Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a unique programme developed to help people better understand and work with all the stresses in their lives — medical, psychological, and social.

It’s an education-based class in which you learn to bring the practice of mindfulness into your life, in both formal and informal ways. Learning goes on both within class sessions and at home through daily practice.

The MBSR programme is modeled on the internationally acclaimed programme created at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The core focus of the MBSR programme is intensive training in mindfulness meditation and its applications to the challenges and demands of daily life.



What does the MBSR course consist of?

The course consists of 8 weekly classes (2 ½ hours each) held in Galway City and an all-day retreat between the 6th and 7th class which is held in Galway Wellness Studio, Terryland House, Headford Road. In all, the course offers 30 hours of direct contact and instruction.

The class format is experiential and engaging, consisting of direct instruction in mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching and mindful yoga, and group dialogue, discussion, and inquiry. With the variety of practices offered, you will find a mindfulness practice to make your own. You will also receive a set of 4 guided meditation CDs to enable you to practice at home as well as a manual.

Participating in the course requires an on-going commitment to yourself. You will be asked to attend all of the classes, including the all-day session, and practice daily home assignments for 45-60 minutes per day. The programme is demanding, but it can also be pleasurable, empowering, and extremely relaxing. Great care is taken to create a safe, supportive, and challenging learning environment.

Another powerful dimension to the course is the shared experiences of class members along the 8-week journey together. Participants and the facilitator learn from, help, and support each other. Many find that the weekly class is invaluable in supporting their growing mindfulness practice.

Who can benefit?

Research studies have demonstrated that mindfulness is effective in reducing chronic pain, medical symptoms, anxiety and depression. Other studies have proven stress reduction to be helpful in treating sleep disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma and chronic fatigue syndrome.

A majority of programme graduates report:

  1. an ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations, both short and long-term
  2. lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
  3. decreased levels of pain, and an increased ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  4. an increased ability to relax
  5. increased emotional stability
  6. greater sense of energy and well-being and enthusiasm for life

Ongoing Support

Following the MBSR course, it can be challenging to maintain the momentum, focus and enthusiasm necessary to deepen your mindfulness practice. To address this, continuing support, encouragement and training are offered to graduates of the programme.

Different options for developing and nurturing your practice are available:

  1. Quarterly All-Day Retreats. These silent retreats are held in various locations in Co. Galway. Check back with this website for dates and costs.
  2. Continuing Classes are designed to offer an opportunity to focus more deeply on various themes and topics introduced in the MBSR course. Such courses may include: “Mindful Living,” “Mindful Parenting,” and “Mindfulness at Work.”