MBCT: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy - Residential





21 - 26 November

with  Marion Furr & Filipa Soares


- In the same way that physical exercise is recognized as supporting physical health, there is a growing recognition that mindfulness training and cognitive-behavioural therapies can support our mental health and wellbeing.


Mindfulness is rooted in ancient wisdom and practices, while cognitive behavioural methods were developed within modern psychological science. They have different perspectives, but each offers specific ways to a common end – to become more familiar with the patterns of the mind and learning to work with it more skillfully. The combination of the two approaches has great potential to alleviate suffering and enable people to live their lives more fully.


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed some 15 years ago by Zindal Segal, then of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto; Mark Williams, then of the University of Bangor, and subsequently, University of Oxford; and John Teasdale then of the Applied Psychology Unit of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge.


In 2004, the UK National Institute Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment, given evidence from randomized controlled trials that indicated MBCT can reduce rates of relapse by 50% among patients who suffer from recurrent depression. In 2009, following further trials, the recommendation was updated and given ‘key priority’ status.


Though originally developed to address recurrent depression, research suggests that mindfulness-based interventions may be beneficial for a wider range of mental health concerns. There is strong evidence that mindfulness can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and help people cope with illness and pain (Khoury et al., 2013). Some studies show that the practice of mindfulness increases positive moods and cultivates compassion for self and others (Eberth & Sedlmeier, 2012; Khoury, Sharma, Rush, & Fournier, 2015). It may also improve some forms of attention and memory (Chiesa, Calati, & Serretti, 2011), There is also preliminary evidence that practising mindfulness has measurable effects on the brain (Tang, Holzel, & Posner, 2015).


Increasingly, MBCT is practised by people who are functioning well and enjoying good wellbeing, in order to develop their resilience, realise their full potential and flourish.


The word mindfulness means compassionate and lucid awareness, a sense of knowing what is happening in the external and internal world as it is happening. Most of us are more used to its opposite: mindlessness – times when we are not really conscious of what is going on, when we are most liable to make mistakes. Mindfulness means waking up and checking in to what’s happening so we can make wise choices.


In its more common usage in recent clinical literature, it has come to mean the awareness that emerges as a by-product of cultivating three related skills: (a) intentionally paying attention to moment-by moment events as they unfold in the internal and external world, (b) noticing habitual reactions to such events, often characterized by aversion or attachment (commonly resulting in over-thinking), and (c) cultivating the ability to respond to events, and to reactions to them, with an attitude of open curiosity and compassion.



Mindfulness is traditionally cultivated by the practice of meditation in which people learn to pay attention in each moment with full intentionality and with friendly interest. Meditation is not about clearing the mind, but rather coming to see the mind’s patterns. Daily meditation practice allows people to see the way in which certain patterns of mind lead to escalation of emotions, despite our best efforts to control them. It also allows us to see more clearly what sorts of actions lead to more wholesome outcomes in everyday life.

When people practice mindfulness meditation for any length of time, a number of qualities of their experience change. People say they feel more aware or awake, feel calmer and are more able to see clearly and gain freedom from their own emotional patterns and habits. They feel freer to be more compassionate to themselves and to others.


The MBCT programme is typically delivered in 8 Sessions over 8 weeks, with an all-day session taking place around Session 6. It can also be delivered in an intensive format over 5-6 days. A set of Guided Meditations accompany the programme, so that participants can practise at home once a day, six days a week, throughout the course or at the end of the intensive retreat. Participants on an intensive version are encouraged to follow the The Mindful Way Workbook after the programme, to fully embed the learning and new patterns of behavior.



The Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness the MBCT Intensive Retreat will provide an opportunity to experience the full curriculum of the MBCT programme over the course of 5 full days, together with additional sessions designed to enhance both experiential and group learning:


         Introduction to Mindfulness History /Science / Benefits

         Early Morning Mindful Movement


         2 x MBCT Sessions per day


        1 x ‘All-Day’ Silent Practise


         Personal Reflection and Practice sessions


          Evening Practical / Discussion Seminars


Participants who attend all Core Sessions (MBCT sessions 1-8 + Full day of Practise) will receive a Certificate of Participation and Attendance.


For those seeking to become mindfulness teachers in the future, this certificate will support your application and this residential program as a pre-requisite to apply for the training. If you are interested in becoming a Certified MBCT teacher check the information on Teacher Training organized by Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness in collaboration with the Oxford Mindfulness Center here (PT Information) a nd here (EN information).



  • Mindfulness starts when we recognise the tendency to be on automatic pilot and we make a commitment to learning how best to step out of it and become aware of each moment.  Practising how to purposely move attention around the body shows both how simple, and also how difficult, this can be.
  • Further focus on the body begins to show more clearly the ‘chatter of the mind’ and how this tends to control our reactions to everyday events.
  • With greater awareness we begin to notice how busy and scattered the mind can often be. Learning to intentionally take the awareness to the breath, or body sensations, offers thepossibility of being more focused and gathered.
  • The mind is most scattered when it tries to cling to something and avoid/escape other things. Mindfulness offers a way to stay present, to view things from another place, to help take a wider perspective and relate differently to experience.
  • Relating differently involves bringing to experience a sense of ‘allowing’ it to be just as it is, without judging it or trying to make it different. Such an attitude of acceptance is a major part of taking care of oneself and seeing more clearly what, if anything, needs to change.
  • Negative moods and the thoughts that accompany them restrict our ability to relate differently to experience. It is liberating to realise that our thoughts are merely thoughts, even the ones that say they are not!
  • There are some specific things that can be done when depression, anxiety or stress threatens. Taking a breathing space will come first, and then deciding what action, if any, to take. Each person has his or her unique warning signs and having an awareness of these, ‘spotting’ them early, will help in making plans for how best to respond to the turmoil of the mind, depressed mood etc, before it becomes too overwhelming.
  • Maintaining a balance in life is helped by regular mindfulness practice. Good intentions can be strengthened by linking such intentions to a positive reason for taking care of oneself.

MBCT: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy - 5 Day Residencial from Centro Português de Mindfulness on Vimeo.


DAY 1          Friday 8th November

17:00 - 18:00     ARRIVAL & CHECK IN

18:00 - 19:30     Introductions & Welcome

                           Pre-Programme Questionnaires

                           Introduction to Mindfulness

                           Programme Orientation


19:45 – 21:00    DINNER

21:15 -  21:45    Guided Practice



DAY 2          Saturday 9th November

07:15 – 07:45    Mindful Movement

08:00 – 08:45    BREAKFAST

09:00 – 09:45    Foundational Attitudes

09:45 – 11:30    MBCT session 1

11:30 – 12:00    Journaling / Reflection

12:00 – 15:00    LUNCH / Homework / Rest

15:00 – 17:30    MBCT session 2

17:30 – 18:00    Journaling / Reflection

18:30 – 19:45    DINNER

20:00 – 21:00    Mindfulness Postures & Practice


DAY 3          Sunday 10th November

07:15 – 07:45    Mindful Movement

08:00 – 08:45    BREAKFAST

09:00 – 11:30    MBCT session 3

11:30 – 12:00    Journaling / Reflection

12:00 – 15:00    LUNCH / Homework / Rest

15:00 – 17:30    MBCT session 4

17:30 – 18:00    Journaling / Reflection

18:30 – 19:45    DINNER

20:00 – 21:00    Home Practice


DAY 4          Monday 11th November

07:15 – 07:45    Mindful Movement

08:00 – 08:45    BREAKFAST

09:00 – 11:30    MBCT session 5

11:30 – 12:00    Journaling / Reflection

12:00 – 15:00    LUNCH / Homework / Rest

15:00 – 17:30    MBCT session 6

17:30 – 18:00    Journaling / Reflection

18:30 – 19:45    DINNER

20:00 – 21:00    Home Practice


DAY 5             Tuesday 12th November

Day of silent practice

07:15 – 07:45    Mindful Movement

08:00 – 08:45    BREAKFAST

09:00 – 10:30    Silent practice

10:30 – 11:00    SILENT BREAK

11:00 – 12:30    Silent practice

12:30 – 15:00    SILENT LUNCH / Silent Rest

15:00 – 17:00    Silent practice

17:00 – 18:00    Coming out of silence

18:30 – 19:45    DINNER

20:00 – 21:00    Social Gathering /Sharing


DAY 6            Wednesday 13th November

07:15 – 07:45    Mindful Movement

08:00 – 09:00    BREAKFAST and CHECKOUT

09:00 – 11:00    MBCT session 7

11:30 – 12:00    Home Practise

12:00 – 13:00    LUNCH

13:00 – 15:00    MBCT session 8

15:00 – 16:00    Closing session





head and shoulders 7 2


Marion Furr is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Mindfulness Teacher who trained to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programs at Bangor University and Oxford University. Since 2011, as Chair of the staff Health & Wellbeing at the Department of Health in London, she has personally introduced Mindfulness to more than 3,000 colleagues in the UK Civil Service. In 2016 Marion moved to Portugal where she continues her role as amember of the Board of Trusteesat the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and as a member of the steering group of the Mindfulness Initiative- a project that aims to raise awareness about how mindfulness can benefit society. Marion guides Mindfulness programs at individual and group level in her home in the Algarve. She is also an executive coach using psychometric and mindfulness approaches for individuals, groups, and organizational development . Marion is on theUK register of Mindfulness based teachersand is governed by, and meets the standards set by theBritish Psychological Societyand theHealth and Care Professions Council.

Per4-218x300-212x300-212x300.jpg  Per Norrgren is the Director of Training and founder of inMindSight. Having experienced the life-changing impact of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme for himself, Per has been passionately studying and delivering mindfulness training in a variety of settings for the past 8 years, working with schools, local charities, corporations and government departments. In his own time, Per supported his local community in Bedford, UK, with a free weekly mindfulness group that had some 300 members. Before moving to Portugal, Per was a Visiting Tutor at Cranfield University School of Management in the UK where he co-developed and taught the Mindfulness for Higher Performance programme to senior executives from around the world. Per trained as an MBSR mindfulness teacher with Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Researchand Practice and with Breathworks CIC. He is currently on the training pathway to teach MBCT. He maintains strong links with Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness as Chair of the Friends of Bangor Association.




The program will be delivered in English without simultaneous translation into Portuguese. A good understanding of the language and ability to express your experience in English is required.



  • MBCT Program: 360 euros (Private Participants) 360 euros + VAT (23%) (Companies/Organizations)
  • Meals and Accommodation: 200 euros (individual or double rooms)



The limit date for registration is the 21st October 2019 and after this date we will not accept any applications. We will be closed during August on holidays so if your application  is received in this time, we will respond to you in September.


The number of places is limited, so we advise your registration as soon as possible.


To register in the program:

  • Make the payment of the value of the program: 360 euros
  • Payment can be completed bank transference using the:

IBAN: PT50 0035 0158 00018441030 71


                    BANK: CAIXA GERAL DE DEPÓSITOS (CGD)

(for international bank transferences you may need extra information than that provided above. Please get in touch with us via email to geral@serintegral.pt to obtain this information. Thank you.)


  • Send an email to geral@serintegral.pt with the name and date of the event you want to register, with the type of accommodation of your choice (double or single) and the bank statement proof of payment.


In the first day of the program you will have to pay your accommodation/meals fee directly to Casa Paula Franssinetti in the total value of de 200 euros.


After the reception of your email we will send you a reply confirming your place in the retreat and with information relating to the retreat. If you don't receive our reply please contact us. 



  • If your  participation in the program is canceled until the 1st of September you will receive a full reimbursement of the cost of the program minus an administration fee of 30 euros. 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 retreat, but we won’t be responsible for any other costs (i.e., travelling and accommodation) associated with your participation in the retreat.


-The program will occur with a minimum and maximum number of participants (limited places available). In the eventuality of the retreat not having the minimum registrations established Se Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness will have to cancel the event.

- Please bring comfortable clothing, a meditation cushion, yoga mat and blankets for your own comfort in the practice room. Also bring comfortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest and you might also be interested in bringing a mosquito repellent. (*Note: We have material available for some participants, but not for everyone. If you are interested in having our material reserved, please get in touch).

- The program is subject to minor changes according to the needs met during the retreat.

- The room has bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc)

- Individual rooms are limited and they will be offered on first registration basis. The cost of a private room per person is the same as a double room per person.



How to get there?

The address is Casa de Espiritualidade Paula Frassinetti, Rua Colégio do Sardão, n.º 365 – Oliveira do Douro – 4430-361 Vila Nova de Gaia and telephone number: 227 826 650.


By car:

Please check your directions //www.google.com/maps/place/Casa+de+Espiritualidade+Paula+Frassineti/@41.1193013,-8.5888769,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0xd247b4cefacf19b:0x127efe194135edb6!8m2!3d41.1193013!4d-8.5866882?hl=pt-PT">here.


GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 41.118404 | Longitude: -8.586763


By Metro/Taxi:

Take the Metro (line D) to Santo Ovídio. You can find here more information about Metro (lines, timetable, prices).


From there you can take a taxi (there is a Taxi stop just outside the metro station) and pay around 5€ (7minute ride). Address: Rua Colégio do Sardão, n.º 365 – Oliveira do Douro – 4430-361 Vila Nova de Gaia

At what time should I arrive? When will we finish?
Arrival is on the 16th of November between 5pm and 6pm so that we can process your arrival and registration. You will then be assigned to your room and we will meet at the practice room at 6pm for an orientation session and at 7.45pm for dinner. In the last day of the retreat we will have lunch at the retreat center and after we will meet for a closing session. After this we will all leave the retreat center.

Is there wireless and mobile phone connection?

Yes, but usage of mobile phones and internet is limited during the 5 days of the retreat.


Is it possible to arrive earlier or stay after the retreat ends?

Yes, if you need more nights at the retreat center you can asks us and we will book an extra night for you directly with the retreat center.

What do I need to bring?

It is advised to bring comfortable clothing, a meditation cushion, a yoga mat and blankets for your comfort during the practices. The room has bed sheets, towels, blankets, but you should bring all the toiletries that you usually need (e.g., shampoo, soap, etc). Also bring comfortable walking shoes to use on the gardens/forest and you might also be interested in bringing a mosquito repellent.


Is this retreat accepted as a pre-requisite for the teacher training in mindfulness?

If you want to know if this retreat is acceptable as a pre-requisite for training as a mindfulness teacher you should contact the institutions directly. This retreat is accepted at Ser Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness as a pre-requisite for the MBRP and MBCT teacher training.



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