 Wednesday 27th Nov 14:00-18:00 (afternoon) =4 hrs 
SESSION 9: D7 Wednesday 4th Dec 9:30-13:30 (morning) =4 hrs 
SESSION 10: D8 Wednesday 11th Dec 9:30-13:30 (morning) =4 hrs 
SESSION 11: D8 Wednesday 11th Dec 14:00 - 18.00 (morning) = 4hrs




Course Outline


SESSION 1: Welcome and Introduction to the training.

SESSION 2: Automatic Pilot & Mindful Awareness + A New Relationship to Discomfort
SESSION 3: From Reacting to Responding + Mindfulness in Challenging Situations  
SESSION 4: Acceptance and Skillful Action + Seeing Thoughts as Thoughts
SESSION 5: Supporting & Sustaining Well-Being + Session 8 + Course Q&A
SESSION 7: TEACHBACKS: Raisin Exercise, Body Scan, Walking down the street
SESSION 8: TEACHBACKS: Home Practice Review, Urge surfing, Sober, Walking Meditation
SESSION 9: TEACHBACKS: Movement, Sitting, Walking, Thoughts, Relapse Chain, Q&A
SESSION 10: Metta, theoretical underpinnings, Special interest Q&A.
SESSION 11: Special interest topics, personal practice, the nature of suffering, practice sharing. Closure.


** Participants are required to purchase and read the 2nd edition of the MBRP clinicians guide before beginning the training.



Registration fee: 50 euros + VAT (23%) = 61,50 euros

Tuition: 720 euros + VAT (23%) = 885,60 euros


*Payment by CC and Paypal adds the percentage fee for the transaction.



We are offering two 50 % Discount Scholarships for registrations from LOW GPD COUNTRIES


Please note that the crucial factor for the reduced Low GDP fee is not the country of origin but the country of residence.


The only countries eligible for the low GDP(Gross Domestic Product) reduction are:

  • African countries
  • Asian countries (with following exceptions: Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Macau SAR, Qatar, Singapore, UAE)
  • Latin American countries (exception: Bahamas)
  • and the following countries in wider Europe:
    Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,Turkey and Ukraine.

Applications for the LOW GPD FEE are accepted until the 15th July 2024. You should send your application using the details below under - REGISTRATION - and please justify under the intention letter why you are requesting the Scholarship. We will evaluate all applications by 30th July and inform if your application for the Scholarship will be accepted.




The limit date for registration is the 20th August 2024 .


To register in the training:

  • Send an email to geral@serintegral.pt including:
  • The name and date of the event you want to register
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Photograph
  • Intention letter informing your professional training path and professional experience, experience teaching groups, personal development in the area of mindfulness and motivation to start training in MBRP. If you are requesting a scholarship please let us know why do you need this financial support.
  • Copies of the documents confirming your professional training and personal development in the area of mindfulness
  • Payment of 61,50 euros for registration (not required for applications from low GPD Countries) which should be completed using the options below:

Registration Professional Training in MBRP




Please send us the document confirming your payment. This value is not reembursable if you are not accepted in the training and it is not dedutable from the full tuition if you are accepted in the training.


Your application form will be received and we will produce an email confirming the reception of you registration. Confirmation of you acceptance in the training will be sent to you as soon as possible (around mid July maximum). Once accepted you should use the payment options below and send us an email with confirmation of payment:


Tuition Professional Training in MBRP



  • If your registration is canceled until the 15 August 2024 you will receive a full reimbursement of the retreat minus an administration fee of 50 euros+VAT. After this date we won’t make any reimbursements.
  • If the event is canceled due to an unexpected reason, Ser Integral: Centro Português de Mindfulness, will provide a reimbursement of 100% of the value paid for the training, but we won’t be responsible for any other costs (i.e., travelling and accommodation) associated with your participation in the training.



All participants that complete ALL sessions of the program will receive a certificate of attendance Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness. Participants are requestes to be present to all sessions since the beginning of the training until the last day.





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