Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a structured program, taught in a group format, which teaches the principles of mindfulness and how to apply them to deal more effectively with stress, illness or pain, and the demands of daily life. MBSR was originally developed and launched in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, as a complement to medical treatment for persons being treated for chronic pain. The program helps participants to cultivate mindfulness through body awareness exercises, sitting and walking meditations, gentle hatha yoga, and a variety of other practices.
MBSR and several programs based upon the MBSR model have been extensively researched, and have been found to be helpful adjuncts to conventional treatments for a variety of medical and psychological conditions and symptoms. Two particularly effective programs are Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for preventing relapse of major depression and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) for treating addictive behaviors.
What is “mindfulness” and how can it help me?
Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as…“ the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.”
Mindfulness is really quite simple, but it is not easy. It takes practice, practice, practice.
Mindfulness meditation and other practices for cultivating mindfulness involve observation of internal (body, mind) and external (environmental, relational) stimuli as they arise and noticing them without becoming absorbed in their content or attempting to control them. With practice, we become more familiar aware of how our particular body/mind works, and how it interacts with external factors. This gives us an enormously helpful perspective for recognizing stressors and triggers for thoughts and emotions and urges, and enables us to make choices about how best to respond to them, rather than simply reacting as if we were running on “automatic pilot.” By living mindfully, we can enjoy increased mental focus, increased emotional balance, enhanced social skills, and an overall better quality of life.
Our initial offering will be a condensed version of the original 8-week MBSR model, specifically tailored to fit into the summer schedule of many Hyde Park residents. We are calling it “MBSR-md” (i.e., “moderate dose”). You will be exposed to all of the elements of the “full dose” program, however, and we will provide information about on-going and future opportunities for continued learning and practice.
The MBSR-md program lasts five weeks, with four weekly 2.5 hour sessions, and one intensive 6 hour session that will be conducted as a guided, silent retreat. Your presence matters, both for yourself and everyone in the group, so you are asked to make a commitment to finding a way to be present and on time for each session. Daily at-home practice is required, and you will be provided with written materials and recordings to facilitate this. At the conclusion of the program, each participant has the option of scheduling an individual meeting with Wendy, the program instructor, to confidentially discuss their personal experience during the program, explore ideas for continuing their practice of mindfulness and how to incorporate what they have learned into daily living, and/or to discuss how mindfulness can be applied in addressing specific challenges or stressors. As a participant in the MBSR-md program, you will also be invited to participate in future retreats offered through this MBSR program free of charge.
Yes—the program is demanding, and requires a strong commitment from participants to work on a daily discipline of formal and informal practices over the five weeks of the course. But the return on one’s investment is well worth it.
Cost and Enrollment
The enrollment fee, which includes 16 hours of class (including the retreat) and the option of a complementary hour-long individual consultation with Wendy after the conclusion of the program, is $350 ($295 if enrolled by July 20, 2012). [Please note that some insurance companies or FlexBen accounts may reimburse for participation in an MBSR program led by a licensed clinician. Contact your provider for confirmation. Discounts may be made available at the instructor’s discretion for persons experiencing financial hardship due to unemployment or other exceptional circumstances.]
Still have questions?
Wendy will be happy to speak with you by phone to answer any questions you may have about the program. You can reach her at (708) 949-6105, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you choose to initiate contact with Wendy by email, please let her know when you might be available for a call and provide your phone number, since a direct conversation is probably the best way to make sure you get the information you need.
Wendy Liles is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with 10 years of clinical experience, and 12 years of experience with mindfulness practices. She received her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) at The University of Chicago. Wendy’s professional training in mindfulness-based therapies includes training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at the University of California at San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Wendy integrates mindfulness into her work as an individual and couples therapist. She occasionally guest-lectures on mindfulness and mindfulness-based therapies at The University of Chicago, and has presented professional in-service trainings on mindfulness and its applications to counselors and case managers at social service agencies, teachers and counselors in public schools and universities, and clinical staff at hospital grand rounds.
Phone: 708-949-6105 Email: email@example.com Website: www.wliles.com