Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical school in 1979. Over the past thirty years it has developed into a complementary form of health care for the alleviation of stress in our daily lives. It is generally accepted that stress plays a significant role in many of the conditions associated with ill-health. There is a mounting body of evidence that Mindfulness-Based programs, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can promote both psychological and physical well-being. A recent large review of numerous studies by Fjorback and colleagues (1), for example, demonstrated that mindfulness-based programs generally improved the quality of life and reduced the psychological symptoms of stress such as anxiety and depression in participants.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- More effective coping with short- and long-term stress and its effects
- Deeper relaxation and rejuvenation
- Decrease in the psychological symptoms associated with stress such as depression and anxiety
- Pain management and pain reduction
- Overall improvement in well-being
The program being offered is modeled on the MBSR program offered at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts. The course takes place over 8-weeks with a one day (Saturday or Sunday) retreat about mid-way through the program. Students will learn a variety of skills including:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Self-care strategies
- Methods for relaxation
- Ways of living in greater harmony with self and others
- Means of coping with worry, anxiety and sadness
Barry Cull is a registered psychological associate in Ontario who has practiced psychotherapy since 1987. He was trained as an MBSR instructor through the Center for Mindfulness in 2008/2009 and has been teaching mindfulness-based courses through Conestoga College. He teaches a popular course to full-time students at the college entitled, The Psychology of Mindfulness.
Please see the Recent Post about upcoming courses in the Waterloo, Ontario area.
(1) Fjorback, L. O.; Arendt, M.; Ørnbøl, E.; Fink, P.; Walach, H. (2011). “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – a systematic review of randomized controlled trials”. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 124 (2): 102–19.