Peter Smith-Howell

I currently teach eight-week mindfulness courses at the Colchester Institute using the MBCT for Life curriculum for the general public, as well as for staff of employers interested in reducing workforce stress levels (e.g. schools, care providers).

I worked in an IAPT service from 2009 – 2017.  Initially employed as a Qualified CBT Therapist, after completing my training as an MBCT teacher at Exeter University I became Mindfulness Lead for the service in 2012, with responsibility for developing and rolling out MBCT courses across Suffolk.

In addition to rolling out the standard eight-week MBCT course for recurrent Depression, I have successfully adapted the course for people with recurrent Anxiety Disorders, Carers, NHS staff, and piloted a course in collaboration with community midwifery services for pregnant women at risk of post-natal depression.  In 2015, I successfully embedded MBSR Courses for people with long term physical health conditions into the service.  I have also organized reunion sessions held quarterly for completers of any of the courses, out of which various service-user led sitting groups have developed.

I have been committed to increasing the number of qualified MBCT teachers within the service.  I have supervised students on University teacher training courses as well as on individual supervised pathways via an apprenticeship model.

Prior to my involvement in IAPT, I worked in secondary mental health care services as a social worker and CBT therapist.


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (with Distinction), University of Exeter – Willem Kuyken, Alison Evans, Christina Feldman
  • BSc (Hons) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (First class) Anglia Ruskin University
  • MSc Applied Social Studies / Diploma in Social Work, University of Oxford
  • Health and Care Professions Council – Social Worker
  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (full accreditation)

  • Teaching Training Specialisms
  • MBCT for clinical settings
  • MBCT for general well-being
  • IAPT apprenticeships / supervised pathways

Supervision Experience

  • I supervise students from Exeter University on their first and second placements.
  • I supervise novice mindfulness teachers within IAPT services, as part of a supervised pathway, using an apprenticeship model.
  • I have completed mindfulness-specific supervision training at Exeter University as a route to becoming a supervisor on its Post-graduate Diploma in MBCT and have recently updated my knowledge by attending the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice’s Supervision Training 3-day and Train the Trainer 2-Day Workshops for senior mindfulness-based teachers in June 2017.

Supervision Specialisms

  • Supervision of novice MBCT teachers
  • IAPT apprenticeships / supervised pathways

Personal Practice

I have had a personal mindfulness practice for eight years and have found it the most effective way of managing my own recurrent depression, which is how I came to mindfulness in the first place.

I attend the in-depth, seven-day Mindfulness, Insight, Liberation: MBCT/MBSR Foundations retreat at Gaia House annually.

Research Activities and Interests

I have presented posters at the BABCP and IAPT Conferences on the topic of MBCT in IAPT.

I am particularly interested in the use of MBCT for relapse prevention and exploring how this could be useful in preventing relapse of recurrent anxiety disorders (generalised anxiety, OCD, health anxiety, panic attacks), especially where residual symptoms of worry remain following standard treatments.

I have been selected as an MBCT Teacher for the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre MYRIAD research trial, which is exploring the idea of prevention of mental illness through the building of psychological resilience in adolescence.

Further info

My work as a mindfulness teacher was highly commended in the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust 2016 Public Choice awards for Outstanding Care and Compassion (adult services). For more information, please visit