About Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

"It's really about making a fundamental shift in your life. It's not just about having a few tools to calm yourself down when you are stressed out." John Shealy, PhD, Tampa Tribune, 11/17/04

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is an intensive eight-week experiential program developed and popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn over the past 30 years. Participants learn a variety of powerful meditation techniques including body scan, mindful Hatha yoga, sitting, walking and eating meditation as well as mindful speaking and listening.

MBSR has been shown in clinical research to have a profound effect on one’s ability to effectively regulate the mind and consequently the emotions and, to a significant degree, physical health. It is used in complementary and alternative medicine programs at a host of universities, hospitals and clinics around the world. 

With its focus on the development of non-judgmental awareness of our moment-to-moment experience, MBSR offers a powerful, integrated approach to working with our daily physical, emotional and psychological stress as well as offering effective coping tools for dealing with addiction, chronic pain and debilitating illness. For many, this program provides a solid foundation for deep emotional healing and spiritual growth. 

Mindfulness can be described as paying attention to the present moment, being careful not to be pulled off into the mind’s usual elaborations of judgment or internal dialogue. It is being with our experience with gentle compassion and a disciplined intention to simply stay present with whatever is happening in the moment, allowing space for experiences to rise up and fall away without adding our usual overlay of grasping, disappointment, frustration or panic. Learn more about Mindfulness

Many years of empirical research has shown that it is not the stressor itself, but how it is perceived and what the mind/body does in reaction/response to it that determines whether we experience “distress.” By cultivating mindfulness we learn to relate to our experience with relaxed equanimity. With this skill, we can move from mindless reactivity to skillful response, from a sense of urgency to calm inner peace. With disciplined practice, the mind begins to settle down and we may be blessed with moments of profound stillness and silence. We may touch our inner source of wisdom or a flood of compassion may arise. These moments change the way we interact with the world. We become more loving and patient, more courious and playful. We engage our life with more discipline and courage.

The skills learned through MBSR training can reconnect us with our sense of wholeness regardless of the nature of the loss or challenge we face. We can experience greater balance and harmony in our lives. These skills are helpful in coping with work or family stress, relationship issues, life transitions, emotional and psychological challenges, chronic pain or physical illness.

Those who practice mindfulness techniques, commonly report experiencing:

- A relaxed awareness of the present moment

- Enhanced psychological flexibility

- Release of unhelpful attachment or aversion

- Greater stress tolerance and impulse control

- Clarity and awareness of thought patterns

- Greater insight

Clinical research over the past 25 years report that participants of MBSR programs consistently demonstrate and report long-lasting improvements such as:

- Improved health-related quality of life

- Increased sense of life meaning and manageability

- Significantly reduced anxiety & depression

- Enhanced self-esteem and activity levels

- Reduced chronic pain and physical distress

- Fewer and less severe panic experiences

- Strengthened immunity

- Increased social activity and vitality

- Reduced tension, anger, and fatigue

- Improved sleep quality

- Reduced pain-related drug use

- Improved emotion regulation, reduced anxiety

- Decreased blood pressure

- Optimal states of relaxed alertness

- Decreased psychiatric hospitalizations

- Reduced harmful behaviors

- Reduced substance abuse

- Decreased interpersonal problems

- Fewer and less intense headaches

- Increased brain activity associated with positive emotion

Learn more about the empirical research demonstrating benefits of MBSR on the website of Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society. Read professional articles on the effectiveness of MBSR.

This program closely follows the model developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, combining eight weekly two and one-half hour sessons and a full or half-day meditation retreat. There are daily homework exercises and training CDs used between class sessions to bring the practice of mindfulness into daily life. Resources are provided for maintaining one’s mindfulness practice following the program.

Note: MBSR is occassionally offered as A Weekend Program, meeting 4 times usually for 4 hours ), every other Saturday or Sunday for the 8 weeks combined with a full- or half-day meditation retreat. Because of the extended hours in each session, the weekend programs allow for deeper exploration of key aspects of the application of mindfulness in everyday life in the areas of: physical health, intimate relationships and emotional wellness. This format also allows for a greater variety of teaching methods (e.g. journaling, small group sharings, video presentations, guest speakers). While it is designed for the beginner, it's a wonderful program for those who have completed an 8-Week MBSR program and are seeking to re-establish or deepen their practice.

Fee and registration:

NOTE: fees will sometimes vary depending on location. In some situations, you will register directly with me. In others, you will register with the hosting facility. Check the write-up for the specific course for these details.

You choose from among the payment options: $500 - $400 - $300 or something in-between. You set your own fee based upon your financial situation with a minimum of $300. Some partial scholorships are available and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Payment is accepted in cash, personal check or via PayPal (other options may be available depending on hosting facility).

Your fee includes: (1) class instruction and interactive participation; (2) four training CDs: Body Scan, Guided Meditation and two Mindful movement CDs (each is 45-minutes long and will be downloaded); and (3) weekly homework materials that are provided via .pdf files, allowing the use of hyperlinks for easy access to related materials on the subject areas of your choice.

MBSR can lead to positive, long-lasting life changes. A participant who completed an earlier program remarked on her evaluation form, "I started with a very high level of angst and anxiety, which really did gradually melt away. I am amazed at how often I experience pure joy over even the simple things of life. I told everyone that I still have the same job and the same family, but everything has changed for the better."

Please join us in this journey of self-discovery, returning to our original peaceful and compassionate self and learning how to bring our true self out into the world.

Note: Continuing Education Credits may be available for this program. Check the specific course description for these details.

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This is a sample of MBSR programs for Mental Health and Allied Professionals that I offered when I was practicing in Tampa. All discussion regarding CEUs is based on Florida law. I have yet to sort out how CEUs will work for these programs in Kentucky. It is my plan to offer these programs in the near future in Louisville.

The materials from all of these training programs are included in "Sharing MBSR: A Toolkit for Mental Health and Allied Professionals" Please drop me a note if you'd like to explore this option further.

NOTE: If you are interested in participating in any of these programs, have a space you would be willing to provide or lease (e.g. Yoga studio, church, community center), or are a CEU provider open to a professional partnership, please drop me a note. I would love to hear from you!

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-Week Experiental Program (24 CEU) see above

Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: a 24-CEU Program for Mental Health Professionals

Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: a One-Day, 10 CEU Introduction and Overview for Mental Health and Allied Professionals

Mindfulness: Sharing the Basics with Clients. A One-Day, 11 CEU Program for Mental Health and Allied Professionals

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Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: a 24-CEU Program for Mental Health Professionals

This program is designed to meet the interest and needs of those providing psychotherapy in any setting, private practice or within an agency, who are seeking to integrate the process of mindfulness into their work as well as in their personal lives.

This program can provide 24 Continuing Educational Credits if you are a: Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed School Psychologist, Dietitian/Nutritionist or Nutrition Counselor or Licensed Nurse Midwife. Twelve of these credits are for in class participation, twelve are for Home Study materials with tests (i.e. 6 journal articles related to the clinical research and various applications of Mindfulness to clinical settings). There is no additional fee for processing these 24 CEUs. Learn more about CEUs. Other licensures allowing the practice of psychotherapy such as M.D, are also welcome to attend but no CEU/CME can be awarded. And with approval, a graduate student in one of these fields in their final year of coursework may participate.

Cultivating ones personal practice of mindfulness allows movement into a rich spaciousness that allows one to sit with the discomforts associated with working with others who are in pain. This openness not only lessens the therapist’s discomfort, it encourages the client to open to a deeper healing space. Through deepening the practice of mindfulness, reactivity gradually falls away and is replaced by loving patience and equanimity toward ourselves and others.

This 6 week group experience will be an interactive one, limited to 15 participants and will provide:

- an intellectual understanding of  the application of mindfulness to psychotherapy through exploration of the professional literature on the application and effectiveness of mindfulness with a variety of client populations. In addition to this overview, each participant will be supported in more deeply researching any particular interest area they may have such as addictions, physical illness, chronic pain, etc.

- an experiential understanding of this powerful practice through a variety of meditation practices and exercises

- the cultivation of the complimentary skills of mindfulness and concentration that are the foundation of this practice

- practical suggestions for the use this powerful process with specific client populations and treatment issues

- a safe setting for processing issues related to current and on-going cases and personal issues

The Cost of the Program

The fee for this six-week program is on a sliding scale based upon ability to pay and ranges from $600 to $400 (Visa/MC accepted). You set your own fee, no questions asked. Costs include five 45- to 60-minute training CDs (i.e. Body Scan, Guided Sitting Meditation, Mindful Hatha Yoga I and II and Guided Opening Meditation) as well as Home Study reading materials, associated tests and posting of CEUs.

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Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: a One-Day, 10 CEU Introduction and Overview for Mental Health and Allied Professionals

This program is designed to provide both an experiential and intellectual introduction and overview of the practice of mindfulness as it is applied in mental health contexts. It is ideal for those providing psychotherapy in any setting, private practice or within an agency, who are seeking to understand how to integrate the process of Mindfulness into their work as well as in their personal lives. The one-day weekend format and home study component make this program an easy fit for those struggling to balance time and energy demands associated with mental health professions.

This program can provide 10 Continuing Educational Credits if you are a: Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed School Psychologist, Dietitian/Nutritionist or Nutrition Counselor or Licensed Nurse Midwife. Six of these credits are for in class participation, four are for Home Study materials which include a journal article related to the clinical applications of Mindfulness to clinical settings and an introduction to the practice itself. You will have 2 weeks following the program to complete the Home Study portion of the program and mail the answer sheet to me). Learn more about CEUs.Other licensures allowing the practice of psychotherapy such as M.D, are also welcome to attend but no CEU/CME can be awarded. Graduate students in one of these fields are welcome to participate as well.

Cultivating ones personal practice of mindfulness allows movement into a rich spaciousness that allows one to sit with the discomforts associated with working with others in pain. This openness not only lessens the therapist’s discomfort, it encourages the client to open to a deeper healing space. Through cultivating the practice of Mindfulness, reactivity gradually falls away and is replaced by loving patience and equanimity toward ourselves and others.

This one-day group experience will be an interactive one and will provide:

- an experiential understanding of Mindfulness through a variety of meditation practices and exercises

- the exposure to the practices associated with cultivation of the complimentary skills of Mindfulness and concentration that are the foundation of this practice

- an introduction to the emperical literature on the application of Mindfulness in clinical settings

- practical suggestions for the use this powerful process with a variety of client populations and treatment issues

The Cost of the Program The fee for this one-day program is on a sliding scale based upon ability to pay and ranges from $300 to $150 (Visa/MC accepted). You set your own fee, no questions asked. Costs include two 45-minute training CDs (i.e. Body Scan and Guided Sitting Meditation) as well as Home Study reading materials, associated tests and posting of CEUs. Learn more about CEUs.

Go back to the list

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Mindfulness: Sharing the Basics with Clients. A One-Day, 11 CEU Program for Mental Health and Allied Professionals

This program is designed for Mental Health and Allied Professionals who wish to share the practice of mindfulness with their clients. This full day of mindfulness practice will provide the conceptual and experiential underpinnings for instructing clients in the basics of mindfulness and offer an opportunity to deepen one’s personal meditation practice, which is  the foundation for effectively sharing this practice with others.

Through a combination of seven hours of in-class interactive and experiential activities and four hours of Home Study test-validated reading assignments, this program will provide an overview of effective methods for teaching this practice to a host of clinical populations.

Participants will gain a basic understanding of:

• the key concepts and related skills of mindfulness and how they can be effectively shared with clients/patients in a variety of clinical settings

• a variety of meditation practices (e.g. sitting, walking and eating meditation as well as very basic Mindful Hatha Yoga) and specific techniques for teaching them

• resources for deepening mindfulness and integrating it more fully into one’s professional practice. 

This program can provide 11 Continuing Educational Credits if you are a: Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed School Psychologist, Dietitian/Nutritionist or Nutrition Counselor or Licensed Nurse Midwife. Seven of these credits are for in class participation, four are for Home Study materials (i.e. a journal articles related to the application of mindfulness and training others in this practice). You will have 2 weeks following the program to complete the Home Study portion of the program and mail the answer sheet to me). Learn more about CEUs.


The Cost of the Program The fee for this one-day program is on a sliding scale based upon ability to pay and ranges from $300 to $150 (Visa/MC accepted). You set your own fee, no questions asked. Costs include two 45-minute training CDs (i.e. Body Scan and Guided Sitting Meditation) as well as Home Study reading materials, associated tests and posting of CEUs.

Go back to the list

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