Is MBSR Right for Me?

Begin your mindfulness journey today and take the first step on the path toward greater ease

What is MBSR? 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and mindful movement to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. It is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and present for the richness of each moment. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.

Many of us go through our lives on autopilot, not focusing on what we are doing while we are doing it. We miss out on truly being present with family, friends, children, and so many other aspects of our lives. The MBSR course will help you to counter the habitual thought processes that fuel anxiety and resistance to what is happening in the present moment.

In this course, you will explore first-hand the creative process that emerges from being mindful of your immediate experience and as a result, develop useful strategies for coping with stress. With practice, you will discover how to live your life more fully and truly take in the importance of every moment. 

If life is only lived in moments, why not be fully present for all of them?

Course Dates

Spring 2024

ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD LIVE-ONLINE


Free Orientations (Live-online)

Saturday, March 2, from 9 – 10:30 a.m. ET

Wednesday, March 6, from 12 – 1:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, March 14, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. ET

Take an orientation session to see if MBSR is right for you. They’re always free and serve as an opportunity for you to meet the teacher, experience meditation and mindful movement first-hand, and have your questions answered. The orientation prepares you to commit fully to the program so you can get the most out of it.


Course (Live-online)

Weekly on Wednesdays 

March 27 – May 15, 2024

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ET

 

Plus an All-Day Retreat (Live-online)

Saturday, May 4, 2024

9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

How will MBSR help me?

MBSR has been clinically studied, standardized, and is evidenced to have a measurable impact in the following areas:

  • Increase awareness for yourself and others

  • Strengthen mental flexibility, focus, and calm

  • Recognize and thereby shift habitually maladaptive behavior and thought patterns

  • Build emotional agility in the face of personal and professional challenges

  • Manage difficult emotions without feeling overwhelmed

  • Cultivate patience and develop self-compassion

  • Manage chronic pain and illnesses such as anxiety and depression

  • Reduce everyday stress and associated high blood pressure

  • Manage anger, panic, ADD/ADHD, disordered sleeping and eating

  • Develop new and creative coping skills that are wise and helpful

Hear from MBSR Graduates

What others are saying

Powerful

Rosa C., (Online Participant in Fall 2020)

This course increased my awareness to powerful devices within myself, (mindfulness, stillness, patience, self-kindness, anchoring, gratitude, and non judgmental labeling), that I didn’t even know existed! These tools have helped me to cope with everyday stressors including the pandemic. I believe these values will reside with me for the rest of my future and I could not be more grateful for it. I would recommend this to anyone seeking a more calmer mind.

Compassionate

Anonymous (Online Participant in Fall 2020)

Jessica Webb Frank is, without a doubt, one of the most compassionate presenters I have seen through all the different trainings and events I've been to. It was an honor working with her and her grace and presence for each of us, even within the larger group, was a light in a difficult year (2020).

Slow Down

Susan A. (Online Participant in Fall 2020)

Taking the MBSR course with Jessica at this time was well needed for me. Learning ways to slow down, calm the scattered mind and be mindful by quieting the breath, mind and body on a daily basis with the many tools Jessica taught me. Bringing more peacefulness and calmness into my being. Thank you, Jessica.

Stillness

Kerry M. (Online Participant in Fall 2020)

MBSR is one of the kindest gifts you can give yourself. Jessica navigated the journey with such joy and compassion. Along the way, as judgment and distractions appear, you realize the power of anchoring, breathing and stillness. One of the many benefits of mindfulness is to live life fully in the moment. MBSR was truly an enjoyable and empowering experience.

Curiosity

Anonymous (Online Participant in Fall 2020)

I have spent many years struggling with emotional overwhelm and anxiety. This course has really cemented my foundation in regulating my emotions with compassion, and allowing myself to feel my feelings. I no longer react as strongly to triggers as I once did, and I am able to approach difficult feelings with curiosity and loving awareness. This course has been life-changing, and I absolutely would recommend it to anyone!

Amazing

Lisa D. (Online Participant in Fall 2020)

Jessica was born to teach mindfulness; she is a natural. Jessica has a kind, soothing voice which is a plus for this course. Jessica is gentle and kind and delivers the course content in a manner that is understandable and relevant to her learners. I learned a lot from Jessica, especially during the all-day retreat. This class is amazing and is a life-long commitment. Thank you.

Life-Changing

Michelle C., (participant in Spring 2019)

Taking this MBSR course with Jessica has been truly life-changing. I’ve learned that self-care is a necessity, even if it means only taking 5-10 minutes each day to reflect and reconnect. Now when I get stressed out I know that I have the tools I need to refocus my energy. The full day retreat felt daunting at first, but I truly believe it was necessary for that change to occur. I would highly recommend this class for anyone and everyone.

Highly recommend

Peggy G., Plymouth (participant in Spring 2019)

Participating in the 8-week MBSR course has truly changed my relationship with myself and how I live in the world. I am more in touch with my own body and I’ve learned to listen to what my body is telling me. I have learned to slow down and really listen to people before reacting. I have discovered my own inner wisdom and have tools to help me manage stress and more fully appreciate each moment of my life. Jessica is an amazing teacher...I highly recommend the MBSR course!

Appreciate

GS, Rhode Island (participant in Spring 2019)

I enjoyed the MBSR course for different reasons, including Jessica’s gentle guidance and my classmates' insights. I learned a great deal from other people’s experiences. Some of the important takeaways for me in the MBSR course were to appreciate and be kind to myself, as well as to concentrate on what is truly important in life and let go of stuff that doesn’t really matter… I looked forward to each session and absolutely loved the All-Day class, at the end of which I was reluctant to speak. That day was one of the best, if not the best, day of my life so far.

Sign up!

Anonymous, 26, sexual assault and domestic violence survivor, MBSR scholarship recipient, grateful beyond words (participant in Spring 2019)

Your transition over the 8 weeks will surprise you. Jessica's way of presenting the material is the perfect balance of playful, exploratory, serious and silly. She is an exceptional guide throughout the course. With her help and the MBSR curriculum I was able to return to work after two years of unemployment due to difficult anxieties. I credit her enthusiasm surrounding MBSR, mindful living and radical self love with helping me re-enter the world with the confidence to be myself, unapologetically, as the resilient woman I am. If you think there is a spark inside of you that isn't getting enough oxygen, sign up for MBSR! I dare you.

Pricing options

In an effort to make the MBSR course accessible to as many people as possible, prices are on a sliding-scale basis. Please select the highest amount you can reasonably afford. The actual cost of the course is $399. Choosing the higher tier (Benefactor $549) helps to break down barriers of access for others. The lower tier (Supported $199) offers an affordable choice for those who need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does the MBSR course cost?

    The course is offered on a sliding scale. We encourage you to choose the highest option that you can reasonably afford. The actual cost of the course is $399. Choosing the higher tier (Benefactor $549) helps to break down barriers of access for others. The lower tier (Supported $199) offers an affordable choice for those who need it.

  • What is included in the cost of the course?

    The fee includes the orientation session, access to the online learning platform, downloadable guided mindfulness meditations, a detailed course guidebook, weekly handouts, all instructor-led classes, and personal guidance. The fee is required in full and prior to the start of the course.

  • What can I expect from the MBSR Course?

    MBSR challenges participants to practice present moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement. Through the use of these techniques, one learns to discover and observe one's own reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. With practice, one can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with one’s self, loved ones, and the life one is living. MBSR can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, or anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with chronic issues. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.

  • What are the technology requirements?

    A computer and high-speed internet connection are required. Mobile devices such as phones and tablets are not recommended. The course will be facilitated using Zoom software and it is suggested to have the latest version of Zoom downloaded prior to starting the course. There is no software to download for any course materials. When you register for the course, you will automatically be enrolled in the Thinkific learning platform where you will have access to materials from week to week as you move through the course. Downloadable audio files will also be available to you through the online learning platform.

  • Is there homework?

    Yes, but we call it at-home practice. The MBSR program can be quite challenging and time-intensive. It requires a full commitment on the part of the participant. In addition to attending one orientation, all eight weekly classes, plus the "all-day" class, there is an at-home component in the form of 45 minutes per day of formal meditation practice, plus an additional 15 to 20 minutes per day of simple awareness exercises. Please consider this before making a commitment.

  • Can children take the MBSR course?

    No, the MBSR course is designed for adults 21 years of age or older.

  • What if I miss a class?

    Consistency and continuity are integral components to the MBSR program. Missing one class is generally acceptable, as long as it is not the first class. If you expect to miss more than one class, it is suggested that you wait and take the course at another time. Don't forget, all participants must arrange to attend one of the free mandatory orientation sessions. Also, if you cannot attend the entire All-Day class, please take the course at another time.

  • Do you offer refunds if it's not for me?

    A full refund is offered if your request is submitted in writing more than 10 days before the course starts. A 50 percent (partial) refund is offered if your request is submitted in writing less than 10 days before the course starts. There are no refunds offered once the course begins. Please submit requests to [email protected]

MBSR Course Overview

This is the scaffolding for what you build. After taking an orientation, you will learn:

  • Class 1 (2.5 - 3 hours) Live-online

    Theme: "As long as you're breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you." -- Jon Kabat-Zinn. Here you will receive an overview of the course and establish the learning context for the rest of your experience. You will learn the theory and evidence of mind-body medicine and how to apply it in your life. You'll be experientially introduced to mindful eating, anchoring awareness, and the body-scan method, with a special emphasis on what it means to be fully engaged in the present moment.

  • Class 2 (2.5 hours) Live-online

    Theme: The role of perception. Perception is key in mindfulness—how you see things (or don't see them) will determine in a large part how you respond. This week's session and practices will ask you to examine your perceptions, assumptions, and the way you view the world. You will learn to use the body-scan practice to cultivate a greater degree of awareness of how you react to stressful situations. Changing the way you perceive and respond to difficulties and challenges will impact the short-and long-term effects of stress on your mind and body. The practice of the body scan and mindful movement continues.

  • Class 3 (2.5 hours) Live-online

    Theme: There is power and pleasure in being present. In this session, you'll practice several distinct yet interrelated mindfulness practices—mindful lying-down yoga (with chair adaptations for those for whom lying down on the floor is not accessible), sitting meditation, and (if time) walking meditation. Daily practice with the recordings has been going on for two weeks, and there is time to ask questions, share learning and discoveries, and talk about how it is to make time for this new habit–including the challenges of doing that. You will discover that there is both pleasure and power in being present—you'll directly attend to and investigate how your experiences create such reactions as pleasure or discomfort in the mind and body. Another theme for Class 3 is exploring “pleasant experiences,” and how these are received in one’s thoughts, emotions and sensations.

  • Class 4 (2.5 hours) Live-online

    Theme: Bringing awareness to the patterns of automatic, habitual stress reactivity. By practicing mindfulness, we cultivate curiosity and openness to the full range of our experience, and through this process our ability to pay attention becomes more flexible. After three weeks of daily mindfulness practice, participants often report a greater awareness of all experiences: pleasant, unpleasant and everything in between. Curiosity and openness are being cultivated through practice, which begins to show up not just in meditation–but also in ordinary moments of life. You'll learn about the physiological and psychological bases of stress reactivity (fight, flight, or freeze), and experience mindful strategies for responding in positive, proactive ways to stressful situations.

  • Class 5 (2.5 hours) Live-online

    Theme: How mindfulness interrupts the stress cycle. At the halfway point in this course, you should now be familiar with the foundations of mindfulness and able to focus on applying it more rapidly and effectively to specific challenges and stressors in your life. This week you will begin to pay attention to the places where you might be stuck in repeating unhealthy patterns that you can disarm through mindful awareness. You will also learn how to apply mindfulness at the critical moment when you experience a physical sensation, intense emotion, or condition, with special attention to exploring the effect of reactivity in health and illness.

  • Class 6 (2.5 hours) Live-online

    Theme: Mindfulness and communication. Resilience or “stress hardiness” is our ability to return to equilibrium after stressful situations. This week, you will focus on transformational coping strategies to broaden your inner resources and enhance your resilience through mindfulness practice. You'll also learn the fundamentals of interpersonal mindfulness—applying awareness and presence at times when communication becomes difficult or fraught with strong emotions. You'll gain direct experience of a variety of styles for more effective and creative interpersonal communication.

  • The All- Day Retreat (6.5 hours) Live-online

    This day-long guided retreat will take place between weeks six and seven. The intensive nature of this six-hour-plus session—held mostly in silence with skillful guidance by your instructor—is intended to assist you in firmly and effectively establishing the use of MBSR skills across multiple situations in your life, while simultaneously preparing you to utilize these methods far beyond the conclusion of the program. You will be led through the mindfulness practices learned thus far in the course, along with a few new options. This day offers an opportunity to see your life closely and freshly, through the lens of practice and the qualities that come along with it, including kindness, curiosity and interest, self-sovereignty, and choice. Without the usual demands and distractions, possibilities, insights, and new perceptions may arise.

  • Class 7 (2.5 hours) Live-online

    Theme: Mindfulness in daily life. Mindfulness is most effective when it becomes a lifelong commitment. This week, you will explore the many ways that you can integrate mindfulness more fully and personally into your life. While having a dedicated regular practice for mindfulness meditation is important and beneficial, it is just as important to bring a broader sense of awareness and presence to every moment in your life, and to use non-judgmental mindfulness in your self-reflection and decision-making processes. You'll learn how to maintain the discipline and flexibility of daily practice as circumstances change over the course of your life. Along with the establishment of a regular, daily mindfulness practice, the class explores how to bring mindfulness “off the cushion” and into your life as an ongoing “habit,” of mind, body and heart. The prior weeks of practice have offered a new perspective on how to care for yourself, how to meet moments of stress and challenge, and how to savor moments of joy and peace.

  • Class 8 (2.5 - 3 hours) Live-online

    Theme: The rest of your life... In the final week of the program, we come full circle. You will have a complete review of everything you've learned over the course, with an emphasis on carrying the momentum you've built forward into the coming months and years. You'll learn about resources available to you to pursue mindfulness in new directions as your life and practice evolve, as well as the support systems that exist to help you continue to integrate, learn, and grow. While acknowledging the program’s end, we also celebrate how each person will carry the practice forward in the unique and supportive ways they choose. The final class is on hour longer.

Plan Ahead for Fall 2024

Fall MBSR course dates

ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD LIVE-ONLINE


Free Orientations (Live-online)

Registration opens May 15th

Tuesday, August 20, from 9 – 10:30 a.m. ET

Thursday, August 29, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday, September 11, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET

 

Course (Live-online)

Weekly on Wednesdays 

September 25 - November 13, 2024

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ET

 

Plus an All-Day Retreat (Live-online)

Saturday, November 2, 2024

9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

Meet your instructor

Jessica Frank, Certified MBSR Teacher

Certified MBSR Teacher and BioMed Program Manager

Jessica Frank

Jessica Frank is the BioMed Program Manager at the Marion Institute and is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. She first began guiding classes in mindfulness and yoga in 2011. She taught yoga and meditation for 11 years before joining the Marion Institute in 2022 and has amassed over 8,000 teaching hours. Her training in MBSR facilitation began at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in 2013 and she completed her teacher training there in 2018. She subsequently earned full certification from Brown University's Mindfulness Center in 2020. She has facilitated the 8-week course since 2015. In addition, she has also taught the Path of Freedom mindfulness course to incarcerated individuals since 2017 and is trained in trauma-sensitive yoga and trauma-informed mindfulness.

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