Can a clinical psychologist ethically offer a product with improbable, unsubstantiated claims to be applied to patients?
A web-based training package promises to turn anyone quickly into a mindfulness trainer, regardless of background or previous training.
Promoters of the package claim it is backed by more science than its competitors.
There are no legal restraints in most jurisdictions on someone calling themselves a mindfulness trainer or therapist.
There are few or no enforceable ethical codes applicable to such persons.
Many treatment settings are replacing therapists with mindfulness trainers.
Many persons with serious mental health problems seek mindfulness training, but this training does not prepare trainers to recognize and refer such persons.
I didn’t act quickly enough to a series of frantic emails from Seph Fontane Pennoc Positive Psychology Program, and so I missed out on a deep discount for an exciting offer to become his next success story.
I lost a 40% discount on a $750 downloadable training package that promised to turn anyone into a money-making mindfulness trainer, without them having to acquire any background or participate in a weekend retreat. It did not matter if you did not have any clinical background, because the program would release “the real trainer, teacher and coach in yourself that you’ll be proud of.”
If you run into problems, Positive Psychology Program’s Customer Happiness Manager is there for you. it’s her goal to ensure you get the best experience with this training package. “Please know that you can always reach out to me directly at….”
I’m blown away by all the emails about the success our members have already started to see with Mindfulness X.
I don’t have enough room to post all of them, but here are a quick few I wanted to single-out to congratulate:
The wannabe trainer doesn’t even need to study the package before slapping on a relabeling and selling to clients and industry.
Mindfulness X is a complete, 8-session mindfulness training template for professionals. It includes everything you need to deliver a high quality, science and practice-based mindfulness training that has been proven to increase mindfulness levels and raise well-being.
This training package is designed for people who are passionate about helping others improve their lives in meaningful ways.
With Mindfulness X, you’ll be able to teach mindfulness and inspire other people in a short time. Not only will you understand the 8 most important pillars of mindfulness, but you’ll also discover that they are quite easy to explain and implement.
With Mindfulness X, you’ll be able to experience the real trainer, teacher and coach in yourself that you’ll be proud of.
The best thing is that we have done all of work for you, including the more monotonous work such as making the PowerPoint slides, designing the worksheets and listing all the scientific references for each session.
You can simply take this, go out and teach mindfulness in a 2017-proof way.
No longer will you have to go from A to B, from B to C, etc. Instead, you can go straight from A to Z. Mindfulness X is the ultimate shortcut.
The website makes it clear that it is superior to other training because it is better rooted in science.
What makes this Mindfulness X Package different?
There are no others out there.
Yes, there are guided meditations online. Yes, you can take online mindfulness courses. Yes, you can purchase books on mindfulness on Amazon. Yes, there are treatment protocols available.
However, to the best of our knowledge and research there is no complete all-encompassing customisable mindfulness package out there that enables professionals to instantly and successfully teach mindfulness by offering them a ready-to-use and fully structured science- and practice-based mindfulness program.
Why does most mindfulness training fail to deliver?
The great majority of mindfulness trainings devote little attention to the scientific side behind mindfulness. They focus mainly on practice but often inform participants insufficiently about the effects and underlying (psychological) mechanisms of mindfulness. They fail to address questions like: “What happens when we meditate?” Why does mindfulness increase well-being? How is acceptance of emotions different from suppression and distraction? What are the effects of mindfulness?
A vitally important question.
What can I charge for my program/course/workshop?
The price you can charge differs per country and target audience of course. The companies we know here in the Netherlands who run this program charge 350 EUR per participant and run programs of various lengths and group sizes. Needless to say, you are completely free to determine your own price. With Mindfulness X, you will be prepared to run an 8-week program.
Who is the mastermind behind Mindfulness X?
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Professor, entrepreneur and coach – Dr. Hugo Alberts (Ph.D.) is the co-founder of Positive Psychology Program, an online platform that seeks to promote the science of positive psychology and make its findings easy to implement in all kinds of real-life settings.
Hugo has been exploring the practical and scientific side of mindfulness at Maastricht University, The Netherlands for the past 10 years with 20+ academic publications on this topic. His aim is to give people the psychological perspective that has proven to increase mental well-being through the practice of mindfulness. He has touched the lives of many hundreds of people as a trainer with the “Mindfulness X” training he developed for clinical- and non-clinical populations since 2010.
Because the success of Mindfulness X made him a sought-after mindfulness trainer, he decided to stop giving the trainings himself and offer this training to other mindfulness trainers, coaches and practitioners instead, in order to touch more lives with this science-based program.
I did some fact checking. Hugo (H.J.E.M.)Alberts, Ph.D. is an Assistant professor in the Clinical Psychological Science Department at Maastricht University. Web of Sciences lists 19 publications for him, including a couple of low quality, underpowered studies of mindfulness.
Most importantly, I find no evidence of any peer-reviewed evaluation of Mindfulness X. The key issue is that Alberts is claiming extraordinary efficacy for this program. If his claims are true, it is more effective than any psychotherapy. Extraordinary claims require….
Elsewhere I have provided continually updated evaluations of mindfulness-based training and therapies. There is still a lack of evidence of any advantage of mindfulness over other active treatments. Claims about mechanism depend on low quality studies that do not rule out anything beyond nonspecific –placebo- effects. There may be no specific mechanism beyond that.
Mindfulness training is mostly a benign treatment, often delivered to persons who are lacking moderate to severe psychological problems. But it can have adverse effects on persons suffering simple or complex PTSD, ruminative chronic depression, or psychosis.
An increasing proportion of the treatment or coaching of persons with serious psychological problems is being done by persons lacking in any protected title or any independent certification of qualifications.
Such providers are not bound by enforceable ethics codes.
My advice to Dr Albert: you are quite junior. If you are serious about your scientific career, concentrate on producing quality research, not so much on making money in ways that threaten perceptions of your integrity. I think it best that you don’t do any more ego-resiliency studies, given the inability of others to replicate your studies. I assume you are a clinical psychologist. You have a responsibility to stick to evidence-based claims and to avoid the harm of turning loose on the community ill-trained or untrained promoters of mindfulness, particularly with vulnerable clients.