“supervision has been my anchor … steadying me … grounding me …
in feeling safe in my teaching and supporting me in teaching the curriculum from the heart of practice”
– MBSR Supervisee
By signing up for membership of the MTAI, members confirm that they are actively engaged in mindfulness-based supervision while they are teaching others. This is regarded as best practice in the international community and reflects a commitment to upholding the integrity and fidelity of mindfulness-based approaches.
The MTAI Guidelines for Supervision detail the requirements for both supervisors and supervisees. These guidelines are understood in the context of the MTAI standards, ethics and guidelines for teacher training.
Mindfulness supervision holds mindfulness practice as its heart whilst also sharing the common functions of supervision of support, education and feedback. The following definition is offered by the MTAI:
Mindfulness supervision is a regular, safe and co-created restorative space that is held within the container of mindfulness and contracted between supervisor and supervisee. Embodying a compassionate presence and through mutual inquiry, the supervisory process enables reflection on the supervisee’s mindfulness teaching practice and balances the supportive, educative and ethical strands of mindfulness teaching and practice. The process is dedicated to deepening the growth, understanding, integrity, safety and effectiveness of the integration of mindfulness, both personally and professionally, in the supervisee’s working life.
Members of the MTAI who meet the requirements for supervisors are listed here and can be contacted directly. All are recognised as meeting MTAI requirements as highly experienced mindfulness teachers who have completed additional training in the skills of supervising mindfulness teachers. Supervisors may be informed by a range of frameworks for practice according to their experience and training in supervision for mindfulness teaching.
Mindfulness Supervision FAQs
Supervision may be defined as a process, a relationship, a set of activities, roles, tasks and functions or goals. In the specific context of mindfulness-based teaching, the MTAI supervision sub-group 2020 co-crafted the following definition that details the different components of mindfulness supervision:
“Mindfulness supervision is a regular, safe and co-created restorative space that is held within the container of mindfulness and contracted between supervisor and supervisee. Embodying a compassionate presence and through mutual inquiry, the supervisory process enables reflection on the supervisee’s mindfulness teaching practice and balances the supportive, educative and ethical strands of mindfulness teaching and practice. The process is dedicated to deepening the growth, understanding, integrity, safety and effectiveness of the integration of mindfulness, both personally and professionally, in the supervisee’s working life.”
Within the international community, and as per MTAI standards, mindfulness supervision is recognised as a core component of mindfulness-based teacher training and continued professional development in service of upholding the integrity of mindfulness-based teaching.
Supervision offers a unique learning process of mutual and embodied dialogue and inquiry with another experienced mindfulness teacher, that is focused on deepening personal understanding, clarity, competency and confidence in mindfulness teaching. As a safe and encouraging space, a supervisee may celebrate their delights and insights and bring their doubts, wonderings and creative explorations of the practice and teaching of mindfulness.
As an MTAI member you have agreed to receive regular mindfulness supervision as per MTAI standards. When teaching your first 9 courses, a minimum of 4 hours per programme and for subsequent programmes, a minimum of 2 hours each. Supervision is also strongly encouraged when teaching mindfulness in other formats, including workshops, guiding meditation groups etc.
Within the MTAI, members who meet the guidelines for mindfulness supervision and who have applied to be registered as mindfulness supervisors are detailed here. Their individual teaching profiles detail their supervisor training and experience.
Supervisees contact the supervisor directly to request supervision. MTAI members who also meet the guidelines for mindfulness supervision are listed here.
The duration and frequency of supervision sessions will be contracted between you and your supervisor. Typically individual supervision sessions are scheduled in 1 hour blocks. Group/Peer supervision sessions may be of longer duration, from 90 – 120 minutes.
As per the MTAI standards, supervision may take place in individual and group formats and may be conducted in person or online. Most supervision tends to be individual. As a co-created space, supervisors and supervisees will contract on how they intend to use the time together. This may include attention to personal practice and engaging in inquiry, reviewing and discussing experiences of and questions arising with regard to teaching and personal practice.
Supervisors and supervisees agree in the contracting phase on fees and arrangements for payment.
Where possible, when difficulties arise within supervision, you are encouraged to make reasonable efforts to resolve the difficulty within the supervisory relationship. Where this is not possible, please refer to the MTAI grievance process.
The MTAI offers a monthly peer supervision opportunity to connect with our community of teachers. These sessions are offered at no cost and are facilitated by MTAI supervisors. The format adopted is a deep listening practice in pairs and small groups. Essentially these sessions offer a friendly co- created space where teachers can practice together and take time to inquire and reflect on what is with us in this moment, what is showing up in our lives, including our teaching, and to meet it with openness and compassion as best we can. Peer supervision is regarded as complementary to and not as a replacement for individual supervision.
Supravision is essentially supervision of our supervision. Supervisors also continue to avail of supervision of their teaching practice as per MTAI standards, As supervisors, they also agree to engage in supervision of the supervision they are providing to others.
The guidelines for mindfulness supervision detail the specific requirements for supervision training. There are some specific training pathways for mindfulness-supervision available within the international mindfulness community. Before training as a supervisor, you will have taught a minimum of 9 courses of the relevant MBI, under supervision. To register as an MTAI supervisor, the mindfulness supervisor training pathway you choose should include a minimum of 3 days of live training that incorporates theoretical underpinnings of current theories of mindfulness supervisory practice.
Please refer to the guidelines for mindfulness supervision and complete the application form to confirm that you meet the guidelines. Teachers who are also available for supervision will detail in their bio details of their supervision training and experience.