Frequently Asked Questions
Is MBSR right for me?
MBSR was originally designed to help individuals with chronic medical conditions manage the distress associated with their symptoms. The feedback from participants in the first programs was positive. Participants noted that they were able to get more enjoyment from their day to day lives, a reduction in overall stress levels , improved sleep and for some a decrease in their pain experience. Since that time MBSR has been offered to help individuals experiencing a wide variety of challenges. MBSR may not be for you if you have an active substance abuse issues, active psychosis, if you are in the midst of a Severe Major Depressive Episode or Severe symptoms of Anxiety. If you are grieving a recent loss it may be wise to wait before signing up for a class. If you are interested MBSR and have mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression please attend the free orientation session or contact me if you have any questions.
What is the purpose of the Orientation Session and do I have to go?
The orientation session is designed to give potential participants a taste of what the program has to offer. It is an opportunity to learn more about how the program was developed, the research that supports the skills that are taught and the level of commitment that is required to practice the skills that you will be learning. You will have an opportunity to see the space that the classes will be held in and identify any special needs that you may have to support your participation. It is also a chance to meet the other potential participants and me, to determine if the program is a good fit for you.
If it is right for you, this is the time that we have participants fill out consent and contact forms to secure their place in the current program or one that will be held in the future. It is highly recommended that people considering this program attend the orientation session.
I have anxiety, I have heard people say that Mindfulness could help and others say that it could make my anxiety worse.
It is true that both outcomes have been reported in the literature. Some people find the meditation instructions very helpful in establishing a sense of calm in the storm that anxiety can cause. Others find paying attention to the breath very challenging which can lead to frustration and a worsening of symptoms. Qualified and Certified MBSR Instructors with a mental health background can help participants with strategies that will allow them to find the the mindfulness tools that can work for them.
Do I have to attend every class?
Eight weeks is a big commitment in our busy, unpredictable lives. While it is recommended to attend all sessions, you can still receive benefit if you miss one or two. If you can only attend five classes or less you might want to consider waiting for another class that fits your schedule.
What is the Day of Mindfulness?
The Day of Mindfulness is offered in the last third of program after participants have learned a variety of mindfulness tools. It is offered on a Saturday, beginning at 9am and ending at 4:30pm. Often referred to as a retreat day, it provides participants an opportunity to practice all of the tools that they have learned in an intensive way. Research has shown that this type of intensive practice allows for deeper learning and retention of the tools. This increases the likelihood of mindfulness becoming part of your daily life after the class is over. Participants that have chosen to attend this day report that it is pivotal in helping them integrate the skills that they have learned and develop a deeper understanding of their ability to challenge automatic patterns.