Mandy Johnson
Mandy Johnson

About the Facilitator:

Mandy Johnson, is a Mindfulness-Based Coach & Facilitator, with an undergraduate degree from UCT in Industrial Psychology and Sociology. Mandy completed her Graduate Diploma in Counselling (Coaching) through Sacap (South African College in Applied Psychology) in 2011. She is a registered Coach with Comensa (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa). She is registered with HeartMath South Africa as a HeartMath Coach, specialising in Biofeedback for recovery and self-regulation using Heart Rate Variability. Her Coaching programme is called Mindful Resilience, which focuses on present moment coherence. Mandy is the founder of Introspect Coaching which offers various Mindfulness-Based Interventions geared towards transformation and insight.

Mandy is in long term recovery from co-dependency and offers a personal approach and compassionate understanding. She has an established daily meditation practice and has attended various retreats. She has also attended two Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programmes and a Mindfulness Based Living Course over the past 10 years. She served as a Director at the South African Institute for Mindfulness (IMISA) for 4 years resigning in 2017 to make more space for teaching. Whislt a director, she was part of the committee responsible for the Standards of MBI Teachers portfolio. Mandy was part of the organizing committee for the Mindfulness Matters conference held in Stellenbosch at the end of 2014. She has attended various trainings through Mindfulness Africa over the past five years, which is based on the Aberdeen University Masters Training set up by Rob Nairn through the Mindfulness Association UK. She has completed her Post Graduate Certification in Mindfulness-Based Interventions at Stellenbosch University through the Faculty of Medicine. Mandy is currently a supervisor on the Stellenbosch University programme.

For the past 3 years her main focus has been facilitating various recovery groups and consulting from her office in Seapoint. She runs Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, which assists individuals in early recovery to avoid the negative thinking spirals associated with relapse and works towards the development of skills to increase resilience and cognitive flexibility. She runs a Mindfulness Based Family Programme to assist the family members of the addicted. Both these programmes are co-facilitated with Toni Shaked, a clinical social worker, who has partnered with Mandy in 2015 to form The Mindful Recovery Centre, in Seapoint (www.themindfulrecoverycentre.co.za). She also teaches 3 cycles a year of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Dr Danielle Klemp in Claremont. (www.mbsr-south.co.za)

Mandy has completed additional trainings in Emotional Intelligence through the EQ Institute in 2004 and completed an internship in Shadow Therapy with Evan Klisser, the Founder of the EQ institute. She has also completed the Nancy Kline Thinking Partners training with Trish Lord and Depth Facilitation with Helene Smit. She attended training in Non Violent Communication and has worked as a Biofeedback technician assisting a Psychologist with Neurofeedback training.

Mandy has always had a passion for the human condition and how society can become more compassionate? She believes that starts with each individual being willing to go within and do the work of self-awareness.

At 23 she travelled to London to work and stumbled into the world of Media and Marketing. She returned home and for the next few years, worked for various leading newspapers titles in South Africa. She completed her Marketing Management Diploma at Varsity College in 2004.

She has worked for various prestigious media titles over the past 18 years. Her last client portfolio included managing large retail corporate accounts, with total annual revenue exceeding 60 million rand. Mandy excelled in her field and regularly achieved the targets set for her. She was fascinated by the insights gained working in the corporate system and witnessed how decision-making happens. She witnessed first hand over the years how many employees struggle with stress and fear. Over the years she recognised her personal struggle to balance the pressures of work and home life demands. For the most part she feels there are not enough tools offered by human resource departments to equip employees to work skillfully with the pressures most executives face. Many people start using maladaptive coping mechanisms, often becoming addicted and increasingly anxious and depressed, "acting out" and thereby worsening the situation. Companies need to shift their approach to employee wellness and leaders need to transform. This is why the concept of Mindfulness is so compelling. By training in mindfulness each day, Mandy has improved her ability to be less reactive and more creative. She is able to live with far greater balance and acceptance.

Mandy formed Introspect Coaching after developing an interest in Spirituality and Depth Process Work. The Intergral approach, espoused by Ken Wilber, has informed her own Mindful Insight Coaching Model, as has Contemplative Neuroscience. This brought her to the Secular Mindfulness program, which was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Mandy continues to be deeply moved by the level of authenticity, healing and insight that the practice of Mindfulness cultivates in individuals who embark on the 8 week programmes.

"My intention is to work in the field of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for people living in recovery and to contribute towards fostering increasing awareness within individuals, families and amongst employees in the South African Corporate space. This has been inspired by my own personal journey. At the end of 2012, I experienced a turning point in my life, when I was diagnosed with a Sinus Cancer after years of pushing myself towards burn-out. My personal vision is to encourage the deepening of awareness in those who still struggle with anxiety, stress and fear. By bringing the principles of Mindfulness to Corporate South Africa, my hope is to develop authentic, awake and balanced leaders. I am committed to "activating mindfulness" and to assist individuals to develop into compassionate and conscious citizens who are then able to work as agents of change in their immediate relationships, workplaces and communities". To that end, in 2014 she partnered with Craig Henen and Linda Kantor to form the Mindful Company. (www.themindfulcompany.co.za)