Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – Elaine Retholtz – Mondays 6:30-9:00pm (ET) – September 9 to November 4, 2024

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Orientation and 8 weeks with all-day retreat
LOCATION: Live Online via Zoom
MONDAYS from 6:30-9:00 pm (EASTERN TIME) convert to my timezone
ORIENTATION: September 9, CLASSES: September 16 to November 4, 2024

Dates, Times, and Pricing Details

Payment plans are available at checkout.

LOCATION: Live Online via Zoom
ORIENTATION: September 9 from 6:30-9:00pm (EASTERN TIME)
PROGRAM DATES: September 16, 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, and November 4
PROGRAM TIME: 6:30-9:00 pm (EASTERN TIME) convert to my timezone
ALL-DAY SESSION: Sunday, October 20 from 9:30am to 5:00pm (EASTERN TIME)

Program pricing is set to allow for generosity while meeting individuals needs. Program prices include Pay-It-Forward, Standard, and Scholarship rates. We encourage you to pay as much as  you can afford and we appreciate your care and thoughtfulness when deciding. See our refund policy.

More About Pricing

Pay-It-Forward: This is an opportunity to support those less fortunate, making programs accessible to those that cannot pay the standard rate. Paying at this level is an act of generosity.

Standard Rate: The standard rate covers the costs of these programs, making it possible for MHI to continue to offer them.

Scholarship Rate: This rate is available for those who cannot afford to pay the standard rate. We ask you to use this rate only if paying the higher rate creates a hardship for yourself and/or your family.

28.0 hours of CE credit is available for attendees who are present for the entire program.

What Can I Learn in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week evidence-based, experiential program designed to provide participants with intensive and systematic training in mindfulness meditation and movement practices. Developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, it is based on ancient contemplative practices integrated with western medical approaches and continues to be informed by a global community of MBSR researchers, teachers, and trainers.

The course was a very liberating experience, that allowed me to focus more on how I spend my time. Since the course I have been more intentional about what I am allowing in my space as I focus on living a more peaceful and purposeful life.

CM, MBSR Student, Fall 2023

What are the Benefits of  Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

Better sleep • Lower blood pressure • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression • Pain Management • Responding skillfully vs reacting • Improved overall well-being and self-care • Increased self-compassion • Increased self-awareness • Enhanced focus and concentration • Enhanced coping skills • Improved emotional regulation • Enhanced mind-body connection • Reduced rumination • Enhanced immune function • Greater resilience • Reduced stress

While each participant’s experience is unique, our own experience and the published research has shown changes like these are common.

How Long is the Program and Weekly Overview

“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”
-Jon Kabat-Zinn

How long is the MBSR program?

MBSR is an 8-week program of systematic training employing both formal meditations and informal mindfulness practices to cultivate present-moment awareness and to learn how to integrate what is discovered and learned through the process of participating in the program into one’s daily life. In addition to mindfulness techniques, MBSR also emphasizes the integration of the 9 Attitudinal Foundations. The experiential program harnesses inner resources and promotes resilience beyond the course.

The program consists of 31 hours of direct instruction, including:

  • Orientation (1.5-2.5 hrs) scheduled one or two weeks before the first class
  • 8 weekly classes, 2.5 hours each
  • An all-day class on a Saturday or Sunday
  • Daily home practice assignments (~45-60 minutes each day)
Weekly Overview

The MBSR curriculum presented here serves as a general overview and is subject to potential modifications based on the unique needs, insights, and discussions that may arise during class.

Orientation: Welcome and introductions
MBSR is introduced as a secular, evidence-based practice, including a discussion around the history and scientific basis of MBSR and how it can positively affect the quality of everyday life. Course logistics, expectations, and potential challenges of mindfulness practice are also reviewed.

Week 1: Building a mindfulness foundation
The definition of mindfulness is discussed, including what mindfulness is and is not and common misconceptions. Participants are also introduced to present moment awareness through experiential practices such as mindful eating, focused attention meditation, and body scan meditation.

Week 2: Perception and creative responding
Experiential mindfulness continues to be explored through meditation practices and self-reflections. The role of perception and assumptions and the way they can impact the present moment experience is introduced. The difference between reactivity and responsiveness is also discussed, and how mindfulness can create the space to respond more skillfully.

Week 3: The power of being present
Participants continue to engage with experiential mindfulness practices with opportunities to discuss the challenges and insights encountered in formal practice and in integrating mindfulness into everyday life. Participants will explore how to skillfully manage all ranges of experiences, and attention toward pleasant events that may go unnoticed is introduced.

Week 4: “The unwanted”
Unpleasant emotions and sensations are investigated with an emphasis on cultivating curiosity and openness to the full range of experiences. There is a review of the physiological and psychological effects of stress reactivity and participants are encouraged to identify their personal stress patterns. Strategies for responding positively and proactively with a mindful practice are also discussed.

Week 5: Dealing with difficult emotions or physical pain
Specific attention is provided on how to apply mindfulness when experiencing a strong physical sensation, intense emotion, or challenging thought. “Turning Toward” is introduced as a method to deliberately investigate these experiences rather than avoid them.

Week 6: Communication and interpersonal relating
Experiential training in MBSR continues with an emphasis on the growing capacity to self-regulate and cope more effectively with stress as it presents within the domain of communications – particularly difficult and challenging interpersonal exchanges. Communication styles and strategies are explored, including how mindfulness can foster thoughtful responses and help manage intense emotions.

All-Day: Slowing down and “being”
This 7.5 hour silent retreat provides participants with the opportunity to reinforce and build upon the mindfulness practices learned in the course by engaging with the established mindfulness practices and exploring some new ones. With reduced external demands and distractions, this day of practice helps to strengthen one’s use of mindfulness across multiple situations in daily life and may spark new insights and perceptions.

Week 7: Integrating mindfulness into daily life
In addition to cultivating a consistent daily meditation routine, participants explore various ways to cultivate a broader sense of awareness and presence in every moment. Participants will reflect on lifestyle choices and habits, discerning between those that are self-nourishing and maladaptive.

Week 8: Making the practice your own
Participants engage in the final experiential components of the program with opportunities for clarifying questions. Participants are guided to reflect about their mindfulness development and insights gained over the last 8 weeks. Key program topics are reviewed along with strategies for maintaining and deepening mindfulness skills beyond the program’s completion.

Weekly Overview of APA Credits
DateClassCE Credits
OrientationWelcome, program aims, and introduction to mindfulness 0 hours
Week 1Building a mindfulness foundation2.5 hours
Week 2Perception and creative responding2.5 hours
Week 3The power of being present2.5 hours
Week 4“The unwanted” 2.5 hours
Week 5Dealing with difficult emotions or physical pain2.5 hours
Week 6Communication and interpersonal relating2.5 hours
Week 7Integrating mindfulness into daily life2.5 hours
All DayIntensive mindfulness practice to effectively establish skills for use beyond program completion8 hours
Week 8Program review, making the practice your own for on-going growth2.5 hours

Important Note: Participants are expected and required to attend 100% of CE programming. MHI and its staff strictly monitor attendance and do not award variable credit for partial attendance.

Foundations of Mindfulness

Together, these lay the foundation for cultivating mindfulness in daily life and contribute to the transformative benefits of the MBSR program.

  • Non-judging
  • Patience
  • Beginner’s mind
  • Trust
  • Non-striving
  • Acceptance
  • Letting go
  • Gratitude
  • Generosity

Past Participant Testimonials

This course helped me deepen my practice. I had years of experience, but following a structured program and agreeing to commit to it brought me a lot more than I expected.
Amaury Dame, Participant
This MBSR course has helped me rekindle a loving relationship with my body, mind, and heart.
Program Participant
Mindfulness training has really changed the trajectory of both my personal and professional life. It has provided me the tools to be more self aware, along with sharp focus, clarity and attention. It was truly a pleasure and honor!
AT, Participant
This class taught me how to value and care for myself as I do for others. To have the same warmth and kindness I have for those I love towards myself. It has been transformational.
A, Participant
Who is this for?

This course is designed for adults aged 18 who are interested in exploring mindfulness techniques. It offers a structured, practical, and easily accessible introduction suitable for newcomers, those who’ve explored mindfulness apps or books, and even seasoned practitioners.

Why is this course valuable for clinical psychologists?

This course is designed for adults aged 18 who are interested in exploring mindfulness techniques. It offers a structured, practical, and easily accessible introduction suitable for newcomers, those who’ve explored mindfulness apps or books, and even seasoned practitioners.

For psychologists and other professionals, the wide applicability and adaptability of this course demonstrates how mindfulness can be a versatile tool for clinicians working with diverse populations. However, effectively integrating mindfulness into the therapeutic space requires clinicians to prioritize their own personal practice. Studies suggest that mindfulness training significantly strengthens the therapeutic alliance, the cornerstone of effective therapy, in several key ways:

  • Cultivating present-moment awareness
  • Improving self-awareness
  • Enhancing emotional regulation
  • Boosting empathy and compassion
  • Deepening active listening skills
About the Instructor
Elaine Retholtz

Certified MBSR instructor 
MBSR teacher-trainer
Co-founder of the MBSR Teachers Collaborative of Greater NY
Insight Meditation teacher

Click here to view the full bio

Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  • Utilize mindfulness to build awareness of stress responses, including recognizing habitual patterns of reactivity to stressors, and identifying and exploring unpleasant, unwanted, and contradictory emotions.
  • Cultivate an understanding and awareness of the roles of intention, attention, and attitude.
  • Utilize mindfulness to develop alternative responses to stress and promote greater mental flexibility.
  • Discuss how thoughts and core beliefs can dictate the unconscious stress reactivity and conditioned ways of thinking may foster the habit of stress reactivity.
  • Practice and employ meditation and mindfulness movement practices, bringing attention and awareness to how the body can hold stress.
  • Bring awareness to the impact of judgement and non-judgement on awareness and bias. 
  • Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection with the body, emotions, and with others.
  • Explain what mindfulness is and is not, from a theory- and evidence-based perspective, including the benefits of mindfulness and MBSR substantiated by empirical research.
Complete Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  1. Discuss what mindfulness is and is not from a theory- and evidence-based perspective
  2. Discuss the history of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  3. Discuss the Attitudinal Foundations of mindfulness practice
  4. Discuss the benefits of mindfulness and MBSR substantiated by empirical research
  5. Discuss the purpose of the stress response, including its usefulness
  6. Discuss the difference between an active acceptance of distress and an emotional resignation
  7. Discuss how thoughts and core beliefs dictate the unconscious stress reactivity
  8. Explain how cognitive distortions or conditioned ways of thinking may foster the habit of stress reactivity
  9. Explain how reactivity to stress can impair mental, emotional and physical wellbeing
  10. Explain how mindfulness can alter the automatic feedback loop to facilitate self-management of stress reactivity from an evidence-based perspective
  11. Utilize mindfulness to build awareness of one’s own stress responses, including recognizing habitual patterns of reactivity to stressors 
  12. Utilize mindfulness to develop alternative responses to stress
  13. Utilize mindfulness practices to promote greater mental flexibility 
  14. Explain how mindfulness strengthens purposeful attention
  15. Explain how mindfulness promotes emotional regulation
  16. Practice and employ the body scan meditation, bringing attention and awareness to how the body can hold stress
  17. Employ and practice the focused attention meditation as a tool for developing less reactivity and less negativity
  18. Employ and practice the mindful movement (yoga) meditation, experiencing the potential of the body’s strengths and flexibility, and developing awareness of what it means to care for one’s own body
  19. Employ and practice informal mindfulness practices that are useful in daily life, workplace, social environments, and in communications
  20. Identify when formal meditations may be used to support overall wellbeing
  21. Identify when informal mindfulness practices may be used to support overall wellbeing
  22. Utilize mindfulness to identify typical bodily sensations that arise when the stress response is activated
  23. Utilize mindfulness to identify, feel, explore and tolerate unpleasant, unwanted, and contradictory emotions
  24. Apply mindfulness to cultivate a greater sense of present-moment awareness 
  25. Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection with the body
  26. Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection with emotions
  27. Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection in relationship to others
  28. Utilize mindfulness to enhance interpersonal relationships
  29. Utilize mindfulness to enhance effective communication
What is the Science and Research on MBSR?

MBSR has an extensive history of empirical validation, spanning over 40 years, including research supporting substantial psychological and physical benefits such as:

  • Prosocial behaviors such as increased empathy and compassion toward others 1, 2
  • Cognitive functions including enhanced focus, attentional control, and cognitive flexibility, as well as improvements in long and short-term memory processing and recollection 3, 4, 5
  • Psychological health as a result of reduced stress and reduction in ruminating thoughts, as well as enhanced emotional regulation and increased resilience 3, 5, 7, 8
  • Physical well-being including improved immune function, pain relief, and reduced blood pressure 9, 10, 11

While individual experiences may differ, engaging in mindfulness practices offers participants a valuable opportunity to tap into its wide-ranging benefits. The brain is not hard-wired. It’s possible to learn to be happier and healthier, more focused and resilient.

Sources Cited
  1. Lim, D., Condon, P., & DeSteno D. (2015). Mindfulness and Compassion: An Examination of Mechanism and Scalability. PlosOne, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118221
  2. Weng, H. Y., Fox, A. S., Hessenthaler, H. C., Stodola, D. E. & Davidson, R. J. (2015). The Role of Compassion in Altruistic Helping and Punishment Behavior. PlosOne, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143794
  3. Zou, Y. Li, P., Hofmann, S. G., & Liu, X (2020). The Mediating Role of Non-reactivity to Mindfulness Training and Cognitive Flexibility: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Front. Psychol, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01053
  4. Greenburg, J., Romero, V. L., Elkin-Frankston, S., Bezdek, M. A., Schumacher, E. H., & Lazar, S. W. (2018). Reduced interference in working memory following mindfulness training is associated with increases in hippocampal volume. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 13, 366–376. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-018-9858-4
  5. Jha, A. P., Witkin, J. E., Morrison, A. B., Rostrup, N., & Stanley, E. (2017). Short-Form Mindfulness Training Protects Against Working Memory Degradation over High-Demand Intervals. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 1, 154–171. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-017-0035-2
  6. Ireland, M. J., Clough, B., Gill, K., Langan, F., O’Conner, A., & Spencer, L. (2017). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness to reduce stress and burnout among intern medical practitioners. Medical Teacher, 39(4), 409-414. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2017.1294749
  7. Chambers, R., Lo, B. C. Y., & Allen, N. B. (2008). The Impact of Intensive Mindfulness Training on Attentional Control, Cognitive Style, and Affect. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32, 303–322. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-007-9119-0
  8. Chin, B., Lindsay, E. K., Greco, C. M., Brown, K. W., Smyth, J. M. et al. (2019). Psychological mechanisms driving stress resilience in mindfulness training: A randomized controlled trial. Health Psychology, 38(8), 759–768. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000763
  9. Witek-Janusek, L., Albuquerque, K., Chroniak, K. R., Chroniak, C., Durazo-Arvizu, R., & Matthews, H. L. (2008). Effect of mindfulness based stress reduction on immune function, quality of life and coping in women newly diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 22(6), 969-981. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2008.01.012
  10. Zeidan, F., Adler-Neal, A. L., Wells, R. E., Stagnaro, E., May, L. M., et al. (2016). Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(11) 3391-3397. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4328-15.2016
  11. Loucks, E. B., Nardi, W. R., Gutman, R., Kronish, I. M., Saadeh, F. B., et al. (2019). Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP): Stage 1 single-arm clinical trial. PlosOne. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223095

Join us to explore how mindfulness may support you in living life more fully, with greater ease and joy.

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