Print Posted by Rachele Smith on 14/11/2017
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 8 Week MBSR Course

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 8 Week MBSR Course

The Old School House
St John's Rd, Huyton, Liverpool L36 0UX, UK

Start Time
10/01/2018 7:00 pm
End Time
28/02/2018 8:30 pm

What happens on a mindfulness course?

Weekday evening courses are taught over eight 1.5 hour sessions at weekly intervals and a half-day retreat towards the end of the course -The all-day retreat is an extended opportunity to practice and deepen what is being learned on the course. Throughout the MBSR participants are introduced to simple meditation practices that can help us become more present to our experience, manage thoughts, emotions and body sensations more effectively, and develop helpful responses to difficulties. The practices include sitting meditation, body scanning and gentle mindful movement, as well as some shorter exercises that invite mindfulness in daily life. There are also opportunities to share experiences of the practices, and some presentation and discussion of how mindfulness might be helpful in our lives.  However it is not unusual to be concerned about working in a group. We create a safe and confidential environment for everyone to explore and share their experiences. There is no pressure to share in the group if you do not wish to and we invite you to notice and work within your own safety zone. We appreciate everyone has busy lives but you will not get as much out of an MBSR course if you are not committed to the daily homework (approx.30 minutes) that we invite you to undertake during the course. We will provide audio links and other course materials to guide you in your home practice. The MBSR course has been used for over thirty years to help with anxiety, chronic health problems, and general well-being. 

Is a mindfulness course suitable for me right now?

Our course is designed for people who want to find ways of working with stress more effectively and increase their overall awareness, well-being and capacity to flourish. It gently encourages moving towards experiences (including difficulties) in order to be work with them more skilfully, and this can be challenging as well as rewarding. If you have current mental health problems such as acute depression, severe anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis, or are in a period of major life challenge such as recent bereavement, active substance addiction or current trauma, a mindfulness course may not be right for you at this time. We ask participants to complete a short confidential questionnaire and attend an orientation session prior to starting a course. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your circumstances.

What is the evidence that mindfulness is helpful?

Over the past few decades, trials of MBSR and MBCT have shown that mindfulness-based approaches are effective in managing stress, anxiety, and depression, and can help improve people's relationships, develop awareness and aid emotional well-being. MBCT is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for those who have had several episodes of depression, as it has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of future relapse.
Mindfulness-based approaches have also been shown to empower and reduce symptom perception among patients with physical health problems, including chronic pain, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as improving immune system functioning.

The 8 Week MBSR course is taught by Rachele Smith BSc RYT MBSR. To find out more about Rachele, her experience and qualifications please visit her profile on  Linkedin.  This course takes place at the Old School House, starting on January 10th 2018,  7pm - 8:30pm over 8 weeks with an added mutually convenient half day retreat. All course materials and audios are included in the course fee of £250. This fee is payable before the start of the course. There is also an initial interview and informal application process after registering interest. 

Meditation is a practice where an individual operates or trains the mind to acknowledge its content without identifying with the content. Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the experiences occurring in the present moment.

MBSR is a programme that incorporates mindfulness to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues. The programme was developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970’s by Professor Jon Kabat - Zinn. MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and mindful movement to help people become more mindful. In recent years, meditation has been the subject of controlled clinical research. This suggests it may have beneficial effects, including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to quality of life, but that it does not prevent or cure disease. While MBSR has it’s roots in Buddhist spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular. The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) University of Wales, Bangor recommends a core shape of 8 week mindfulness - based programmes and this is the format which we follow, this includes: An emphasis in the first half of the course on developing experience in steadying the awareness with more focus on concentration practices. Development in the second half of the programme of experience in expanding awareness and applying the learning to daily life and life challenges. Later in the programme development on the application to life challenges of understandings that emerge through the practices. Other than the first session, all sessions start with a long practice, followed by an enquiry on the experience of the home practice during the week. The intention of Loving Kindness runs throughout our formal mindfulness practices and the whole of the 8 week MBSR Course. Participating in an 8 week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study reported in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging (2015), a team of researchers led by Massachusetts general Hospital (MGH), report that the results of their study are the first to document meditation - produced changes over time to the brain’s grey matter. Mindfulness practice may be compared to physical exercise. Whilst this analogy is not perfect, experts often describe mindfulness practice as a form of mental exercise. Regular and sustained mindfulness practices are described as helping to strengthen our attentional muscles and change the way we think and behave.

For further information or an informal chat about our programme please contact


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St John's Rd, Huyton, Liverpool L36 0UX, UK

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