Sussex Mindfulness Centre leads

  • Clara Strauss

    Clara Strauss

    Clara is the Research Lead for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She is a consultant clinical psychologist, mindfulness teacher and clinical researcher. In her research, Clara is particularly interested in developing and evaluating new forms of mindfulness-based intervention (MBI), especially for those people who may not be willing or able to access MBCT. Along with other members of her research team, Clara has been evaluating MBIs for people experiencing depression, for people distressed by hearing voices and for people experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This research has also included research with NHS staff, university students and the wider population.

  • Robert Marx

    Robert Marx

    Robert is the Training and Governance Lead for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. He is a consultant clinical psychologist and has been involved in running mindfulness groups for staff and patients since 2006. He also trains and supervises others doing mindfulness work. He is interested in relational mindfulness and in adaptations of Mindfulness-based Interventions using compassion practices.

Sussex Mindfulness Centre Trainers

  • Fergal Jones

    Fergal Jones

    Fergal Jones is the convenor for the teacher training programmes for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and adapted mindfulness-based interventions. 

    He is a clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist who completed mindfulness teacher training at the University of Bangor. He currently works part time in Health in Mind, the primary care well-being service that serves East Sussex. He uses mindfulness in his clinical work, supervises other mindfulness teachers and is involved with a number of research projects concerning mindfulness-based interventions.

  • Bridgette O'Neill

    Bridgette O'Neill

    Bridgette is a mindfulness teacher and supervisor, and a consultant clinical psychologist. She previously held a leadership position within Sussex Partnership and has been involved in the development and governance of mindfulness interventions in the Trust. Bridgette is the convenor for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre’s Foundation and Adapted MBI training programmes. She also provides supervision and teaching 8-week courses for Sussex Partnership staff and service users.

  • Taravajra


    Taravajra has been teaching MBCT in Sussex since 2005 to community groups, carers, teachers and NHS staff groups.He gained a Masters degree in mindfulness based approaches in 2010 at Bangor University. Since 2011, he has been part of the core training team at Bangor, teaching on the Masters programme and teacher training retreats (TTR1) and offering supervision. He also holds a British Wheel of Yoga teaching diploma and is a Focusing practitioner. He is one of the main trainers on the Foundation training for Sussex Mindfulness Centre.

    Taravajra is interested in mindful movement, which was gained initially through tai ch’i, Alexander Technique and karate. After training with the British Wheel of Yoga, he taught yoga for several years. He has also had a long term practice of aikido and has trained as a Focusing practitioner.

  • Ruth Sequeira

    Ruth Sequeira

    Ruth is a Mindfulness Teacher, Supervisor, Psychological Therapist and Senior Primary Mental Health Worker at the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in East Sussex. Ruth has a longstanding interest in mindfulness, meditation and movement, and is passionate about increasing access to mindfulness courses in different populations. Ruth currently facilitates Mindfulness Courses for Sussex Partnership staff, the general public and adapted courses for adolescents.

Sussex Mindfulness Centre Researchers

  • Kate Cavanagh

    Kate Cavanagh

    Kate is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Sussex, and Honorary Clinical Psychologist in Sussex Partnership NHS Trust. Her research interests include increasing access to evidence-based psychological therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness-based interventions, in particular via e-mental health and other self-help resources. Kate is the University of Sussex lead for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, and collaborates with Dr. Clara Strauss on research projects exploring briefer mindfulness-based interventions and mindfulness-based self-help approaches.

  • Helga Dittmar

    Helga Dittmar

    I am an applied social psychologist, working at the University of Sussex. My research focuses on how consumer culture influences people’s well-being and mental health, outlined in my book Consumer Culture, Identity, and Well-being. I am working with Kate Cavanagh and the two SMC Directors, Clara Strauss and Robert Marx, on a research study examining whether mindfulness can help make people more resilient against consumer culture pressures. This mindfulness intervention, a randomised control trial, has received funding from the School of Psychology at Sussex. I am now a  qualified mindfulness teacher for Adapted Mindfulness-Based Interventions.

Sussex Mindfulness Centre Doctoral Students

  • Charlotte Dunkeld

    Charlotte Dunkeld

    Charlotte’s PhD focuses on factors which affect engagement with digital mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) (such as smartphone apps and websites), and is supervised by Dr Clara Strauss and Dr Kate Cavanagh. The research is half-funded by the widely-known digital MBI, Headspace.

  • Alison Roberts

    Alison Roberts

    Alison is undertaking a PhD at the University of Sussex, supervised by Helen Startup and Clara Strauss with Claire Rosten and Richard de Visser. She has been a clinical psychologist for 14 years and has worked in the NHS since 1999. She works part-time clinically in the neurobehavioural service and part-time as a doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex.

    People diagnosed with ‘Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder” can experience enduring and intense emotions and high levels of distress.  It can be hard to get access to the right kind of psychological treatment and health practitioners working with this group of people often find it hard to know what to offer. The diagnostic label itself can sometimes be stigmatising and a barrier to treatment. We know that Mindfulness Based Interventions can be acceptable and effective for some people and this may be by helping them to be less troubled by emotional states.

    Alison’s research project will explore what kind of adaptations might need to be made to standard Mindfulness Based Interventions to increase their acceptability, suitability, safety and effectiveness for people with this diagnosis. She will review the existing research literature before consulting with relevant staff and people with lived experience. She hopes to go on to adapt a standard MBI protocol and run a feasibility and acceptability trial and subsequent qualitative interviews. The hope is that this will increase the options available for people diagnosed with “Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder” so that they can more easily access psychological help.

  • Heather Taylor

    Heather Taylor

    Heather is a final year PhD student at the University of Sussex, supervised by Clara Strauss and Kate Cavanagh. Heather’s research is focusing on evaluating mindfulness-based self-help resources.

Sussex Partnership-employed MBCT teachers

  • Heather Ball

    Heather Ball

    Heather is a Psychiatric Nurse and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist working in secondary care mental health with people who experience severe and enduring difficulties. Alongside running formal 8-week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy groups for SPFT clients, she has been involved in Mindfulness for Voices Groups and the Brief Mindfulness Interventions trial. Heather was also involved in the Mindfulness for Life research trial for Sussex Partnership staff, through Oxford Mindfulness Centre. She regularly runs MBCT drop-in sessions at the Sussex Education Centre, Brighton Buddhist Centre, and a mindfulness drop-in for SPFT staff at East Brighton Mental Health Centre. She is also a supervisor of mindfulness teachers. She also gains inspiration from poetry and nature.

  • Kim Bates

  • Cecilia Bissessur

    Cecilia Bissessur

    Cecilia Bissessur is a Dramatherapist working within Adult Mental Health and Acute Dementia care at Sussex Partnership.  Following a personal interest in mindfulness and yoga she trained as an MBCT teacher with the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2019.  She has been teaching MBCT courses since this time and plans to become more involved in staff drop in and all day events.

  • Lynda Bryer

    Lynda Bryer

    I have been practicing meditation for around 13 years, starting at the Buddhist centre in Brighton, and then doing the eight-week formal mindfulness meditation course in London led by the late great Cindy Cooper. Since then I have been introducing it into various mental health settings over the years, including co-facilitating the eight week course alongside a psychologist which included older and younger adults. At the last of all the stars aligned for me to consolidate all my practice by training to be a mindfulness teacher in 2020. I’m very pleased to be part of this meditation community and look forward to offering it to clients and staff within the NHS, which at present is the Assessment and Treatment Service in Chichester.

  • Catherine Cameron

    Catherine Cameron

    Catherine is a clinical psychologist working within the community-based persistent pain team within Sussex MSK Partnership She has a particular interest in mindfulness and self-compassion in pain. She co-facilitates the mindful self-compassion course for staff with Robert Marx having trained to facilitate the MSC course in 2014 and before that running MBCT-based Mindfulness for Pain courses in Hove Polyclinic. She is also involved in the mindfulness all day retreats run for those who have attended the 8-week courses within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Jo Coldwell

    Jo Coldwell

    Jo Coldwell is a Clinical Psychologist working within specialist Child and Adolescent services in Sussex Partnership for Children in Care. Following a personal interest in yoga and mindfulness she trained as a Mindfulness teacher with Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2017. Since then she has run MBCT groups for Foster Carers in East Sussex and has a particular interest in mindfulness for parents and carers.

  • Hannah Denton

    Hannah Denton

    Hannah Denton is a Counselling Psychologist working within Adult Mental Health in Sussex Partnership.  Following a personal interest in mindfulness and yoga she trained as an MBCT teacher with the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2011.  She has been teaching MBCT courses since as well as regularly facilitating drop in sessions for staff. 

  • Juan Du

    Juan Du

    Juan Du is a Trainee Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist who has been working with mental health services in Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust since 2016. She trained as a MBCT/MBSR teacher with Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2017 and has been involved in teaching ITM (Introduction to Mindfulness) with Recovery College and mindfulness in self-care for staff induction since.  She believes her strong interest and imprint in mindfulness begins with her upbringing in China, with a strong influence of Buddhism culture. 

    Her Doctorate research is focusing on  Exploring Integrating Mindfulness Chinese Calligraphy Enhanced Therapy (CCET) as Complementary Psychotherapy to Bridge Underrepresented Chinese Clients in the UK

    Chinese Calligraphy Handwriting (CCH) as a mindfulness-based brush meditation intervention has been practised for thousand years in China,  CCET is a complementary therapy designed as a culturally sensitive and non-threatening approach to bridging Chinese clients’ access to psychological therapy. The 4 sessions of CCET is an innovative integrative approach which also draws on cognitive theory, mindfulness theory and psychoanalytic theory. The design is inspired by her clinical work with Chinese clients in the UK and is also based on personal experience of psychotherapy practice and her role as a mindfulness teacher for community services.

    Juan hopes this research will provide benefit for culturally-sensitive psychological therapy access for the Chinese Community in the UK, improve the awareness of a cultural-sensitive psychological approach in the psychotherapy community and promote race equality in mental healthcare services in the UK.

  • Edwyna Dyer

  • Lucy Edwards

    Lucy Edwards

    Lucy is a Clinical Psychologist working in secondary care adult mental health services within the Trust since 2003. Lucy’s relationship with mindfulness developed from experiencing its benefits firsthand. She integrates mindfulness into her clinical work and in 2015 completed her mindfulnes teacher training at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She teaches 8 week mindfulness courses, as well as being involved in the all day and drop in events at the Sussex Education Centre.

  • Sarah Goodfellow

  • Sue Huggett

    Sue Huggett

    Sue is a Senior Counselling Psychologist who has been working in  Secondary Care Adult Mental Health Services within the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust since 1998. She was introduced to Mindfulness six years ago joining an eight-week Staff MBCT course. Experiencing great benefits from this, in 2015 she completed the one-year MBCT Teacher Training Programme provided by the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She now facilitates eight-week MBCT Courses within the North West Sussex Secondary Care Service.

  • Lana Jackson

    Lana Jackson

    Lana is a Senior Clinical Psychologist, Mindfulness Teacher, and Yoga Therapist for Mental Health specialising in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) and Paediatric Clinical Psychology in Brighton. Over the last three years she has co-developed, co-facilitated and evaluated an eight-week adapted MBCT programme for young people (14-19 years) with stress, anxiety and low mood within CAMHS. Lana is currently taking this work into the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital where she is developing and delivering mindfulness and yoga workshops and groups for young people with chronic pain and long-term physical health challenges. Lana also runs staff MBCT courses, mindfulness workshops, and training for professionals working with children, young people and families.

  • Ruth Kendall

    Ruth Kendall

    Ruth trained at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2017 after recognising the benefits of mindfulness on a personal level, as well as for the young people, parents, and staff she worked with. Ruth is keen to develop mindfulness workshops and groups for parents in Paediatrics and has a growing interest in trauma and the body.

  • Lynn Ley

    Lynn Ley

    Lynn has been facilitating Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Groups (MBCT) within Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust since 2008. Within Health in Mind, there is a rolling eight week MBCT program, and Lynn holds groups in Lewes, Hastings, and Eastbourne/ Hailsham. As with all teachers of MBCT within Sussex Partnership Trust, Lynn has a personal meditation practice which she has found life-enhancing. She also contributes to the mindfulness-based interventions practice network group.

  • Sarah Pratap

    Sarah Pratap

    Sarah is a Clinical Psychologist who works within Adult Mental Health in Brighton and Hove. Sarah trained as a mindfulness teacher with the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2011 and since then has facilitated mindfulness for voices and MBCT groups. Sarah uses variety of approaches in her individual clinical work and enjoys integrating aspects of mindfulness into this work where it is helpful.

  • Hazel Ragoonanan

    Hazel Ragoonanan

    Hazel is a nurse by background and now works as a mindfulness teacher in the Group Treatment Services in Brighton.

  • Anita Raybould

    Anita Raybould

    Anita works at Health in Mind as a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Practitioner. She also works outside of the NHS in schools with children with social, emotional and mental health needs. Her background is in CAMHS and she continues to have a passion for working with children, young people and their families.

    I became interested in mindfulness whilst practising yoga in approximately 2010. I started to develop my own mindfulness practice alongside my yoga practice, and noticed the transformative effects of this in my own life.  I was fortunate to complete the ‘Foundation Training in Mindfulness Based Approaches MBSR/MBCT’ in 2017.

    Anita is keen to establish MBCT groups within the adult mental health team. She offer a weekly staff mindfulness drop-in at Cavendish House which is a helpful space.  She is also interested in mindfulness with children, young people, parents/carers and during pregnancy.

  • Miranda Rose

    Miranda is a clinical nurse specialist and team leader in CAMHS, East Susssex. She has a long standing interest in mindfulness and personal meditation practice over the past 30 years. Miranda completed her MBCT teacher training in 2015 and now facilitates mindfulness courses for adolescents experiencing clinically significant episodes of anxiety and low mood within the CAMHS service.

  • Susan Whiting

    Susan Whiting

    Susan has been facilitating Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy groups since training as a mindfulness teacher with the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2011, and supports the drop-in mindfulness sessions and silent all days for SMC.  Her clinical work is mainly in the specialist older adult mental health services in Brighton & Hove, and Susan has been involved in researching the benefits of MBCT for older people and has also been delivering adapted group based mindfulness interventions for people experiencing dementia and their family and carers. Susan is Consultant Clinical Psychologist and has a lead role within Psychology and Psychological Therapy community adult mental health services.

Sussex Partnership-employed Mindfulness-based Interventions practitioners

  • Kate Axford

  • Mary Bond

  • Fliss Boulton

  • Kelly Cahill

  • Padmaprabha Dalby

    Padmaprabha Dalby

    Dr Padmaprabha Dalby is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Director for Specialist Older Adult Services in Sussex Partnership Trust. She took up her current role out of a passion to improve and develop the services we offer to older people and people with dementia. Padmaprabha has conducted and published research into the lived experience of spirituality in older people living with dementia and also has personal experience of close family members living with dementia. Clinically she is currently offering a service to support care homes and their communities in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Padmaprabha trained to teach mindfulness-based interventions in 2018.

  • Hannah Droscher

    Hannah Droscher

    Hannah, a clinical psychologist at Sussex Partnership, learned to teach mindfulness-based interventions during 2020.

  • Nichole Duncan

  • Dominic Ford

    Dominic learned to teach mindfulness-based interventions during 2020 and he now runs a weekly drop in for staff and residents of Shepherd House Recovery Service, as well as being the Director of Corporate Affairs at Sussex Partnership.

  • Gemma Harrison

    Gemma has been a mindfulness teacher since 2011. After joining Sussex Partnership foundation Trust in 2014  she was able to complete the Adapted Mindfulness course in 2018, and was then given the opportunity to do the Foundation Mindfulness teacher training course which she completed in 2020. She is currently offering staff drop in sessions for her work colleagues at Chapel Street Clinic with her fellow mindfulness colleagues and will be offering the 8 week mindfulness MBCT course to patients.

  • Celia Heneage

    Celia Heneage

    Celia Heneage trained in Mindfulness Based Interventions with the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in 2018. She has retired from her work as a Clinical Psychologist in teams for people with learning disabilities and now volunteers to support the development of mindfulness provision to people with learning disabilities in Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust.

  • Rhianon Hale

  • Gillian Hurran

  • Susan Jenner

  • Erika Langen

  • Hannah Sale

  • Hannah Shutt

  • Daniel Snow

    Daniel, a peer support worker at Sussex Partnership, learned to teach mindfulness-based interventions during 2020.

  • Sally Stapleton

    Sally, a clinical psychologist at Sussex Partnership, learned to teach mindfulness-based interventions during 2020 

  • Martin Stent

  • Selina Thorrington

Sussex Mindfulness Centre Mindfulness teacher associates

  • Jo Chittenden

    Jo Chittenden

    Jo works as an Occupational Therapist in the Sussex Partnership’s low secure forensic inpatient service in Chichester.  She is a passionate advocate for developing new models of patient care and trained as an occupational therapist in part so she could offer Mindfulness within the health service.  Jo has a committed practice of 25 years and has trained with a number of teachers worldwide.  Jo offers drop in Mindfulness sessions to staff and patients in the secure service and is working towards a model that better suits forensic inpatients.  Jo also offers regular MBSR/CT courses to staff at the Office of National Statistics and supports individuals in their practice.

  • Rosalie Dores

    Rosalie Dores

    Rosalie Dores is a mindfulness teacher, supervisor and trainer. She completed a five-year masters degree in teaching mindfulness at Bangor University, with distinction as well as holding a Certificate of Teacher Competency. She teaches general and workplace populations, as well as one-to-one Distance Learning Programmes. She offers supervision and personal practice mentoring for The Mindfulness Network CIC, as well as conducting MBI-TAC assessments. She has been practicing mindfulness and yoga since 1992. She also teaches Insight Dialogue retreats and Interpersonal Mindfulness courses. Her website is

  • Richard Gilpin

    Richard Gilpin

    Richard is a mindfulness teacher, counsellor and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist. He has trained extensively in mindfulness-based practices since the 1990s and has been facilitating MBCT courses since 2007. He is the author of two self-help books: Mindfulness for Black Dogs and Blue Days (2012) and Mindfulness for Unravelling Anxiety (2016). His Masters research on MBCT was published in 2008.

    His website is

  • Kate Gooch

    Kate Gooch

    Kate Gooch holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Mindfulness Based Approaches from Bangor University (2012) and has taught Mindfulness since 2007. She teaches the general population, clinical populations, and carers, as well as delivering courses in educational settings and the workplace. She’s trained in .b, .b Foundations, and MYRIAD, in addition to being a Mindfulness supervisor for the Mindfulness Network. She also has a Speech and Language Therapy background.

  • Ed Halliwell

    Ed Halliwell

    Ed leads public mindfulness courses, workshops and retreats in Sussex, London and Surrey, and has introduced and taught mindfulness in many organisations. He is the author of Into The Heart of Mindfulness, and Mindfulness: How To Live Well By Paying Attention, and co-author of The Mindful Manifesto. He is also an advisor to and former co-director of The Mindfulness Initiative, which is supporting the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness (MAPPG) to develop mindfulness-based policies for the UK. His website is

  • Jiva Mashader

    Jiva Mashader

    Jiva has an MSc in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapies from Exeter University and has gone through the strict assessment involved in gaining her Certificate of Competence in Teaching Mindfulness Based Approaches from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. She has taught the 8-week mindfulness course over 80 times both to groups and 1-1 and worked with a wide variety of people from all ages and backgrounds. 
    Jiva is also a mindfulness supervisor, both on Exeter University’s MSc programme in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapies, through the Mindfulness Network CIC and privately. She taught for a research trial at Sussex University and was part of the MYRIAD trial at Oxford Centre for Mindfulness, as well as mentoring for Bangor University’s Teacher Training Pathway.
    She has been practising mindfulness since 1997 and has seen herself becoming calmer, happier and more emotionally stable over that time.

  • Nicky Mouat

    Nicky Mouat

    Nicky is a Mental Health Nurse and Mindfulness teacher. She works in the NHS at Pavilions Drug and Alcohol Service, where she has been facilitating Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention courses, and holding a weekly drop in for Service. Users and Staff. She has been teaching MBCT for the Wellbeing Service, and Recovery College in Brighton. She was also part of the Myriad Mindfulness in Schools Research Project, and was involved in teaching Mindfulness for Life to teachers in Sussex Schools. She has a particular interest in working with Service Users with ‘Dual Diagnosis’ (Substance Misuse and Mental Health Issues), and the way that Mindfulness can be helpful to this client group.

  • Ann Pelling

    Ann Pelling

    Ann is a mindfulness teacher and supervisor and a chartered counselling psychologist. She has been involved in both supporting and facilitating MBCT courses for clients within SPFT since 2006. Ann now works as a associate of the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, providing supervision and teaching 8 week courses for staff and clients.

  • Julia Powell

    Julia Powell

    Julia Powell is a mindfulness teacher and coach. She leads mindfulness courses to help people find more balance in their lives, improve their wellbeing and flourish. While caring for her mother who lived with dementia, Julia used her mindfulness practice to help navigate the challenging times. She now draws on that experience in the training she offers to both carers of people living with dementia and people with mild to moderate dementia.

    Having trained to teach with Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and taught with Sussex Mindfulness Centre, Julia is registered with the British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches. Julia runs three mindfulness courses for the general population: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness for Life and Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

  • Bethan Roberts

    Bethan Roberts

    Bethan is one of the Core Trainers at Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) teaching teacher training retreats and offering supervision. She has been teaching 8-week ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction’ (MBSR) courses since 2008 and has taught Mindfulness in a variety of organisations including the NHS, the Welsh Assembly, Families First Projects and the Office for National Statistics. She has also been teaching Mindfulness to distance learners since 2010. Bethan is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor (approved in 2008) and teaches courses on mental health at Cardiff University as well running training on mental health and unconscious bias for the Civil Service.

Mindfulness Advocates

  • Charlie Crocker

    Charlie Crocker

    “As a person who worked in the highly stressful and fast world of media my life came to a crossroads three years ago and I was introduced to mindfulness by Susan Whiting.  I have come to find the oasis of calm that is mindfulness practice to be a saving grace. It has helped to teach me not to worry about what I will do the next day, month or year but just to stop and enjoy the moment I am in. I would say it has been life-changing for me. I am very happy to be an advocate for mindfulness and more than eager to share its benefits. The paths I take now are slightly different but enrichment follows behind me.”

  • Helga Dittmar

    Helga Dittmar

    I see the way I am now, and the way my life is now, as a testament to the transformative and healing power of mindfulness. It is not a path for the faint-hearted if, like me, you come from a particularly dark place. Like the panther in Rilke’s poem, I existed in a cage for many years, behind bars of emotional distress, loneliness, and livelessness. What I learnt in the MBCT courses, the way mindfulness was embodied by the teachers, and my own daily mindfulness practice combined to give me the strength, clarity, and courage, to free myself into a new existence, where there is joy, connectedness with others, and emotional expressiveness. Life will always have its challenges, but I have never felt more alive; in my work, in my relationships, and - maybe above all - in re-finding, sharing, and living, music.

  • Mike Hales

    Mike Hales

    Diagnosed with recurrent depression, Mike participated in the Trust’s 8-week programme of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in 2009 and is delighted by the contribution that it made to his ability to establish and maintain wellbeing. This has also led him to explore approaches to the cultivation of compassion and self-compassion. He is very impressed by mindfulness based interventions in contrast with CBT and antidepressant medication, especially the way that they may enable a person to deal with things in-the-body rather than in-the-head, as a form of self-care, without ongoing dependence on medical expertise and medicines. The MBCT induction into mindfulness practice has been a life-changer. Mike is also impressed by the way that the Sussex Mindfulness Centre has developed, with many trained practitioners now, a regime of professional supervision, an annual conference, an expanding body of research in-progress and professional-development master-classes. Well done you guys in the Practice Network!

  • Nazan Kaplankiran

    Nazan Kaplankiran

    I thought I knew so much about the mind and how it worked, until I participated in the 8-week MCBT course. Thoughts are not facts, and our brains are more likely to prompt us to react on an ‘auto-pilot’ response rather than to respond with our logical brain, but I’ve also learned that brain rewiring through consistent and daily mindfulness, and other healthy habits can help reduce the overthinking tendencies of the chaotic ‘monkey mind’. Through incorporating yoga and mindfulness into my everyday life, along with a well balanced diet, I have come out of depression, mood instability, and my anxiety levels have reduced to a point that I wouldn’t of dreamed of before.

    Through my hardships, I’ve come to other realisations such as; This is happening for a reason, and that reason being that my mental health struggles have helped me emphasise with others, helped me express my struggles to help others, and also helped motivate me to learn more about the mind, how it works, and how to help myself in the long run. I hope to take up a teacher training course soon in Yoga, to continue spreading awareness of how important it is to be present. 

  • Helen Leigh-Phippard

    Helen is a former long-term user of SPFT services. She took the Trust’s MBCT course several years ago and mindfulness has continued to be an essential and valued part her daily life ever since. Helen currently represents the interests of service users on SPFT’s Mindfulness Practice Network.

  • Elaine Moore

    Elaine Moore

    ‘Being diagnosed with emotional intensity disorder and PTSD I took part in the group treatments programs and was referred to see if I was suitable to take part in a course in mindfulness.  I count myself very lucky to of done the Mindfullness course as it has impacted on life. I feel more present in the moment and it has now become an intrigal part of my life. ‘

  • Fiona Fletcher

    Fiona Fletcher

    Hi, I’m Fiona - nice to meet you! 

    I came to mindfulness following a series of life-changing events. I was looking for a way to understand and make sense of how trauma and stress manifests in the mind and body.

    I became very interested in the science behind mindfulness and the positive affects it can have on the brain and mental and physical wellbeing. 

    Astonished by the results of applying these practises to my daily life, I went on to research and train in a number of modalities in order to help others.

    I am currently in training with Sussex Partnership to deliver Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy & Stress Reduction programmes.

    I am also a qualified Breathwork Coach.

Sussex Mindfulness Centre Team

  • Zoe Baty - Sussex Mindfulness Centre Administrator

    Zoe Baty - Sussex Mindfulness Centre Administrator

    Zoe provides administrative support for the many and varied courses and events offered by the SMC, including the mindfulness masterclasses and the Trust staff 8-week mindfulness groups. She has a background in journalism and events, and is currently studying for an MSc in Psychology through the Open University. A long-time yoga devotee, Zoe is also a recent convert to mindfulness practice and is undertaking the 8-week Trust staff mindfulness course.

  • Bushra Farooq

    Bushra Farooq

    Bushra is a Senior Assistant Psychologist for the MBCT in IAPT training centres collaboration and is responsible for the administration and evaluation of the MBCT in the IAPT training programme. She is a passionate advocate for nutrition and mental health, focusing on incorporating mindfulness practices in daily life. Bushra got interested in mindfulness during her undergraduate degree in Malaysia, which led to her completing the Jose Silva Ultramind System meditation practice through Mindvalley. She has completed a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Sussex and a Professional certification from Precision Nutrition. She has worked as a Psychology Graduate Intern for Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust. She has received a Positive Psychology Showcase award for her contribution to the Older Adults Mental Health Service. She is undertaking the 8-week staff mindful self-compassion course.

  • Dean Francis

    Dean Francis

    Dean Francis is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) lead for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. He is a trained environmental scientist and the mindfulness-based EDI consultant for the Mindfulness Association. He’s also a facilitator, practitioner and mindfulness supervisor to mindfulness teachers with an interest in the intersections between mindfulness, justice, equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. Dean has recently completed a Masters’ Degree with the University of Aberdeen where he obtained a distinction and recommendation to publish.

    Dean’s research project involved the creation and research of a new socially focused mindfulness training programme designed to help deconstruct racism and social inequality in a collective and non-adversarial way. Over the past 15 years, Dean has also been the director of an environmental consultancy, a recipient of a Global Award of Engineering Excellence, commanded in the Thames Gateway Businessperson of the year and appointed to an HSE Government advisory group management committee between 2008 and 2019. Currently, Dean is focusing on innovations in the design, delivery, and practice of mindfulness that is sensitive to the lived experience of marginalised communities and those impacted by identity-based harm, racism, and oppression, as a means to widen engagement through appropriate context specific practices and training. 

  • Mariana Huston

    Mariana Huston

    Mariana is a Sussex Mindfulness Centre Volunteer, primarily providing communications and event support. She has a background in human resource consulting, specifically city liveability research used to determine hardship allowances for internationally mobile employees. She has a degree in Management and Marketing.

    She recently moved into the third sector and healthcare space, having worked with BHT Sussex on the Fulfilling Lives project, which focused on helping those with multiple and complex needs (homelessness, psychological and physical health problems, drug and/or alcohol dependency, and offending behaviour).

    She is finding mindfulness beneficial in her personal journey and is keen to support SMC in making mindfulness courses more accessible. Her particular areas of interest are co-production and mindfulness-based interventions for addiction. Aside from meditation, Mariana enjoys regular yoga practice and is an avid juggler.

  • Niki Larsen-Johnson

    Niki Larsen-Johnson

    Niki is the Administration Manager for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She has worked for the NHS in various roles for over 25 years, and for the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for 15 years. She has a background in retail management. Niki provides managerial and administrative support to the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, supporting the smooth running of our courses, as well as overseeing the day to day work of the admin team.

    In addition to working for SMC, Niki is also the administrator for the Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) training in the Trust, and other CAT practitioner and psychotherapist training in the UK.

    Niki enjoys walking her rescue dog on the South Downs, and also follows Formula One attending races around the world.  


    Telephone:0300 304 0689

  • Susie Muszynska

    Susie Muszynska

    Susie Muszynska is a Psychology Graduate Volunteer in the Sussex Mindfulness Centre (SMC) at the East Brighton Community Mental Health Centre. Before joining SMC, Susie completed her MSc degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, and received the Spirit of Sussex Gold Award for concomitantly working in a CAHMS mental health care setting.

    Susie became interested in mindfulness during her undergraduate degree in philosophy, and plans to pursue a path towards becoming a Clinical Psychologist, integrating mindfulness into her practice. At the SMC, Susie is supporting joint assessments for mindfulness and other psychological interventions, co-running psychoeducation groups in the Group Treatment service, helping with training evaluation, supporting research projects, working with the administration and project management team to ensure the SMC runs effectively, and working to promote SMC widely. 

  • Julia Powell

    Julia Powell

    Julia Powell is the Communications Lead for the Sussex Mindfulness Centre. She has a long track record leading communications and campaigns strategy in the international development, human rights and social justice sectors. Using strategic communications as a tool to help organisations achieve their mission, Julia has worked for charities such as the Fairtrade Foundation, Fairtrade International and UNICEF.

    In this role for Sussex Mindfulness Centre, Julia marries her keen interest in mindfulness as a trained mindfulness teacher, with her passion for strategic communications. She will help the Centre achieve its goals to enable more people to improve their wellbeing through mindfulness training, and make the training more accessible to the diverse communities who can benefit from it.

  • Richard Symon

    Richard Symon

    Richard is a Psychology Graduate Volunteer having recently completed a MSc in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex. Richard is working in the Sussex Mindfulness Centre and East Brighton Community Mental Health Centre, helping with training evaluation and working with Paula and Niki to ensure the work of the SMC is promoted widely.

  • Kate Webb

    Kate Webb

    Kate is the project manager at Sussex Mindfulness Centre responsible for operations and business development. She comes from a long career in the Third Sector, developing and managing community mental health projects and where she completed the 8-week MBSR course in 2009 and has practiced ever since. She is particularly interested in how Mindfulness Based Interventions can help create positive workplace cultures through focusing on wellbeing and looks forward to helping external organisations create bespoke programmes for their workforces. She is also a devotee of mindful sea swimming.