Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes are modeled after the world renowned program founded by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The Stress Reduction Clinic at UMMC Center for Mindfulness, where I received my training, is the oldest and largest stress reduction clinic in the world.
Mindfulness classes are for people who want to reduce their reactivity to all manner of stress and/or are dealing with chronic health problems. It is offered as a complement to medical and psychological treatment for stress-related disorders and chronic pain, not as an alternative.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes consist of 8 weekly 2-hour sessions. In addition to learning Mindfulness meditation, the class provides support for participants in fostering a daily Mindfulness practice, and discussion of ways to integrate Mindfulness into various aspects of every-day life. There is a silent retreat on a Saturday to help participants deepen their mindfulness practice. Participants discover ways of:
- Identifying habitual and reactive ways of handling stress and developing creative alternatives
- Using Mindfulness to process emotions with compassion and acceptance
- Fostering concentration and focus to calm and steady the mind
- Developing acceptance and compassion for oneself and others
- Using mindfulness to foster resourceful attitudes and beliefs
- Mindfulness in relationships
- Mindful eating
- Living life more fully and with more appreciation
Mindfulness is best understood through its practice. To benefit, participants are asked to commit themselves to practice mindfulness meditation from 20-45 minutes per day. Participants are coached to work with this commitment with gentleness and patience. Guided meditation CDs are included in the fee for the classes