MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION (MBSR)
MBSR is an 8-week course where participants learn a range of mindfulness practices that can be used in daily life to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. The programme was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. It was initially developed for patients with chronic pain and stress related problems, but is now taught in a wide range of medical and mental health settings worldwide and is an internationally recognized approach to stress and stress related illness. Because of its integration into the healthcare environment in many countries, it has been the subject of much clinical research.
Many of these studies have shown that the skills taught in the MBSR course can be beneficial for a variety of physical and psychological health issues, such as chronic pain, hypertension, sleep disturbance, cancer, heart disease, anxiety, and low mood. The research evidence suggests that regular mindfulness practice supports the individual to respond more effectively to stressful situations, which significantly reduces the cumulative health impacts of stress. However the MBSR course is not tailored to any one particular health issue, participants taking this course are engaging in a training that will give the tools and resources to cope more effectively with whatever health or life challenges they may be coping with in their life.
ABOUT THE MBSR PROGRAMME
MBSR is a training in a range of mindfulness skills, as well as an in-depth exploration of stress and the cultivation of effective coping strategies for dealing with stress. The course involves eight sessions of 2.5 hours each, these are held over consecutive weeks. There is also one full day session (6 hours), usually around week 6 of the course.
The sessions involve a combination of carefully guided meditation practice, gentle movement practices (suitable for all levels of mobility), and mindfulness practices that can be incorporated into everyday life. And each class has a central theme that is explored through an information presentation; there is also group discussion and reflection on participant’s experiences of the mindfulness practices that are practiced in class and at home.
No previous experience in meditation is required to take part in the course.
The MBSR course that is taught follows the same well-respected approach taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (CFM).
WHAT YOU LEARN FROM PARTICIPATING IN AN MBSR COURSE:
- A range of different mindfulness practices and skills that will support you to become more mindful in your life.
- How to identify the connections between thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, thereby creating the potential for greater awareness, and ultimately choice.
- How to identify the distinction between primary stress: (unavoidable stress) and secondary stress (the additional stress we create by our reactions to the unavoidable stress).
- How to increase your ability to relax, improve self-confidence and to strengthen your emotional resilience in the face of life challenges.
- How to listen to yourself, to take greater care of yourself and to make choices that will lead to a satisfying and healthy life.
The MBSR programme is largely experiential, learning how to bring mindfulness into your life. Much of the learning of the MBSR programme happens at home with the home practice. This involves participants practicing the different forms of mindfulness taught in class at home on a daily basis. This experiential focus forms the core of the programme and participants need to allocate 40 –50 minutes daily for home practice in order to gain the maximum benefit from the course. Practice CDs and a workbook are provided for all participants to support integration of the new mindfulness skills into daily life.
As the home practice requires a time and energy commitment to be of benefit, it can be a good idea to factor that time into your life for the couple of months you will be doing the course. It can be helpful to create a bit of space to fully explore the mindfulness programme and what it may have to offer you. It is also important to be able to attend the majority of the classes, if you know before booking that there may be several dates that you are unavailable, it may be better to wait to do the course at a time when you would be able to attend all of the classes.
WHO IS THE MBSR PROGRAMME FOR?
- If you feel stress is affecting your physical, psychological or emotional health.
- If you would like to learn different ways of coping with situations that cause you anxiety or stress.
- If you suffer from anxiety/ fear/ panic.
- If you would like to understand the workings of your own mind better.
- If you would like to learn how to live more fully in the now instead of reliving the past or being worried about the future.
- If you would like to learn how to live with more peace and ease.
- If you would like to enjoy life more.
- If you would like to be less self critical and more compassionate toward yourself.
- If you would like to learn to meditate or cultivate a daily mindfulness practice.
- If you provide care for others either in the home or professionally.
MBSR is for anyone wishing to bring a greater sense of balance and meaning to their lives as well as those who are dealing with stress of any kind. For people being treated for medical or psychological conditions, the MBSR program is a complement to, not a substitute for, the professional care of their doctor or counsellor.
TRAINING IN MINDFULNESS HAS THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS:
Research over the past 32 years indicates that a majority of the people who complete this program report
- Significant and lasting reductions in physical and psychological symptoms.
- A greater capacity for relaxation and more energy and enthusiasm for life.
- Enhanced self-confidence and improved self-esteem.
- An increased ability to handle both short term and long term stressful situations more effectively. Participants often report that they have developed new skills and inner resources to help them relate differently and cope more effectively with life’s challenges.
- Many participants have experienced significant reductions in pain and an enhanced capacity to deal with pain that may not go away.
- Enhanced awareness and insight into emotions and an improved capacity for emotional regulation.
- Mindfulness training has been shown to enhance relationships and build emotional intelligence.
- Many people find that their concentration, levels of attention and focus are improved after completing mindfulness training.
If you would like to book a place on the next MBSR course please fill out and return the application form.
All applicants will have the opportunity to have a pre course-orientation session with Deborah, the facilitator. This discussion can be done in person or more usually over the phone. This informal discussion provides more information about the course, and what’s involved, and is aimed at supporting you to get the most out of the course. All information is treated confidentially.
The cost of the 8 week course is €300, this includes the 26 hours of class, 3 CDS of Mindfulness practices, the course workbook, and any telephone or email support during the course.
There is a €75 deposit for all MBSR courses, this secures your place. There is a maximum of 12 places on each course and these places can fill up quickly. Payment can be made in cash, by cheque or by bank transfer. There are reduced cost places on each course to accommodate people on low incomes. Please contact me to let me know if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for one of these places.