Mindful Monkey.

Working with Problematic Alcohol Users


There has been increasing concern about the harm done by this legal drug; with growing media interest in its health and social impact. There are common misunderstandings around what constitutes ‘problem drinking’ and what just ‘social lubrication’ is. This course aims to raise awareness of the important issues and to consider what the recent, evidence based interventions can do to actively involve people who have or may develop problems with alcohol.

This one day course is aimed at those who need to have a working knowledge of how to use a person centred, collaborative approach to helping clients understand alcohol, its effects and the treatment options available. It will centre on skills to engage clients towards change and to help prevent relapse.

Course content

  • The social context of alcohol and potential harms
  • Physical and psychological effects (including problems associated with withdrawal)
  • Types of problem drinking
  • Skills and strategies for opportunistic brief interventions, dealing with ambivalence and resistance
  • Principles of assessment and assessment tools
  • Models of treatment (Abstinence & Harm Reduction)
  • Medical interventions and signposting

To Book: Contact Junaid Zico

Working with complex needs (Introduction to Dual Diagnosis)


Dual Diagnosis is a new label for an old issue; that is people who have mental health problems and also use or are dependent upon drugs/alcohol. This one-day introductory course will enable participants to understand the often confused and contested debate around dual diagnosis and the difficulties involved in trying to access services. It will also focus on best practice when working with clients who have complex needs.

Course content:

  • Identifying the connection between drugs, alcohol and mental health
  • Recognising the challenges of effective inter-agency working
  • Increasing participants confidence when working with complex needs
  • Drugs and mental health – concepts/definitions/interactions
  • Categories of mental health problems
  • Problems associated with Dual Diagnosis
  • Department of Health Guidelines and Good Practice

To book Contact Junaid Zico

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – 3 Day Course


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is now a key psychological approach being used to help people in a range of settings. It uses evidence based skills that enable people to learn how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are linked, and the patterns that can create emotional problems. It allows people to develop an understanding of how powerful changes can come about through a step by step process by using CBT.

This 3 day experiential training programme is aimed at providing workers with a practical understanding of this increasingly influential approach to client work. Understanding and using CBT can help clients to overcome unhelpful thoughts and behaviours and contribute to their recovery and empowerment.

This programme is offered as a complete training package, participants are required to attend all sessions.

Course Content

Day 1: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-The Spirit and Principles

  • What CBT is and how it can help people learn better coping skills
  • Vicious cycles that perpetuate problems and keep people stuck
  • Guided Discovery to help people identify and challenge negative thoughts
  • A range of interventions that can increase confidence
  • The role of CBT in helping people help themselves

Day 2: The Application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Part 1

  • Principles of “needs” and “wants” assessment
  • Using a structured approach: anxiety, depression, cravings and compulsive behaviours, including problematic drug/alcohol use.
  • Behavioural experiments that encourage change in real life; putting the “B” in CBT
  • Risk assessment and appropriate referrals

Day 3: The Application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Part 2

  • Rising above thoughts as a new coping strategy
  • Overcoming barriers by Acceptance and Compassion focus
  • Mindfulness and Tolerating Distress
  • Imagery and Metaphors/ story telling in CBT

Dates: Mondays 6th, 13th & 20th July 2015

To book: Contact Junaid Zico. Phone: 07725 642419 Email: Junaid@Mindful-monkey.com

Person Centred Skills for Working with Dementia


Dementia is a syndrome of diseases with related symptoms, associated with an on-going decline of the normal functioning of the brain and its abilities. Dementia is a common problem and numbers are expected to rise as life expectancy increases. Usually dementia affects people who are over 65, chances increasing with age. Dementia is not, however, an inevitable part of ageing nor is it a problem limited to the elderly as, in some forms, it can affect much younger people.

Although the causes of dementia are relatively unknown, the effects are profound. The changes in the brain slowly lead to problems controlling emotions, with memory loss and confusion. People’s personality and behaviour can alter, reducing their ability to carry out everyday activities for themselves. This one day course is designed for anyone working with people experiencing dementia who would like to add to their knowledge and learn the latest skills for Person Centred Care.

Course Content:

  • The common types of dementia including, Alzheimer’s, vascular and alcohol related and the associated symptoms
  • The less common forms of neurological diseases that lead to dementia
  • Possible causes and strategies that may prevent dementia
  • Good practice, (including NICE guidelines) and a Person Centred Approach and “feelings based” care
  • The part nutrition and complementary therapies may play in helping people to be comfortable
  • Treatments that can help people to cope better with their symptoms and improve their quality of life
  • Strategies for helping people maintain their identity by making them feel safe and help them develop and keep daily routines
  • Strategies for communicating with people with memory difficulties

To book: Contact Junaid Zico. Phone: 07725 642419 Email: Junaid@Mindful-monkey.com

3 Day Mental Health Skills


This 3 day integrated training programme is aimed at providing workers with a deeper understanding of Mental Health issues and skills for working with clients.

This course will introduce participants to contemporary, evidence based, best practice in Mental Health work and;

  • Increase knowledge and skills
  • Build confidence
  • Deepen understanding and values
  • Show evidence of continual professional development (CPD)

This programme is offered as a complete training package, participants are required to attend all sessions.


Signs and symptoms of the major mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, bi-polar and personality disorders:

  • To identify and understand the nature of different mental health issues, the impact on people, their families and carers
  • To develop an awareness of the treatment modalities available and how to access them, including referral pathways and the role of professionals


Principles of a good needs assessment:

  • How to involve clients in a collaborative and dynamic process and communication skills for recognising the Biological-Psychological-Social aspects of a holistic approach to initial and on-going assessment
  • The importance of risk assessment and principles of good practise, personal safety, self-harm and suicidal ideation
  •  Setting and maintaining professional boundaries, ethics and confidentiality


Promoting change, client engagement and wellness plans:

  • To develop confidence in communication skills with those experiencing emotional distress
  • To understand client involvement and a range of goal setting skills appropriate to specific needs
  • The importance of purposeful activity and social skills training
  • The principles of informed consent, capacity and the Mental Health Act (1983 and 2008 Amendments)
  • Clinical supervision and professional development
  • Cultural Competence
  • Introduction to useful websites and further reading

Dates: Wednesdays 1st,  8th and 15th October

To Book: Contact Junaid Zico

Essential Motivational Interviewing Skills

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Motivational Interviewing provides a set of pragmatic strategies to facilitate behaviour change, helping to overcome resistance in clients and guide them towards change. It is a client centred approach designed to explore and resolve ambivalence. Originally developed to help people change addictive behaviours, it can be applied to any area of behaviour change.

This 2 day ‘hands on’ course is aimed at workers in a range of settings. It can help those who wish to increase their potential for bringing about positive change in people they work with. It will provide participants with the key skills of Motivational Interviewing and enhance their confidence.

Course Content

  • The spirit and principles underlying Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • To introduce the keytechniques of MI
  • The concept of motivation and how it relates to behavioural change
  • Skills for assessing and matching interventions to readiness to change
  • How to engage people and deal with resistance
  • Developing self-efficacy
  • How to negotiate action steps

To book Click Here

Novel (or New) Psychoactive Substances (NPS)

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Novel (or New) Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are an ever increasing group of synthetic, semi-synthetic, or natural compounds often advertised and sold as ‘legal’ alternatives to illicit drugs.

In the past few years a huge variety of such substances have become available. They are often sold on the internet or in ‘head shops’ where information about their effects is minimal and often inaccurate.

The advent of NPS has changed the face of the drug scene(s) remarkably fast. The range of substances now available, their lack of consistency and the potential harms users are exposed to are now complex and multifaceted.

This one day course will provide participants with contemporary information about these substances, and the knowledge and confidence to provide meaningful information, advice and support for those who might need it.

Course Content:

  • Definitions – Some Chemistry and Pharmacology
  • Drugs in Use and their Effects
  • Potential Physical and Psychological harms
  • Options for responding to clients who are using these drugs
  • The current Legal position

To book Click Here

Venue update for the Mindfulness for Health and Wellbeing – 10 week course

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Demand of the course was greater than anticipated so we have changed the venue to a more spacious one. The new course location is:

The Woodhouse Room
4th Floor
Charles Wilson Building
University of Leicester

The Woodhouse Room is located on the 4th Floor accessible via lifts and is a lovely room overlooking Victoria Park.

There will be free onsite parking during the course. Come in via Entrance 1 (near sports centre) then drive round and park on campus. Charles Wilson is the tall building in the centre of the campus. If asked at the gate then tell them you are on a course in the Charles Wilson building.

This link takes you to a map of the university  (In the menu on the top left click on Charles Wilson).

There are a few places left so if you were thinking about coming then sign up soon.

Look forward to seeing you soon

Helping Clients Use Basic Anger Management Techniques


Anger is a powerful emotion, but it is a natural feeling. Everyone feels angry at times, yet for some it can become a habit that starts controlling their lives. Where anger becomes a problem it can lead to breakdown in communication and relationships. It can then also impact, negatively, on physical and psychological well being.

The aim of this one day course is to equip workers with a range of practical skills to assist those clients who have problems understanding and managing their own anger.

Course objectives and contents:

  • Exploring anger and anger problems.
  • Cognitive aspects of angry thoughts and triggers.
  • Recognising the early signs and tips for preventing anger.
  • Constructive ways of expressing discontent/frustration.
  • Responding to and releasing anger once it arises.

To book Contact Junaid Zico

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