What is MBSR?
Developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, MBSR is based on a form of meditation known as mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a way of paying wise attention to what is happening in your life in the present moment. This gives you a deep sense of being alive and involved in present moment reality. As you practice mindfulness you will experience life with greater clarity, insight and understanding.
In the context of your health, mindfulness teaches you to take better care of yourself by exploring the interplay of mind and body and mobilizing your own inner resources for coping and growing. You will learn new skills for making wise choices when faced with stressful situations.
These claims have been backed up by research undertaken since the course started in 1979.
Content of the MBSR eight-week course.
- Recognising the present moment.
- Perception and creative responding.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Stress Reactivity: investigating the ways we respond to stress with escape and denial.
- Stress Response: responding positively and pro-actively to stressful situations and experiences.
- Interpersonal mindfulness and mindful communication.
- Applying mindfulness to everyday life.
- Making mindfulness a part of your life.
Who benefits from taking the MBSR programme?
This programme benefits most people because the focus is on health enhancement and taking good care of yourself. It was devised to help those who suffer from stress. For example, stress due to work, school, family or financial problems, illness, ageing, grief, uncertainty about the future or those feeling “out of control”.
It can help to relieve the medical and psychological conditions that arise from stress, for example: anxiety, panic, fatigue, sleeplessness, high blood pressure and many other serious health problems arising from continual stress reactions.
How does MBSR work?
By practicing in sessions and listening to the guided meditations at home during the week, you learn to integrate mindfulness into everyday life. The course is participatory, structured and supportive and includes the following elements:
- Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices.
- Gentle stretching and mindful yoga exercises.
- Group dialogue and mindful communication exercises.
- Written guidance and support in the course handbook.
- The opportunity to discuss your progress and response to the course elements during the sessions.
- Guided meditations on USBs.
This is a course that you do to benefit yourself and requires a commitment to yourself to find the time to do the home practice.
Pat Elliott M.A., Cert. Ed.
- Trained to facilitate the MBSR course by Susann Herrmann, CPsychol./OccupPsychol. M.A. and Albert Tobler (Accredited Awareness Coach) of London Meditation Ltd.
- In May 2016 Pat further enhanced her skills by attending level 2 training to teach mindfulness-based courses with the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice of Bangor University.
- Pat also studied the MBSR course with Michael Chaskalson M.A. of Mindfulness Works and Ros Boughtflower, executive coach and MBSR facilitator.
- Pat has taught in secondary schools for 36 years, including the headship of Westcliff High School for Girls from 1991 until 2004.
- She has been a meditator for over 40 years.
Course dates and times
The next course at the Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, SS9 1SP (Room 8) is on Tuesdays from 6.30 to 8.30pm on the following dates:
24th Sept, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th October
and the 5th and 12th November.
The half-day practice session is on Saturday 2nd November from 10.00am to 2.00pm at the Mid-Essex Buddhist Centre in South Woodham Ferrers.
For those preferring daytime classes, Pat will be teaching the MBSR course on Friday mornings from 10.00am to 12 noon at the Mid-Essex Buddhist Centre in S.W. Ferrers on 27th Sept, 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th October and 1st, 8th and 15th November.