Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery (MBAR) courses at Breathing Space are six weeks long - once a week for two and a half hours per week. Our teachers are trained and supervised by a NHS consultant psychiatrist specialising in addiction. Our courses are open to all. We provide some free places on MBAR courses to people living on a low income in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Course dates and bookings
What happens on an MBAR course at Breathing Space?
During the course, you will learn how to develop mindfulness through meditation. Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening in your experience - in your mind and your body. This forms the basis for learning to tolerate difficult experiences without the need for a substance or other addictive behaviour. You will learn this in a group of up to 25 people, with the course leader guiding you through a series of meditations. The course also draws on ideas from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you challenge negative thinking. You don't need to have any previous knowledge or experience of meditation or CBT to come on an MBAR course.
Sharing your experiences with other people on the course
You will also meet in smaller groups to talk about your experiences of the meditations. You will not have to reveal anything you do not want to. The course focuses on current experience and how to work with your thoughts and emotions - it is not about trying to find the cause of your addiction.
MBAR course home practice
The MBAR course includes some home practice. It's important that you do as much of this as you can, because it takes some effort to learn the skills you need to break long-held patterns of thinking. You will be given audio files with guided meditations to practise every day between the course sessions. You will also be asked to do a few brief daily exercises and keep a simple diary of what you have been doing.
Committing to MBAR courses
We understand that it is often difficult to carve out time in an already busy life to come to all six classes and do the home-practice. But we'll be encouraging you to do what you can to help yourself stay well. The practices are not a quick fix. Like any tool they can only benefit if you practise using them. So the more you can commit to practising between classes the more you will benefit from the course.
Can you use drugs or alcohol while on the course?
No. This course is not suitable if you are still using alcohol, drugs or other substances (as part of your addiction), since meditation is not effective if you are taking intoxicating substances.