Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Group 8-Week Course
The MBSR programme is an 8-week course which is aimed at participants learning mindfulness meditation techniques to better manage common difficulties such as: stress; anxiety; chronic illness; fatigue and pain. The aim of the course is not to eliminate these problems but instead to help participants find different ways of living along-side these issues.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness has been described as: “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally” (Jon Kabat-Zinn). What this means in practice is intentionally cultivating a kind and gentle approach to becoming more aware of moment-to-moment experiences.
We tend to lead very busy lives in our world today, which involves many and varied distractions and demands for our attention. It is possible to spend large periods of time not really being aware of our present experience, because our minds are elsewhere. This can affect us in a multitude of ways including increasing stress; over-eating; irritability and negative impacts on relationships. Mindfulness is about waking up to the present moment and living life more fully by bring awareness to our experience (whatever that may be).
What does the course involve?
The course involves a significant commitment to achieve the best possible results. Participants will attend a 2-hour class once a week for 8 weeks. There will be home practice which is recommended each week and it is advised that you allow for up to one hour a day for home practice for the duration of the course. There will be no penalty for not completing this practice, but the more you do, the more you are likely to benefit from the course overall.
The classes themselves are structured as around a mixture of mindfulness meditation practices, whole class discussion and other exercises, some completed in pairs or small groups. Whilst contributions will be welcome from all participants, MBSR is not group therapy and there is no need to disclose any details about yourself or your life that you do not wish to. You are welcome to say as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. We will focus more directly on learning about our experiences of the mindfulness mediations as we practice them together, in this aspect I ask that participants be generous with their sharing their own experiences, since this is where the group as a whole can grow together.
Background to the 8-week MBSR course structure
MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in America in the 1980’s. He combined his experience of Buddhist mediation with his scientific knowledge of stress and its effect on the body to produce mindfulness-based stress reduction, which is secular. Since this early beginning, there have been numerous scientific studies demonstrating the effectiveness of MBSR in improving lives.
MBSR courses are run all over the world, all following the original structure from Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR instructors differ widely in their professional background but have in common a personal meditation practice, which is considered essential for teaching MBSR (also Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; MBCT which is an adapted version of MBSR with strong research evidence for reducing the risk of relapse for individuals who have experienced three or more episodes of depression).
When is the course being run?
The course will run 10-12am on Monday mornings in 2017 on the following dates:
May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
June 5th, 19th
There will also be an opportunity to attend a full day of practice (10-3pm) on a Sunday 12th March included in the cost of the group (further details on request).
We are doing a 2017 New Year offer for $500 payable in advance. This includes attendance at all classes and the full day of practice; participant workbook, access to meditations and extra support from the instructor.
A Medicare rebate of up to $253.20 may be available with a referral from your GP (all sessions must be attended to receive the full rebate).
What to wear/bring
It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing with layers which you can add or remove as necessary. Yoga mats will be provided. Please bring your own water bottle. As part of your registration for the course, you will be provided with a workbook and access to mediation recordings for home practice.
About the instructor
Dr Katy Harman is a clinical psychologist with training in various therapies including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. I have had a personal mindfulness practice since 2005 and completed Mindfulness teacher training with the Bangor Centre for Mindfulness in the UK.
For more information
Please contact Katy at [email protected]