MABT: Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy

April 30-May 7, 2018 • Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Joshua Tree, CA
Faculty: Cynthia Price, PhD MA LMT, Elizabeth Chaison, MEd LMT and Carla Wiechman, LMT

Registration & Fees

Mindful Awareness in Body-oriented Therapy (MABT) is a novel, empirically validated program designed to teach interoceptive awareness to help facilitate self-awareness and emotion regulation. Interoceptive awareness is the ability to perceive, access and appraise inner body sensations. This program was created for clients who avoid or are disconnected from their bodies due to stress, pain or trauma. To address possible challenges of learning to access interoceptive awareness, MABT is delivered individually and thus allows for a flexible and individualized approach to teaching. Touch is used to guide and ground awareness to the body, and clients are coached to practice using self-touch for the same purpose. MABT is also helpful for people with chronic medical issues who wish to promote symptom management through enhanced sensory awareness. Notably, the ability to access and mindfully attend to inner body sensations is often not generally well developed and thus these skills can be useful for everyone interested in facilitating awareness and well-being, and/or expanding their mindfulness skills.
The primary goals of MABT are to learn to access interoceptive awareness through mindful meditative attention, to develop the capacity for sustained attention within specific areas of the body, to learn an inquiry process related to sensory awareness that promotes self-awareness and insight, and to develop interoceptive awareness practices that can be integrated into daily life to promote self-care and emotion regulation. Developed for research, and based on Dr. Cynthia Price’s clinical expertise, this program integrates mindfulness, touch/manual, and psychoeducation approaches.

Photo Copyright: Adam Haydock


The training retreat will be lead by Cynthia Price, PhD MA LMT. Cynthia is a Research Assoc. Professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing and the Director of the Center for Mindful Body Awareness in Seattle, WA. Elizabeth Chaison, MA LMT, and Carla Wiechman, LMT will be co-instructors for this course; both Elizabeth and Carla have worked as research interventionists on MABT studies, have provided MABT instruction for past courses, and incorporate MABT teaching and skills in their clinical practices.
Largely experiential in training focus, didactic and discussion sessions will be interspersed throughout the retreat. Demonstration and role-playing will also be used to teach the material, and much of the experiential training and practice time will involve simulated provider-client interactions. The MABT approach involves the application of mindfulness skills in clinical practice, i.e. the capacity for presence and mindful attention to self and in relationship to client, as well as the work of facilitating client capacity for presence through teaching interoceptive awareness skills. Thus, throughout the training, attention will be brought to deepening the clinician’s own mindfulness and interoceptive awareness capacity through MABT practice, daily meditations, mindful movement and a day of silent retreat. Registration will be limited to ensure time for personalized training in teaching MABT practices.


At the completion of this training, participants should be able to:

  • Deliver the core therapeutic elements of each of the MABT sessions
  • Demonstrate an intellectual and experiential understanding of the MABT components and the role of interoceptive awareness for self-care and emotion regulation
  • Describe the integral relationship between interoceptive awareness and mindfulness
  • Articulate the vital importance of the therapist’s ongoing mindfulness practice and sustained mindful awareness within a therapy framework
  • Recognize and describe clinical issues that can arise when teaching MABT skills
  • Demonstrate the clinical skills and perspectives necessary to deliver MABT by participating in real-time simulated interactions with live feedback and assessment from instructors.

Target Audience

This 7-day intensive workshop is intended for therapists who wish to expand their practice to include MABT and mindfulness-based related practices. It is designed for mental health professionals and bodywork therapists who have experience working with mental health issues. It may also be appropriate for health care practitioners in other disciplines or mindfulness-based teachers who work individually with clients, have a mental health background, and are comfortable using touch in their practice.

Photo Copyright: Adam Haydock

Participant Guidelines

This class includes advanced material and is designed for practicing clinicians. It is our experience that successful delivery of MABT requires facilitators to have a mindfulness practice, be comfortable using therapeutic touch, and have clinical verbal interaction skills. To this end, we have created recommendations for acceptance to this MABT training.

  • Advanced degree in mental health-related field (e.g., psychology, social work or counseling) or certificate-level training in body-oriented approach such as Hakomi, Focusing, etc.
  • Experience or comfort working with touch-based approaches to care for teaching purposes.
  • Prior training in a mindfulness practice such as Vipassana or Insight Meditation, or professional training in a mindfulness approach such as MBSR, MBCT, etc.
  • Familiarity with psychotherapy techniques and practice.
  • Experience and/or interest in working with clients with have mental health concerns.

Participants should not expect to leave the retreat fully prepared to deliver MABT. Each professional will enter into the 7-day training experience with her or his own unique background, skill set and vision of how they might want to bring mindfulness and MABT into their work. It may very well be that additional learning, skills, training and experiences are necessary before one is ready to deliver this deeply transformative approach.

Application Form

Upon submission of your registration, to be considered for this training, you will be required to submit an online MABT Training Intensive Application. The link to the application form will be included in your confirmation email. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.

Register Online



Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers (TBD) hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. (TBD) contact hours may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if APA accreditation meets their requirements.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for (TBD) contact hours.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency Statement

This activity is in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1195 which requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. Cultural competency is defined as a set of integrated attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enables health care professionals or organizations to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities. Linguistic competency is defined as the ability of a physician or surgeon to provide patients who do not speak English or who have limited ability to speak English, direct communication in the patient’s primary language. Cultural and linguistic competency was incorporated into the planning of this activity. Additional resources can be found on the UC San Diego CME website.


It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to an educational activity being delivered to learners through one of the following mechanisms: 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over CFM content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review. All persons are also required to disclose any discussions of off label/unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Persons who refuse or fail to disclose will be disqualified from participating in the CFM activity.

Needs Assessment

The utilization of mindfulness in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health field, as well as in the bodywork field in recent years. The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially each year and the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. To help meet that need, this and other mindfulness training programs are being offered through the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, as well as at other sites across the country and around the world.

Tentative Schedule

Day One
Registration: 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm
First Session: 6:45-8:45 pm

Day Eight
Session Ends: 12:00 noon


Required Reading

Farb, N., Daubenmier, J., Price, C., Gard, T., Kerr, C., Dunn, B., Klein, A., Paulus, M., Mehling, W. (2015). Interoception, Contemplation, and Health. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:763

Price, C. & Mehling, W. Body Awareness and Pain. Chapter In: Thompson, D. & Brooks, M. (Eds.) Integrative Pain Management. HandSpring, Scotland. 2016

Suggested Reading

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. Jon Kabat Zinn

Radical Acceptance. Tara Brach

Blackburn, J. & Price, C. (2007). Implications of Presence in Manual Therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 11: 68 – 77

Price, C. & Smith-DiJulio, K. (2016). Interoceptive Awareness is Important for Relapse Prevention: Perceptions of Women who Received Mindful Body Awareness in Substance Use Disorder Treatment. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 27 (1): 32-8

Mehling, W., Price, C., Daubenmier, J., Acree, M., Bartmess, E., Stewart, A. (2012). The Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA). PLoS One, 7(11): e48230. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048230. PMID: 23133619.


Frequently Asked Questions

I am flying in for the training. What are my options and what do you recommend?
See our LOCATIONS page for details about travel to the retreat centers and preferred airports. The UCSD Center for Mindfulness will set up a Ride Share Bulletin Board in coordinating shuttle rides for those arriving by air at local airports.

What time should I plan to arrive? When do we finish?
We will begin checking people into the retreat at 1 pm on the first day of the training. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 1pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at dinnertime. We plan to end the retreat by 1:00 pm on the last day so please plan your travel accordingly, using the time guidelines above. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.

Is there wireless service/cellular phone use?
Please do not expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature of the training, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the training there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.

Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?
The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat is over is not likely to be a possibility. You can of course arrange to stay at lodging near the retreat center if you would like to extend your stay. Contact us directly at to make such arrangements.

What do I need to bring?
If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a few cushions but not enough to go around, so if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.

The relatively remote location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.

What should I expect regarding the format of the training?
This training is taught in a retreat format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the training, and we want to reiterate that now so you are not surprised when you get here. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. There are no other large groups planned in the center that week so it should be relatively quiet and secluded. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious.

What should I read prior to arriving?
Check the “Schedule and Required Reading” page of the specific training you are registered to attend.

What if I require some special accommodations or have dietary restrictions?
While you are asked to note specific food restrictions on your registration application, if there are any additional food or medical concerns we should be aware of please let us know of these in advance so we may assist you.

Registration Fees

April 30-May 7, 2018 • Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Joshua Tree, CA
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before February 28, 2018. Early-Bird Rate
On or Before

February 28, 2018
On or After
March 1, 2018
Registration $1,345 $1,445
UCSD Employees $1,245 $1,345
Double Occupancy Room & Board  $1,040  $1,040
Single Occupancy Room & Board  $1,280  $1,280
  1. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  2. Upon submission of your registration your application will be reviewed for prerequisites and you will be contacted when it has been formally accepted.
  3. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register Online

Make a payment or Change your Registration

Continuing Education Credit Fees

Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee
Psychologists, Psychotherapists (LCSW, MFT, LPC), Nurses $75

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable and non-transferable minimum deposit is due upon registration.

Please be aware that the early-bird rate is available for all participants who register and pay their balance in full by the early-bird deadline (see registration information above). All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance on or after the early-bird deadline will have their fees automatically adjusted to the General Session Rate.

All remaining balances must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the training or your registration will be cancelled for non-payment and you will not be permitted to attend.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus your $300 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date.

In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.

Required Application Form

Upon submission of your registration, you will be required to fill out an online MABT Training Intensive Application. The link to the application form will be included in your confirmation email.

Your application for this training will not be taken under consideration until the application form has been received via email. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.