The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course is an 8-week, evidence-based, experiential program designed to intensively and systematically train attention and cultivate greater awareness of the nature of moment-to-moment experience. It includes a daylong silent retreat between weeks 6 and 7 (on a weekend). It is traditionally taught to a group of 8-20 people, live or online. This is not usually a one-on-one program, as group learning and interaction is an important component of the experience. It is the foundation of what can be a lifelong personal practice, and a prerequisite for many multi-day, mindfulness and "insight" retreats.
MBSR was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and decades of research have demonstrated positive outcomes such as:
improved emotional regulation
reduction in symptoms for various physical and behavioral health conditions including anxiety, depression and chronic pain
positive changes in risk factors that may lead to more serious chronic ailments
We all have ways of thinking and behaving, both when we are "stressed" and when we're not. MBSR is a way to be so aware of how you think and act that you can eventually be at-choice--you can be intentional with how you meet your own thoughts, sensations, and emotions.
MBSR is a serious commitment and its format is standardized, therefore it is not a program that teachers customize in significant ways. If someone is offering MBSR, (I hope) that means they have been trained to teach it. I am in continuous training with the Brown University Mindfulness Center, and my training includes trauma-informed mindfulness practices. It takes a certain kind of person to embark on a journey like MBSR. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to make an appointment for a 15-minute consult here.
Mary's MBSR opened my eyes to the possibility of personal growth through awareness. As a teacher, Mary is direct, supportive, and sincere. The class was a wonderful, much-needed form of self-care.
I signed my daughter up for Mary's teen class on a whim when she was trying to adjust to adolescent life in NYC during a pandemic while skipping two grades, studying at home, and pursuing a rigorous schedule of pre-professional ballet training. She grudgingly attended the first class but now looks forward to her weekly class and incorporates the strategies learned into her life.