Mark Williams (also writes as J Mark G Williams) is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford. He has held previous posts in the Medical Research Council in Cambridge and the University of Wales, Bangor. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy.
His research aims to understand how to prevent recurrent depression, and how to decrease risk of suicidal behaviour in depression. With colleagues John Teasdale (Cambridge) and Zindel Segal (Toronto) and the support of Jon Kabat-Zinn (Center for Mindfulness, UMass) he co-developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for prevention of relapse and recurrence in depression, and research has now found that MBCT significantly reduces recurrence in those who have suffered three or more previous episodes of major depression. In Great Britain, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), working on behalf the National Health Service, has recommended MBCT as a primary treatment for prevention relapse in depression.
Previous books include The Psychological Treatment of Depression (Routledge, 1984, 1992), Cognitive Psychology and Emotional Disorders (Wiley, 1988, 1997; with F. Watts, C. MacLeod & A. Mathews), Cry of Pain: understanding suicide and self harm (Penguin, 1997, 2002; Piatkus 2014) and with Z. Segal and J.D. Teasdale, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (Guilford, 2002, 2013) and The Mindful Way Workbook (Guilford, 2013). The research conducted at Oxford between 2003 and 2013 is summarised in the book Mindfulness and the Transformation of Despair: Working with People at risk of Suicide (with Melanie Fennell, Thorsten Barnhofer, Sarah Silverton and Rebecca Crane, Guilford, 2015)
His book, The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Guilford, 2007; co-authored with John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn) is written for a lay-readership, and includes a CD narrated by Jon Kabat-Zinn so that readers may try mindfulness practice for themselves.
His recent book and audio-book, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (London, Piatkus, 2011, co-authored with Danny Penman) extends MBCT to those who find themselves over-busy, stressed and exhausted; who feel that life is running away from them. It includes a free CD of short meditations, narrated by Mark Williams, that anyone can use to enhance their quality of life.