Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an empirically-supported group-based meditation program developed by Jon Kabat-Zin, Ph.D., to help reduce the impact of stress and its physiological and psychological effects on people’s lives. In addition to helping people cope with emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety, research also supports the efficacy of MBSR to help people cope with various medical issues such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, and other chronic medical conditions. These desired benefits are primarily achieved through MBSR’s focus on teaching participants how to bring mindfulness into their everyday lives.
Mindfulness is the awareness that comes with paying attention to internal and external experiences in a non-judging and intentional way, in the present moment, as each new moment unfolds. Developing skills of mindfulness enhances our awareness of mind-body relationships as well as our ability to effectively and flexibly navigate life and its stressors in a non-reactive manner.
Our brief Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Group (bMBSR) Workshop
Our brief MBSR (bMBSR) program is a 4-week workshop held on Thursdays, from 11:00am-1:00pm, where participants learn mindfulness through various experiential, visual, and didactic exercises. Throughout this 4-week course, participants are encouraged to participate more fully in their lives in the present moment, let go of expectations and judgments, and commit to practicing mindfulness on a daily basis. Between-session practice exercises are assigned each week to strengthen participants’ ability to effectively integrate the mindfulness skills taught during the bMBSR workshop into a broader range of challenging situations and contexts.
Findings from one of the most comprehensive studies of MBSR in its standard 8-week group format show significant increases in mindfulness by week 2 and significant decreases in stress by week 4 (Baer, Carmody, & Hunsinger, 2012). Research also supports the efficacy of conducting MBSR in briefer formats, in fewer weeks, to promote psychological health and reduce the impact of stress on people’s lives (Bergen-Cico, Possemato, & Cheon, 2013).
Starting points for the bMBSR workshop are announced throughout the year. Led by Jacob Firestone, Psy.D.