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MBSR

The 8-Week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Course

We call the kind of moment to moment awareness invoked by tuning into your breath and to every other aspect of your life MINDFULNESS. It is developed by purposefully paying attention in a non-judgmental way, to what is goingon in your body and mind, and in the world around us. Staying in touch in this way from one moment to the next, this shift in awareness, may lead to seeing things somewhat differently, perhaps to feeling less stuck, or to a sense of having more options, more strength and more confidence in your possibilities, more wisdom...

The course aims to assist you in taking better care of yourself and in getting the most out of living. The majority of people completing the programme report lasting physical and psychological benefits including:

  • an increased ability to relax
  • greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • heightened self-confidence
  • an increased ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.
  • The aim of the programme is to learn new ways to handle challenging physical sensations, feelings, moods or social interactions.

What does the course involve?

I run the mindfulness courses over 8 weeks in 2:15 minute sessions, generally in the evening. A day of mindfulness practice is also included participants have the opportunity to experience a whole day of practice to notice the effects of this. To get the most out of coming to the class requires some work on your part and each participant is required to undertake one-hour of home practice a day between classes. It requires a strong commitment to work on yourself through a gentle but rigorous daily discipline of meditation and relaxation. Making the time commitment and the personal exploration involved can make the course seem stressful at times but it is also likely to be pleasurable and empowering as well.

Who is the course for?

The programme is known to benefit people with a range of problems of both a physical and a psychological nature, but it is not necessary to have a specific health problem to find it helpful. We all have times in our lives when we experience difficulty, stress and struggle and for some of us this is our daily experience. The problem or illness itself may not change but the way we relate to and cope with the difficulty may shift, making it all feel easier. Developing greater awareness can open us to be able to change how we approach our experiences – taking more pleasure in the good things and dealing more effectively with the difficulties. We can see how often we are missing the moments of our lives! We can see how our habitual and reflex reactions to events often add layers of difficulty for us on top of the original problem!

The course is therefore potentially open to any of us who are at a point in our lives where we wish to, and are ready, to look deeply at ourselves.

People do also come to mindfulness courses to gain skills in dealing with particular conditions. We have worked with people with a range of problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Chronic pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Cancer and other long term illnesses
  • Skin disorders.

Summary of the course

The aim of the course is to learn new ways to handle our moods and emotions.
It teaches us to take better care of ourselves so that we are able to live our lives in a fuller and healthier way.
It promotes a way of being that helps us tackle life problems – physical, mental, social and emotional
The focus of the mindfulness practice is to learn to be aware of the small changes in the physical sensations in your body; what is happening in the world around you (using your physical senses) and your thoughts, emotions and moods.

The course programme encourages us to develop the skill of being aware of our experiences (good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant) from moment to moment -so that we can learn to respond more skillfully to situations rather than simply reacting automatically.
Overall, the course is often helpful in dealing with an ongoing difficulty – the problem may not change but the way we can learn to relate to it differently.

Whilst taking part in the course it is important to remember that it can be stressful to take the course. Finding the time to practice involves a shift in routine. Things may appear to be feeling more intense and challenging. The programme encourages us to bring a high degree of attention to everything, even the unpleasant or difficult things we are experiencing in our lives. This forms an important part of the learning to stay and be with problems and difficulties, rather than turn away from them and avoid them. There is little opportunity or time during the course to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practices. If necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.

Once you have completed the course you will be able to attend regular events for mindfulness course graduates that will help you to keep the process going.

How much does it cost?
The course fee is around £220 but can vary slightly depending on venue. There are a small number of concessions available for people on state benefit or low income.

The fee includes an orientation session with your class instructor and a one day session. Between session phone contact with your instructor is available if you need support with the course work, learning materials and CD's.

Your teacher

Your teacher was trained to teach MBSR and MBCT at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University and engages in a rigorous ongoing process of training and supervision. For more details about your teacher please click 'Colette Power' on the main menu of the website.

Support during the course.

Should you experience any difficulties in connection with the course in between the sessions, your teacher will be available via e-mail during the week and you can also make contact with them on the phone. It is important to use this as a resource rather than get stuck in any difficulty.

It is also helpful to ask a friend or if appropriate, a therapist to be available for personal support during the course. The course teacher is available for support in connection with issues arising through the course and the mindfulness practice but is unable to offer therapeutic support should it be needed.