What is Meditation and Mindfulness?


Meditation covers a range of approaches and techniques that help to calm the mind and “centre” attention. Approaches may be centring on the breath, saying a word or phrase (mantra) repeatedly, or more active practices such as chanting or walking meditation.

Although it does not need to be seen in a religious context, it tends to be associated with Buddhism, and indeed this is where the approach has been best developed, providing a very wide range of different meditations. However, most religions, such as those from a Christian, Islamic and Sufi perspective, include some contemplative practices and meditations.

Meditation tends to be shown as focusing inward and physically still activity – the classic image is the cross legged pose. There is a wide range of other approaches – walking meditation is an interesting and different approach that appeals to some people. Another is chanting – which may seem to be alien to an English culture, but once experienced can be liberating and fun. In the Christian tradition, chanting of ‘Maranatha’ (Come, Lord Jesus) is one approach and is used in some church groups; Sufi chants are much more active and can include dancing as well.


Mindfulness is a more recent development and is best expressed as “meditation in action” or applying meditation approaches to day to day life. It was developed in the UK in the 2000s as an approach for chronic recurrent depression and has developed for a wide range of mental health problems, as well as for physical health problems such as chronic pain. There is also an approach for stress reduction. There is considerable research showing the effectiveness of mindfulness training. Mindfulness is not religious - although it draws on a range of approaches it is a secular approach.

To develop your meditation and mindfulness practise requires some time commitment. It is best to work on establishing a core meditation approach which usually to start with is best focused on breathing. There are also other approaches such as body scans and mindful attention. Over time, people will find which ones work best for them. Many people find it easier to meditate in a group setting. Whilst there are CDs and examples of meditations on the internet and YouTube, starting with a class, either in a group or individually often helps people to get the approach established.


Carr Home Plus providing mindfulness courses

I have been teaching meditation and mindfulness for over 10 years. This has been a part of my work as a clinical psychologist in the NHS in South West London. In terms of my personal involvement, I first started with transcendental meditation and still use this as a core part of my practice. This uses a personal mantra that is repeated silently for up to 20 minutes twice a day. I later trained in mindfulness and am now a recognised teacher having reached Stage 2. 

Having provided mindfulness training within the NHS for adults of working age and older adults with mental health problems; this included staff training as part of what was offered. More recently I have been running such groups in independent practice and in addition have provided staff training courses in a range of settings.

Tending now to encourage people to first establish a personal meditative practice before moving into mindfulness as I think it gives more longstanding benefits. I am also increasingly interested in breathing approaches within the yoga tradition and the current research identifying the benefits of this for both physical and mental health.

I am part of a local group interested in meditation and more spiritual matters, where we include a range of meditations and mindfulness with discussion of writings and ideas of a more spiritual nature.

Please do make contact with me if you are interested generally in the approach and just want to talk about it; I am always happy to discuss meditation and mindfulness, and what might be of value for each individual.

Dr Catherine Dooley, B.A., M.Phil., D.Clin. Psych.

  • Chartered Psychologist
  • British Psychological Society No 9550
  • HCPC  No PYL03709


To discuss how I can help, please use our contact form.


1:1 personal classes

1:1 personal classes

The aim is to help find a meditation / mindfulness practice that works for you! Classes cover a range of approaches, tailored to your individual interests and preferences:

Breathing meditation
Mindfulness of attention – pebbles, flowers
Compassionate Mind work

Some psychometric measures can be included.

mindfulness courses

mindfulness courses

Mindfulness Based Stress Management
Want to deal better with stress or anxiety? This course helps with techniques and strategies.

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
Living with more severe psychological difficulties, e.g. depression? This course helps  reduce the impact on your life.

Both 8 weeks of 2 hours

Also Briefer Workshops



For Businesses, Service Providers, Staff Groups

We provide:

Introductory “taster” sessions
Half Day workshops
Monthly “top up” sessions
Short courses 

We would work to tailor this to your needs.

Contact us to hear what we can offer.


Frequently Asked Questions

Review our frequently asked questions to help answer any questions you may have.


Useful information, such as publications which giving further insight into Mindfulness.


A collection of case studies giving detailed analysis of symptoms and benefits gained.


There are many reseaches into Mindfulness, here are a few research cases to review.


Here are some meditation practices which you might find useful.

Call us on 07759 655 570

Arrange a free consultation to discuss how we can help


Tester Session

A free 1 hour tester session

Our Tester Session will give you an insight into Mindfulness and how it can help. To book an appointment or make an enquiry, please use our contact form.

Cost: Free


8 Week Group Course

Mindfulness Stress Reduction

This will follow the established Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course covering breathing meditations, mindfulness of an object, body scan. It can be tailored to the particular interest and needs of the participants. By then end of the course you should have gained an understanding of mindfulness, established practices that work for you within your life situation. The group aspect means that you share with and learn from others.

2 hours per week

Cost: £230 - £300

Top Up/Refresher group session, £30 for 1.5 hours



An Introduction to Mindfulness

This will cover the range of mindfulness practices – breathing meditations, mindfulness of an object, body scan. It will be tailored to your needs and lifestyle with the aim that you feel confident in a range of meditation and mindfulness exercises to fit into your life. It will include a CD individualised for your needs as well as handouts.

1.5 hour assessment session

plus 4 x 1 hour follow up sessions

Cost: £300.00


Bespoke Course

Arranged by mutual agreement

Courses for an individual, group of people, for a company or organisation have been provided and can be arranged – please make contact to discuss.


Reductions for people who are retired or unwaged.

Home Visits are possible – please make contact to enquire and discuss.

Adaptions for people with physical health problems and disabilities are part of what is offered.



To find out how we could help you, please use the contact form or contact us directly:

Telephone: 07759 655 570