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Programs & Services —
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Below you will find:


This course, originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is designed to help participants discover and utilize their own inner resources for bringing balance, health, and peace of mind to their lives.

MBSR is an experiential learning program, intended to engage the mind and the body. Through group and individual practices, discussions, and presentations, participants learn a variety of formal and informal approaches for cultivating mindfulness.

Practical applications of mindfulness in daily life are explored so that participants can meet all the moments of their lives (including times of stress, pain and illness) with as much ease, confidence and resiliency as possible.

The course is designed for adults, including those with serious illnesses, chronic pain, and physical limitations.


People take the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course for reasons such as:

  • Medical conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, heart disease, asthma, emphysema, gastrointestinal problems, cancer, sleep and skin disorders, and immune problems.
  • Chronic and short-term stress due to work, life changes, family issues, and illness.
  • Psychological and emotional concerns such as anxiety, phobias, panic, grief, and depression.

During the years this program has been offered at UMass Medical School and around the world, participants have reported benefits such as:

  • Increased ability to relax
  • Decrease in pain and increase in ability to cope with chronic pain
  • Reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Improved overall health
  • More energy and enthusiasm for life
  • More self confidence
  • Resilience in the face of health and life challenges
  • Greater sense of compassion for self and others

Since 1979, over 24,000 people have completed this course at UMass Medical School and many thousands more have participated at hospitals, clinics and educational centers around the world. Valley Mindfulness has offered the program in Northampton and in surrounding communities since 2006.

The MBSR course has been the subject of many clinical studies for people grappling with conditions such as stress, cancer, heart disease, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, drug and alcohol addiction, sleep disorders, and more. Some of the most current medical studies (including contemplative neuroscience) will be referenced during the course.


Two different course formats:

8-week course:

The course is most often delivered as a series of 8 weekly classes that are approximateluy 2.5 hours long plus a longer "retreat" session on a weekend day (a total of nine sessions and approximately 30 hours).

Each week, ideally on a daily basis, participants practice at home what they have been exploring in class. This home practice is an essential part of the course. It develops and strengthens one's ability to experience mindful awareness in daily life and to access the strength and wisdom that lie within. Handouts, workbooks and recorded guided meditations will be provided to support this practice.

5-Day course

This version of the MBSR course takes place over 5 consecutive days (generally during day-time hours) and includes the same curriculum as in the orginal 8-week format.

This format is offered as a convenience for those who could not take a course over 8 weeks or who live too far away to travel each week for a class.

Participants receive the same handouts, workbooks, and recorded meditations as with the 8-week course. Some home meditation practice each evening during the course is strongly encouraged.


Upcoming courses:

Wednesday evening 8-week course:

  • Eight Wednesday evenings, 6:00–8:30 p.m. beginning May 10 and ending June 28.
  • In addition, there will be a special (and important) retreat class on Saturday, June 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • This course will be taught by David Spound.

Thursday morning 8-week course:

  • Eight Thursday mornings, 9:00–11:30 a.m. beginning May 11 and ending June 29.
  • In addition, there will be a special (and important) class on Sunday, June 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • This course will be taught by Adi Bemak.


If these classes do not work with your schedule, please note that the MBSR course is also available through a series of private sessions. Please click here for more info.

Location:

Our new Center in Northampton:
All class sessions will take place at the new Valley Mindfulness Meditation and Training Center, 45 Main Street, Florence, MA (formerly the site of Indigo Yoga). Our Center is just minutes from downtown Northampton.
Click here for an online map to Valley Mindfulness, 45 Main Street, Florence, MA.

Cost:

  • The cost of this course is $275, $375, $475, or $575 as follows (a sliding scale based on household income):
    • Under $15,000: $275
    • From $15,000–30,000: $375
    • From $30,000–60,000: $475
    • Over $60,000: $575


Future courses: Additional MBSR courses will begin in the summer and fall of 2017.

 

Registration and more info:

In order to make sure that everyone who registers is making an informed and appropriate decision, we ask everyone who is interested in the MBSR course to attend a pre-course Orientation session.

The Orientation is not a sales pitch for MBSR. In many ways, it serves as the first session in the course.

The Orientation session is offered free of charge.

*When you enroll in an orientation session, a place is reserved for you in the MBSR course. You must attend the Orientation session in order to finalize your MBSR course registration.*

During an Orientation session, you will:

  • Learn about the MBSR course and have an opportunity to ask questions
  • Have a first-hand experience of the approaches utilized in the course
  • Meet one or more of the Valley Mindfulness teachers
  • Have a brief private meeting with one of the teachers

At the end of the Orientation session, you may:

  • Finalize your enrollment in the MBSR course. This involves paying some or all of the course fee.
  • Decide to enroll at a later time.
  • Decide that the MBSR course is not for you.

We recognize that benefiting from the MBSR course requires an investment of time and energy — attending weekly class sessions and practicing at home — in addition to the fee for the course. The decision to enroll is best made with full information and the first-hand understanding that comes from attending an Orientation session.

If you cannot attend a scheduled Orientation session:

Please contact us if you are strongly interested in the MBSR program but find that attending an Orientation session is not possible for you. In some cases, we might be able to work out alternative arrangements. However, our ability to make exceptions is likely to be very limited.

 

Upcoming MBSR Orientation sessions

Several different sessions will be available. Advance registration is required.

Because our MBSR courses typically fill completely, we recommend that you attend the soonest possible Orientation session so that you can reserve a place in the MBSR course of your choice.

 

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Please click here to register
for one of the Orientation sessions
and reserve your place in an MBSR course.

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For more information:

 

 

Some quotes from recent workshop participants:

"Very helpful. Excellent instructor."

"A good mix of instruction and meditation."

"An excellent intro to meditation."

"David Spound has impeccable credentials with current brain science as a fundament of his practice. I would without hesitation refer anyone with an ounce of imagination to him. I felt entirely safe and respected. I was gratified to learn that there is no way practicing "mindfulness" is ever anything but the right way to do it. Imagine—something everybody can do the right way! How often does this happen in life? The workshop provided me personal benefits beyond my expectations."
Liv Pertzoff, LICSW, Northampton

 

 


 

 

"Certain ailments have traditionally been recognized as being psychosomatic because they are especially responsive to stress... the list can be greatly expanded to the universe of illnesses and diseases because today we have reason to believe that any ailment can be affected by stress emotions... In some instances stress exacerbates an ailment even when its main cause is not psychological. In other instances, psychological stress is considered a primary cause."
Richard Lazarus, Professor of Psychology emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley

 
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