Willem Kuyken is the Ritblat Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science at the University of Oxford, where he also directs the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. His research work is focused on depression and evidence-based approaches to depression. In particular, he examines how mindfulness and mindfulness-based programs can prevent depression and enhance human potential across the lifespan. He is working on several books that introduce mindfulness as a mainstream approach to living with integrity, well-being and effectiveness.
Willem has published more than 100 peer reviewed scientific publications. These include studies demonstrating that Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy is an effective approach to prevention of depression, an alternative to maintenance antidepressants (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2008; Lancet, 2015; JAMA Psychiatry, 2016), as well as a universal approach to preventing depression in adolescence (British Journal of Psychiatry, 2013).
Willem is interested in the interface of ancient wisdom traditions and contemporary science. This led to the book, co-authored with Christina Feldman, Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology, published by Guilford Press. It was described by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “a tour de force … that elaborates in exquisite detail yet with utter accessibility and clarity what mindfulness is, where it comes from, its profound ethical foundation, its clinical applications, its growing evidence base, and its potential for healing.”
Another research focus is cognitive-behavioural therapy. He co-authored Collaborative Case Conceptualization: Working Effectively with Clients in Cognitive-behavioral Therapy, with Christine Padesky and Rob Dudley (2009). This book was described by Aaron T. Beck as “setting a gold standard for how to develop individualized case conceptualizations with our clients.” His research has been supported by the National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council, NHS, Oxford Mindfulness Foundation, Medical Research Council and British Academy.
Willem regularly gives keynotes and workshops around the world. His work has been covered in numerous media outlets including CBS, Maccleans, New Statesman, Le Monde, der Zeit, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the BBC and many others. I have authored blogs for the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, NIHR Dissemination Centre and the Huffington Post. He work with a range of groups who are skilled in public engagement, including the National Mental Elf, Present Moment podcasts, Voices from Oxford, Catalyst It Gets Brighter and science programmes such as Trust Me I’m a Doctor.