The purpose in life is to collaborate for a common cause – Gerhard Gschwandtner

Welcome to our team. These indivduals work independently as well as in collaboration with the centre in order to promote mindfulness as a therapy, a technique and as a lifestyle, supporting others in their efforts to regain as well as maintain a sense of balance and mental wellbeing. The below team are people who work as honorary volunteer advisors. Without these wonderfully dedicated individuals our work would not be possible.


Robert Gebka – Dorset Mindfulness Centre director


Robert is a Qualified MBSR Teacher with the University of California San Diego Medical School, USA (UCSD CFM). He is former Buddhist monk who lived, worked and trained for five years at the Nan Hua Zen Buddhist monastery before joining the NHS. It is during this time that he was fortunate enough to meet HH the 14th Dalai Lama. He is an accredited counsellor and has completed a two year self-directed research project in Mindfulness Based Interventions in an NHS psychiatric hospital with a clinical population. He is also the author Managing Depression with Mindfulness for Dummies. Robert studied the neuroscience and physiology of mindfulness with Neuragy UK. Read about Robert HERE.
Dr Julia Forster, Ph.D. – Education Advisor

Julia begaJulia Forstern her career in mental health nursing during which time she became very interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as an empowering tool for those with anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Moving on to teach nurses and then into further education and teacher training, Julia’s interest in CBT extended to consider how such approaches could be adapted to support professionals in managing the emotional complexities of their roles. In 2013 Julia completed a Ph.D. at Southampton University investigating the impact of a CBT toolkit for supporting trainee teachers to more effectively manage challenging student behaviour. She completed the 8 Week MBSR programme as well as the Professional Mindfulness Practitioner training with the Dorset Mindfulness Centre and has developed a passion for exploring how mindfulness can be used to advance learning and development.

Dr Shantha Perera, M.D., Ph.D – Science and Medical Advisor

Shantha is a SDr Shantha Pererraenior Lecturer in Immunology at the University of Wolverhampton. He has a medical degree and masters and doctoral degrees in Immunology and Genetics. His current research interests include looking at the effects of mindfulness on several biochemical and immunological markers such as cortisol and interleukin. Shantha has been meditating since an early age and is very interested in secular Buddhist philosophy and practice and their integration into everyday life. He has completed the Dorset Mindfulness Centre Professional Mindfulness Practitioner training in 2017 and is exploring the use of Mindfulness Based Interventions within medicine.

Caroline Rice-Varian – Mindfulness Based Pain Management Advisor

Caroline is an NHS occupational therapist (OT) and works as a psychological therapist in a pain management service providing one to one pain psychology interventions to people with persistent pain problems. She also facilitates the pain psychology sessions on the Fibromyalgia Pain Management programmes in this service.  She is a Cognitive Analytic Therapist (CAT) and CAT Supervisor and is also trained in Eye Movement and Desensitization Therapy (EMDR). She has completed her MBSR Teacher Training with Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness and has graduated from our Certified Mindfulness Practitioner training with the Dorset Mindfulness. .


Helena Edwards – Young Person’s Advisor

Helna EdwardsHelena is an Occupational Therapist working in the field of child and adolescent mental health, where she specialises in Sensory Integration Therapy. She is an experienced yoga, mindfulness and somatic movement teacher and has been successfully integrating these practices into her therapy work for quite some time. Helena has practiced yoga and mindfulness since her teens and is deeply dedicated to her personal practice. She is currently completing a Masters degree in Mindfulness with the University of Aberdeen. She loves working with children and young people and is especially interested in compassion-based mindfulness techniques drawing from both Tibetan Buddhist practices as well as the work of Professor Paul Gilbert and Kristen Neff.


Dr Louise Baker-Martins, Ph.D., D.Clin.Psych – Research Advisor

Dr Louise Baker, Ph.D.Louise completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Exeter and specialises in interventions for poor sleep/insomnia. She has worked in various NHS mental-health services in East Dorset and has developed and delivered sleep interventions incorporating Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Prior to clinical training, Louise completed a PhD at the University of Southampton which involved research into the impact of insomnia symptoms on cognition and emotion. It was during this time that her interest in Mindfulness began and she completed an MBSR course which was a transformational experience. She has been very pleased to work with Dorset Mindfulness Centre on her recent research; a qualitative investigation into how the process of MBSR is experienced by those with complaints of poor sleep.


David Mayes – Mindful Leadership Advisor

David is a qualified coach and works in the field of Learning and Development, specialising in leadership development and coaching. He has experience of working across multiple industries and with both private and third sector organisations. In early 2017 David set up his own business and it was during this time that he became interested in mindfulness, completing the Dorset Mindfulness Centre’s 8 week MBSR course before building his understanding by undertaking the centre’s Professional Mindfulness Practitioner Programme in 2018. David is particularly interested in the concept of ‘Mindful Leadership’ and is exploring how mindfulness may help those in leadership positions become more effective and resilient in our ever increasingly complex and fast paced world.

Clare Clements – Holistic Health Advisor

Clare Clements is a Holistic therapist with over 20 years’ experience in the field. She is a qualified reflexologist as well as massage therapist and enjoys offering these therapies to those who wish to enhance their sense of wellbeing. She trained as a mindfulness teacher with Zen Ways and is passionate about living life in a “simple” and compassionate way. Clare is also a Reiki master and uses this form of energy healing with clients who wish to live life with greater ease, wisdom and compassion. Clare has full professional indemnity insurance and is covered to practice professionally. She lives in Bournemouth with her partner and her two year old daughter.


Deborah Howard –  Business Development, Health & Social Care Advisor

Deborah Howard 1 DMC

Deborah is a Senior Management Consultant and Interim supporting public sector organisations. After starting out her career as a Mental Health Social Worker,  she progressed into leadership roles in NHS Provider Services and NHS and Local Authority Commissioning. She worked for Dorset HealthCare as Deputy Director for Mental Health Services, and later worked for NHS Somerset CCG and Somerset County Council, as Joint Head of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. Deborah completed the MBSR training with Dorset Mindfulness Centre as well as the Professional Mindfulness Practitioner training. She enjoys supporting the Centre with Business Development mentoring and advice.

Linda Kinsella – Natural Health Advisor

Linda Kinsella Mindfulness meditation Bournemouth

Linda is a natural health practitioner with over 20 years experience in integrative healing. She specialises in radionics therapy and shiatsu massage as well as nutrition for mind-body health. Her interest in food as therapy has also led her to qualify as a chef. Linda has a strong interest in positive and energy psychology and enjoys supporting others on their journey to emotional wellbeing. Her creative approach empowers individuals to find a great sense of unique self-expression. She lives in Bournemouth has completed the 8-Week MBSR course with the Dorset Mindfulness Centre. She teaches her own style of mindful movement exercises called Creative-Flow.


Dr Xun He, Ph.D. – Experimental Psychology Advisor

Dr Xun He

Dr Xun is a lecturer in psychology at Bournemouth University. He has a Ph.D in biophysics from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences which explored perception and attention. He has a very strong in interest in psychology and human behaviour as well as as the underlying neural mechanisms involved in both. Xun has extensive experience both with functional brain mapping (fMRI) and intervention of brain functions (e.g., TMS), as well as extensive expertise in human brain electrophysiology, specifically the event-related potential (ERP) and steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) techniques. Recently his research has gradually oriented itself towards experimental social psychology and social neuroscience.

Jonathan Stock – Innovation & Development Advisor

Jonathan is a mindfulness based counsellor. He is also a former Head of the English department at the London School of Management and Science. He has received training in both psychoanalysis at Middlesex Universtiy as well as in Core Process Psychotherapy at the Karuna Institute, Devon. Jonathan worked as a counsellor at the Nan Hua Buddhist Monastery supporting students in their academic and personal development and has also had the experience of working with young adults, supporting their emotional and psychological wellbeing. Jonathan lives in Bournemouth working as a teacher of English and also enjoys practicing Tai Chi and reading on psychology, philosophy and science. Jonathan completed the centre’s 8 Week MBSR course and is the co-designer of the Professional Mindfulness Practitioner training.


For more information please contact us

Email us on or give us a call on

01202 585 505 for a no obligation telephone chat
or click here to use our CONTACT FORM

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
– M. Scott Peck