Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Courses: MBSR and ACT
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme was devised by Jon Kabat-Zin during his tenure at the University of Massachusets Medical Centre to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. It uses a combination of mindfulness meditation body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.
The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program consists of four or eight 1.5 -2 hour sessions over 8 consecutive weeks. These sessions are a balance of didactic teaching, experiential practice, and small and large group processing.
There is approximately an hour’s worth of daily homework assignments which include guided relaxation & meditation practices, reading, and written reflection exercises. What is important to understand is that your success in the program, whether that is to diminish your pain levels, stabilise your mood, or be less stressed, is directly related to your commitment to fully engage in the entire 8 week process, inside and outside of the classroom.
The essence of the course is the development of a more aware, engaged, and a values based fulfilled way of living.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention on purpose in the present moment, without judgment. It is simple but not easy. It is innate but underdeveloped. It is the heart of the body/mind connection. These eight weeks are a special opportunity to slow down and pay attention to how the body, mind, and emotions actually operate in real time, in each moment.
Through the formal practices of the body scan meditation, breath awareness, mindful movement, and mindful meditation, attention is directed inwardly. These are called formal practices as they require time and space outside of daily activities. They are restorative and help physiologically regulate the nervous system.
From the formal practices we increase our capacity to bring mindful awareness to ourselves in our daily life. This is sometimes called the informal practice of mindfulness because we don’t have to stop what we are normally doing to be mindful. This is key to the transformative potential of the program.
Stress reactivity, the feeling of being stressed and pressured, is in many cases a bad habit. The MBSR process encourages us to investigate our direct experiences of living, working, and relating and recognise the habit patterns that may be contributing to our suffering.
Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl sums up the MBSR learning process well by reminding us, “Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
The power to self-regulate the nervous system and the power to re-pattern our neurological pathways is now known to be measurable and teachable. The MBSR program has pioneered bringing these inner resources into a learnable format. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is an investment in your health and wellbeing long into the future.
Simon Heale’s unique addition to this programme is the application of ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a mindfulness based model employed by psychotherapists and counsellors to treat mental health issues. the essence of ACT is to teach individuals a new framework to be with their thinking and physical symptoms including feelings, to change the relationship with them and to ultimate guide them towards a life of meaning and fulfilment. See Russ Harris for a good outline of ACT
When is the next MBSR course?
The next 8 part MBSR course over 8 weeks will begin in late September 2021. The course will most probably be an online training with hopefully some face to face work if regulations permit.
Corehealth: Cost £300. Concessions are available
Chelsea Natural Health Clinic, SW10 9PJ: Cost £350
I teach in small groups of 8-12 so places are limited and will go quickly.
If you are interested in finding out more about Mindfulness and how it can help you be with thoughts, feelings and sensations in a more helpful way, you can find articles here or you can call me on 07932 393972 and we can arrange a meeting..
To reserve your place or for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I hold a taster sessions throughout the year so please contact me to reserve your place on the next one.
The next taster is on Sunday 12th September 10-1130am