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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 approximately 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 intensive course

We call this version of the MBSR course "Mindfulness Skills for Everyday Living". It takes place over 5 consecutive days (during day-time hours) and includes the same curriculum as in the original 8-week MBSR course.

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 5-day course is strongly encouraged.

For those traveling to Northampton from a distance too great for daily commuting, we can recommend several B&B and AirBnb facilities within a very short distance of our center. There are a variety of food options nearby that can satisfy any dietary preference and requirement.


Upcoming courses:

8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course:

  • Eight Tuesday evenings, 6:00–8:30 p.m. beginning September 26 and ending November 14.
  • In addition, there will be a special (and important) retreat class on Saturday, November 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


5-Day Mindfulness Skills for Everyday Living:

  • This 5-day course will be offered during the summer of 2018.
  • Dates, times, and other information will be posted here in early 2018.


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

Cost:

We offer a sliding scale for the course fee, based on current annual household income.

We do not ask for proof of income. Please choose your fee based on income as follows:

    • Under $30,000 annual income: $300
    • From $30,000–$60,000: $450
    • Over $60,000: $600

    • Current full-time college and university students without family financial support may take this course for $200.

Please let us know if cost is a barrier to your being able to take this course. We will do our best to work with you.


Future courses: Additional courses will be offered during the winter, spring, and summer of 2018.

 

Registration and more info:


8-week MBSR course, Fall 2017
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Registration will is open now
Please click here!

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5-day Mindfulness Skills course, spring/summer 2018
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Dates and registration will be available
in early 2018.

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"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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