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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an evidenced-based program that can transform how you think and feel for a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life.

This eight-week experiential training will teach you to:

  • Live with greater calm, compassion, understanding, and focus
  • Respond more skillfully and recover more quickly from a challenging and stressful situation
  • Reduce pain levels and cope more effectively with pain that may not go away
  • Reduce the impact of many health conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches, stomach ailments, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and others.

Mindfulness is an innate way of paying attention to whatever is happening in your life, inwardly and outwardly – allowing for improved clarity, deeper insights and a greater sense of connection with yourself and others.

Hennepin Healthcare is offering this Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) course on its downtown Minneapolis campus, Whittier Clinic or online. The MBSR course has been made possible by the Person-Centered and Culturally-Inspired Integrative Health (Division of PCCIH), a newly created division in the Department of Internal Medicine.


Hennepin Health Care Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructors are qualified teachers through the University of Massachusetts Medical Centers, Center for Mindfulness founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. They have had extensive training and mindfulness meditation practice studying with several teachers.

Cass McLaughlin, BAS currently works in the Departments of Family and Community, and Internal Medicine as coordinator and co-facilitator for Integrative Health Lifestyle-Based Group Medical Visits and MBSR.

Kathleen J. Feil, Ph.D., L.P., formally Senior Clinical Psychologist at Hennepin Healthcare for 22 years, initiated the start-up of the MBSR program here at Hennepin County in January 2019.

Course Overview

Throughout the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, you will consciously and systematically work with the challenges and demands of your everyday life. Your instructor will create a safe and supportive environment for this work and learning through:

  • Systematic instruction in formal mindfulness meditation practices, with the opportunity to check in with your instructor
  • Gentle stretching and mindful yoga
  • Group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
  • Instruction on how mindfulness enhances physical, mental and emotional well-being, healthy relationships with self and others
  • Daily home practice assignments
  • Downloadable practice audio files and a home practice workbook

Hennepin Healthcare employees receive a $50 discount. Plus, use PTO For Fitness and BEA funds for providers to pay for this course. (Additional funds for physicians may be available through Office of Professional Work-Life Balance.)

Hennepin County employees may use Trade Time for Fitness to pay for the MBSR course.

This program tuition which includes 8 weekly classes and an all-day retreat is offered on a sliding scale of $350 - $600. Paying a higher price helps support those less able to pay. Thank you.

Included in Cost

The 8-week, (9 session) program fee includes the downloadable practice audio files and a home practice workbook as well as experiential learning classes and practice time.

  • 1 Orientation session is 2 hours depending on the size of the group and required for those registering
  • 8 Weekly Classes, 1 & 8 weeks 3.0 – 3.5 hours and class 2-7, 2.5 hours
  • 1 All-Day Retreat, 8 hours

Once someone has completed an MBSR Program, you may attend a future All-Day Retreat for FREE, as a refresher for your mindfulness practice.

Scholarships for Hennepin Healthcare patients who are unable to afford the full tuition may qualify for a reduced rate. Please fill out the scholarship application below.

Benefits of Mindfulness

More than thirty years of scientific research and hundreds of studies have shown that MBSR and meditation may help to reduce physical and psychological distress including symptoms related to:

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Blood pressure and heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Eating disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • GI problems
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Physical or Emotional Pain
  • Reduces burn-out
  • Sleep problems

Studies also suggest that people who practice mindfulness regularly have higher rates of happiness and positive emotional states, improved memory, concentration, and focus.

Course Registration

Online Courses

Free Information/Orientation Tuesday evening, Online, October 20, at 5-7 pm
Can’t make this date, email
[email protected] to arrange an orientation.
Tuesday evenings, October 27 – December 15, 2020

All-Day Retreat Saturday, December 5, 2020, 8:30 - 4:30 pm   (Date Change)
5:00 – 7:30 pm (2.5 hours)
5:00 – 8:30 pm for the 1st & 8th class (3.0 – 3.5 hours)
Location: Secure Online Zoom Platform
Instructors: Cass McLaughlin and Kathleen Feil

Course Outline


This introductory session will acquaint you with the practice of mindfulness developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness and taught at Hennepin Healthcare. You will learn how this secular, scientific, evidence-based practice has become an accepted part of mainstream medicine, and discover how it can positively affect the quality of your everyday life.

Course Outline

Week 1

Here you will receive an overview of the course and establish the learning context for the rest of your experience. You will learn the theory and evidence of mind-body medicine and how to apply it in your life. You'll be experientially introduced to mindful eating, mindful breathing, and the body-scan method, with a special emphasis on what it means to be fully engaged in the present moment.

Week 2

Perception is key in mindfulness—how you see things (or don't see them) will determine in a large part how you respond. This week's session and practices will ask you to examine your perceptions, assumptions, and the way you view the world. You will learn to use the body-scan practice to cultivate a greater degree of awareness of how you react to stressful situations. Changing the way you perceive and respond to difficulties and challenges will impact the short- and long-term effects of stress on your mind and body.

Week 3

In this session, you'll practice several distinct yet interrelated mindfulness practices—mindful hatha yoga, sitting meditation, and walking meditation. This is an ideal time to share your insights about your experiences with formal practice and integrating mindfulness into your daily life. You will discover that there is both pleasure and power in being present—you'll directly attend to and investigate how your experiences create such reactions as pleasure or discomfort in the mind and body.

Week 4

By practicing mindfulness, we cultivate curiosity and openness to the full range of our experience, and through this process, our ability to pay attention becomes more flexible. This week, your practice will focus on the development of your ability to concentrate and systematically expand your field of awareness. You'll learn about the physiological and psychological bases of stress reactivity, and experience mindful strategies for responding in positive and skillful ways to stressful situations.

Week 5

At the halfway point in this course, you should now be familiar with the foundations of mindfulness and able to focus on applying it more rapidly and effectively to specific challenges and stressors in your life. This week you will begin to pay attention to the places where you might be stuck in repeating, unhealthy patterns that you can disarm through mindful awareness. You will also learn how to apply mindfulness at the critical moment when you experience a physical sensation, intense emotion, or condition, with special attention to exploring the effect of reactivity in health and illness.

Week 6

Resilience or “stress hardiness” is our ability to return to equilibrium after stressful situations. This week, you will focus on transformational coping strategies to broaden your inner resources and enhance your resilience through mindfulness practice. You'll also learn the fundamentals of interpersonal mindfulness—applying awareness and presence at times when communication becomes difficult or fraught with strong emotions. You'll gain direct experience of a variety of styles for more effective and creative interpersonal communication.

All-Day Retreat (Typically between week 6 & 7)

This day-long guided retreat will take place between weeks six and seven. The intensive nature of this seven-hour session is intended to assist you in firmly and effectively establishing the use of MBSR skills across multiple situations in your life, while simultaneously preparing you to integrate these methods far beyond the conclusion of the program.

Week 7

Mindfulness is most effective when it is a lifetime commitment. This week, you will explore the many ways that you can integrate mindfulness more fully and personally into your life. While having a dedicated regular practice for mindfulness meditation is important and beneficial, it is just as important to bring a broader sense of awareness and presence to every moment in your life and to use non-judgmental mindfulness in your self-reflection and decision-making processes. You'll learn how to maintain the discipline and flexibility of daily practice as circumstances change over the course of your life.

Week 8

In the final week of the program, you will have a complete review of everything you've learned over the course, with an emphasis on carrying the momentum you've built forward into the coming months and years. You'll learn about resources available to you to pursue mindfulness in new directions as your life and practice evolve, as well as the support systems that exist to help you continue to integrate, learn, and grow. The final lesson creates a satisfying closure by honoring both the end of this program and the beginning of the rest of your life.

Orientation Sessions

Orientation sessions are FREE and open to anyone and required for participants.

The first step toward enrollment in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an Orientation Sessionbefore the start of the program. An Orientation Session is also free of charge as a way to find out more about the MBSR program and one is required of all participants before beginning the program. During an orientation session, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and explore whether it is the right (or right timing) for you
  • Meet one of our instructors
  • Experience, first-hand, mindfulness approaches you will be learning during the course.
  • Confirm your place in the course cycle that fits into your schedule and enroll in an MBSR program of choice, in person, or online.

Online MBSR

Interest in an MBSR Course in the future

Please register and enroll on the access list to be notified of when new dates and orientation sessions are scheduled.  Interested Parties List.

For more information about the course or to schedule an MBSR presentation or program to your group or organization, please send an email to [email protected] or call 612-873-8048.

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“I believe this program and starting my mindfulness practice saved my marriage.” - Connie, 2019 participant

“MBSR was a missing link which made a difference in my healing.” - Chuck, repeat participant  


contact photo only catherine mclaughlin

Cass McLaughlin, BAS

Integrative Health Group Medical Visit Coordinator
Whittier Clinic and Hennepin Healthcare
[email protected]

contact photo only kathleen feil md

Kathleen Feil, PhD, LP

Started the MBSR Program at Hennepin Healthcare
[email protected]

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