What is the MBSR Program?
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week program was first developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre. Since then it has been featured on Bill Moyer’s PBS documentary series (1993) – Healing and the Mind as well as apart of numerous research studies in medicine, psychology and neuroscience. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn also wrote the book – Full Catastrophe Living, which describes the MBSR Program in detail.
If you would like to see a 10 minute YouTube clip that gives you an overview to the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program – including it’s history, rationale and scientific benefits from the founders at the Center for Mindfulness – University of Massachusetts – please click on the link below.
What does the MBSR program involve?
The MBSR course is an 8-week, nine session course. Participants attend a 2.5 hour class once a week for eight weeks as well one full day session (which is between the sixth and seventh sessions). The program involves mindfulness meditation training and practice, yoga and body awareness training, exploration of patterns of thinking, feeling and action, brief lectures and group discussions – including inquiry during group time with individuals, individual feedback and support as well as a commitment from the participant to practice daily using the CDs and course book.
You will be offered a systematic training in mindfulness – learning how to cultivate an observant, accepting and compassionate stance towards your thoughts, emotional states, body sensations and impulses. Specific information about stress physiology, cognitive behavioural strategies, interpersonal communication and implementing self-care will also be given. The core formal mindfulness practices taught include a body scan, sitting meditation with concentrative focus on the breath, mindful Hatha Yoga and sitting meditation that expands the focus of attention to choiceless awareness.
Mindfulness training is useful for a broad range of people with diverse backgrounds, ages, interests and levels of well-being. People self-refer or sometimes are referred by their doctors or psychologists because of physical and emotional stressors in their lives. Many enroll because, although they are feeling well physically, they say the pace of their lives is “out of control” or they’re “just not feeling quite right” and want more ease and peace.
Mindfulness training can enhance learning, concentration, creativity, personal resilience and professional effectiveness.
For people with job, relationship and family pressures, it can help with all kinds of day-to-day stress symptoms including headaches, irritability, high-blood pressure, fatigue and sleep disturbances.
It can reduce suffering even for those with serious conditions including mild depression, anxiety and panic disorders, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and chronic pain.
How does the MBSR Program work?
Over the eight-week program, you will be learning a number of key skills that allow you to tune into and become aware of your experience in the present moment.
Firstly, you will be establishing a routine of spending some time each day by yourself formally practicing mindfulness meditation. By choosing to engage in this practice you will be learning how to cultivate deep states of relaxation and well-being. You will also be learning how to bring a moment-to-moment awareness to your experience, and then apply this awareness so you can respond – rather than react in habitual ways – to everyday life situations. This becomes much easier to do when you are regularly practicing the formal meditation each day.
The course provides an opportunity for you to examine and reflect on the patterns of your own mind, feelings and actions, and to gently interrupt patterns of self-criticism and unhelpful actions.
We will be learning how to accept and embrace the full range of experience that life inevitably brings – pleasurable, joyful and expansive experience as well as painful conditions in their various forms – worry, anxiety, tension, impatience, anger, grief, sadness and even despair. Moving towards these conditions with an inquiring attitude, rather than trying to hold on to them, or to escape or avoid them, can bring some surprising and refreshing results.
How do I register for the MBSR Program?
To register for the course, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Jane on 07 31033967. Jane will be able to answer any questions that you may have about the course as well as discuss any concerns. If you decide to proceed, Jane can let you know payment details.
Click here to download a brochure of the 8-Week MBSR Course.
Habits for Wellbeing would like to thank Timothea Goddard from Openground for her support in getting this information together.