The Present Development Team

The Directors of The Present Courses CIC:

Sarah Silverton has professional background is as an Occupational Therapist working in mental health services in the NHS and in Social Services for more than 20 years. Sarah trained as a counsellor to Master’s level. In the mid 1990’s Sarah was introduced to mindfulness and was trained by Mark Williams to teach mindfulness. Sarah also studied at the Centre for Mindfulness, Masachusetts in 1999 with Melissa Blacker, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Florence Meleo-Meyer amongst others. Other significant teachers have included Ferris Urbanowski, Pam Erdmann, David Rynick and Rebecca Crane. Sarah was a member of the core teaching and training team at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University since it was established in 2001. Sarah is a co-author of Paws b (with Tabitha Sawyer and Rhian Roxburgh, teachers at Ysgol Pen Y Bryn, Colwyn Bay and the Mindfulness in Schools Project team), a mindfulness curriculum, delivered in schools to children (Key Stage Two aged seven to eleven) since 2014. She has been part of the development team of .b Foundations, a curriculum offered through MiSP to introduce mindfulness to adults in the school context. She is a co-author (with Tabitha Sawyer and Dusana Dorjee) of The Present Curriculum. Sarah has published The Mindfulness Breakthrough, Watkins, 2012 reprinted as The Mindfulness Key in 2016 and Mindfulness and the Transformation of Despair, Williams, Fennell, Barnhofer, Crane and Silverton, Guilford, 2015 printed in paperback in 2017 as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with People at Risk of Suicide. She has contributed to a number of academic papers.

Tabitha Sawyer is co-creator The Present Course for Primary Schools and previously co-created the Paws .b primary school curriculum (key stage 2). She has completed a Masters dissertation on Mindfulness at Bangor University, researching the impact mindfulness has on children’s academic results and attitudes to learning. Tabitha is the head teacher at Ysgol Pen Y Bryn in North Wales and has a passion to promote well-being in children’s lives and providing them the opportunity to experience mindfulness from an early age to take them through the rest of their lives. Tabitha was inspired to become a teacher when she taught her own children whilst sailing around the world. In her second year of teaching, Tabitha was awarded a national teaching award and has since been a Teaching Award judge.

Dusana Dorjee, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist heading the Laboratory for Neuroscience of Well-being and Developmental Contemplative Neuroscience. She received her PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Science (Cognitive Neural Systems Program) from the University of Arizona and holds two master’s degrees, one in clinical psychology (Comenius University) and the other in cognitive psychology and cognitive science (University of Arizona). Dusana also studied philosophy of science and philosophy of mind at doctorate level. Dusana’s research program over the last seven years expanded from neuroscience research on mindfulness towards current broader focus on neuroscience of well-being and developmental contemplative neuroscience. Dusana has authored and co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed articles and peer-reviewed book chapters. She received several research grants in support of her research, including a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship. Dusana also authored two peer-reviewed monographs – ‘Mind, Brain, and the Path to Happiness’ (2013) and ‘Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life’ (2017), both published by Routledge. She has co-authored (with focus on neuroscience content) the Present Course for Primary Schools.

Gilly McArthur – Gilly created the lovely illustrations for The Present for Schools and the logo for The Present for Adults. She is a mindfulness teacher, climber and wild water swimmer.