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Is this the right course for me / is it the right time for me to attend?

“Is this the right course for me / is it the right time for me to attend?”

The mindfulness courses we offer at the YARDO may not suit everyone. Upon registration,  you will be asked to complete a confidential information form with questions to help us assess whether the course is likely to be suitable and safe for you at this time. 

In some cases, we may recommend that you wait before enrolling in a similar programme. Please read the information below, and feel free to email Paula Watson. YARDO's Director,  if you have any remaining concerns or questions about the course's suitability for you:


Mania, Suicidal Thoughts and Self-Harm

Our programmes are unsuitable if you have experienced a manic/hypomanic episode in the past six months, if you are currently self-harming or if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. While mindfulness is known to be beneficial for such conditions, it requires specialised group delivery. 

If you are troubled by suicidal thoughts, we would strongly advise consulting your doctor or a mental health professional. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide tailored advice or support for individual mental health issues.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Participation in a formal mindfulness training course involves daily home meditation practice, which must take place when your mental faculties are unimpaired. If you are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or using other drugs, please consider carefully whether you will be able to dedicate time each day to the home practice exercises when you are not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or their after-effects.  If this is likely to be difficult for you then the course will not be suitable for you at this time.


If any of the situations described below apply to you, please get in touch with Paula Watson, YARDO Director, before applying:

Current Depression

If you are currently depressed, to such an extent that it is difficult for you to manage your everyday life, it is probably not the right time for you to do the course. We know from experience that people joining our courses need to be reasonably well. The course involves some daily home practice and finding the motivation and energy to do this whilst feeling very depressed will probably be challenging. However, the mindfulness courses are suitable for those with a history of depression, or who are currently experiencing an episode of mild-moderate low mood.

Recent Bereavement

If you are recently bereaved, it is helpful to have come to terms with some of the grief before starting a mindfulness course. It can be difficult to recognise and work with pre-existing and more longstanding habits of mind when the bereavement is still very preoccupying.  Please declare any recent bereavement on your application form.

Other ongoing psychological treatment

Mindfulness is not a ‘therapy’ as such. However, it can be confusing or impractical to engage in two ‘psychological treatments’ at the same time. Mindfulness courses involve a commitment of time and adding it on top of another ongoing therapy may be difficult.

Stressful life events – current

Taking a mindfulness course, strange though it may sound, can at times be quite stressful. In addition to the weekly sessions and a full one day session you will be encouraged to do daily practices at home which take about an hour each day in total. If there’s too much going on in your life right now (change of job, job loss, loss of home, moving, relationship breakdown, too many work commitments etc.) adding a mindfulness course to the mix may not help. 
Please declare any stressful events on your application form so we can help you assess if this is the right time.

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