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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.

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 handouts

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
  • and more

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

Terms for Course Participation

Please read before registering for this course.
As part of the registration, you will need to review and agree to the following terms and you are welcome to discuss the following terms with the MBSR teacher before the start of the MBSR course:

Upon registration, it is understood that you agree to the following terms in your participant questionnaire that will be sent to you. You are welcome to contact the MBSR teacher at [email protected]  to discuss these terms before the start of the first class.

Term 1: Mindfulness programming may not be appropriate for everyone, in particular persons experiencing recent grief or trauma, serious mental or physical health challenges, chemical dependencies or suicidal ideation. If any of these apply to you, please talk to the MBSR teacher at an informational orientation session or contact [email protected] with those details prior to beginning the MBSR course. If, in consultation with the teacher, you discern that the MBSR course is not appropriate for you at this time, you will receive a full refund.

Term 2: This mindfulness course includes skills training, relaxation and meditation methods as well as gentle stretching (yoga/qigong) practices. If for any reason you are unable to, or think it unwise to engage in these techniques and exercises, whether during the weekly classes at Hennepin Healthcare, online or at home, you are under no obligation to engage in these techniques, and may adapt the practices to fit your needs. Participants will not hold the above named facility liable for any injury sustained from these practices.

Term 3: Participants must refrain from attending classes if under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs. Any participant who is new to substance treatment with in the last year should consult with the MBSR teacher at an information/orientation session, or contact [email protected] to speak with the teacher prior to beginning the MBSR course. If, in consultation, it is determined that the MBSR course is not appropriate at this time, you will receive a full refund.

Course Fees

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

  • 1 Information/Orientation session is 1 ½ - 2 hours depending on the size of the group and recommended for those registering
  • 8 Weekly Classes, 2.5 hours (the first class is ½ hour longer and the last class 1 hour longer)
  • 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.

Hennepin Healthcare is committed to making the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course accessible to everyone in our community. The standard fee is $600, but for those who are not able to pay the entire amount, we have implemented a “pay what you can" suggested sliding fee scale. Please select the option below that corresponds to your annual income.

mbsr fee scale

Patient Scholarships

Partial scholarships are available for patients. Receiving a scholarship is based on both financial need as well as limited availability in any given course. Please fill out the scholarship application before registering for the course. If your scholarship is approved, you will be given a coupon code to use for registration.

Discounts for Hennepin Healthcare Employees

Hennepin Healthcare Employees receive a $50 discount based on the sliding scale when you register with your HHC email address. Staff family members may also receive a $50 discount. Please email [email protected] prior to registration with your name and the name of your family member on staff for a coupon.

Hennepin Healthcare employees may also use PTO For Fitness and BEA funds for providers to pay for this course as well as Trade Time for Fitness to pay for the MBSR course. (Additional funds for physicians may be available through Office of Professional Work-Life Balance.)

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Payment will be refunded in full (less a $25 processing fee) if Hennepin Healthcare is notified of cancellation eight (8) or more days prior to the start of the MBSR course.

Participants who withdraw before the first day of the course will be given the option to defer their payment to a future program within the next 3 MBSRE course cycles. If you need to cancel or withdraw after the course has begun, you may also offer your paid fee as a donation to support the MBSR Program at Hennepin HealthCare.

For other registration or payment questions, please contact the Hennepin Healthcare MBSR Course registrar by email with your full-name and phone number at [email protected].

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. 

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.

Instructors

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

contact photo only kathleen feil mdKathleen 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.

contact photo only catherine mclaughlinCass 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 programs.

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Testimonials

“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  

"Thank you both again for allowing me to be part of your MBSR all day retreat. It was a pleasure to be led by and learn from you. I think the learning will be revealing itself for quite some time." - Emilie

Contact

contact photo only catherine mclaughlin

Cass McLaughlin, BAS

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

contact photo only kathleen feil md

Kathleen Feil, PhD, LP

Instructor
Started the MBSR Program at Hennepin Healthcare
[email protected]

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