Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Qualification and Certification

The MBSR Certification Pathway was developed by Susan Woods, MSW, LICSW and the Institute is deeply grateful for her contribution to the field through this effort.

EXPERIENCED MBSR TEACHERS:
If you are seeking to pursue certification through the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute and have questions about whether any of your previous training or experience can apply to this Certification pathway, please email us at mindfulness@ucsd.edu with a description of your training and experience, a listing of formal training completed (including dates, locations and teachers) and a current copy of your CV.

Phase 1: Teacher Qualification

mbsrteachercertification_ph1The purpose of Teacher Qualification is to establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to be able to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to the general public. Achieving Teacher Qualification status is needed in order to move on to receiving Teacher Certification. Download a summary of the process.

Requirements for MBSR Teacher Qualification are the following:

  • Completion of the 6-day MBSR Teacher Training Intensive, approved MBSR Teacher Training Practicum, or equivalent* (as determined by the review committee) (see prerequisites)
  • Formal application to enroll in the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI) as a “Teacher in Training” accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $100 plus a mentorship administration fee of $220 ($10 per session for the required 22 sessions of individual mentorship required for Qualification). Upon acceptance of your application in the MBPTI, you will receive a Provisional Certificate of Qualification that will be replaced by a full certificate of Qualification upon completion of the following two requirements and approval of your application for qualification as described below.
  • Teach two 8-week MBSR courses with at least six participants in each, and preferably more.
  • Completion of at least 22 hours of mentorship with an approved UCSD MBSR Mentor during your teaching of the two 8-week MBSR courses. Review mentor details on our MBSR Mentorship page for more information, including the special requirements for mentees who co-teach their first programs. Some of these mentorship hours will be used by the mentor to review recordings of your teaching independently without you being present.

*The 6-day MBSR Teacher Training Intensive has pre-requisites (listed below) that would also have to be satisfied by those submitting alternate training experiences for consideration for MBSR Teacher Qualification:

  • Participation in an 8-week MBSR program.
  • An established mindfulness meditation practice (daily formal sitting practice, informal practice)
  • A mindful movement practice (yoga, t’ai chi, qigong).
  • Yearly attendance at 5-7-day teacher led silent meditation retreats (Parents of young children, care-givers and others with special circumstances can submit an adapted schedule for attendance at silent meditation retreats).
  • Experience with teaching in a group setting and familiarity with group process (this excludes teaching academic subjects).

Mentorship will include the following:

  • Audio and/or video recordings of you guiding mindfulness meditation practices; mindful yoga, teaching a didactic portion of the MBSR program and approximately 30 minutes of mindful inquiry.
  • Submission of your teaching materials which will include all participant handouts.

Upon completing these requirements, please submit a formal letter of application for Teacher Qualification to the UCSD Teacher Qualification and Certification Committee. Your letter must include documentation of the following: the dates of the MBSR foundational training, Mentor’s name and dates of mentorship, location and number of participants in the MBSR courses taught. Please also document your personal mindfulness meditation practice, mindful movement practice and attendance at silent teacher-led retreats, denoting teacher(s) names and location.  Please request your Mentor send a letter of recommendation supporting your application and readiness to teach directly to the Committee. Please include an application fee for $750 plus an additional $100 Mentorship Administration Fee if you intend to pursue Certification through the Institute ($10 per session for the 10 sessions of mentorship required for Certification).

Your request will be reviewed by the Committee and upon approval, you will be issued with a certificate confirming you have satisfied all the necessary modules for full Teacher Qualification status. If the committee determines that you do not meet criteria for Teacher Qualification, you will be provided with feedback and a proposed remediation plan. Resubmission for consideration after satisfying the requirements can be made for an additional resubmission fee of $150.

What You Can Say When You Have Achieved Qualified Status: Upon receipt of your formal Teacher Qualification Certificate, you may market and represent yourself as a “Qualified Teacher of MBSR” as defined by the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute.


Beginning the Process

We recommend that you begin the enrollment process by registering online in the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI) to pursue Qualification and Certification. Enrollment includes a non-refundable application fee of $100, plus a $220 Mentorship Administration Fee ($10 per session for the 22 initial individual mentorship sessions). Upon registering, you should next choose a mentor. Visit the mentorship page and review the biographies of the UCSD-approved mentors. Once you have reached out to one and settled on working together, you will complete and sign a written agreement with the mentor that establishes the details of your work together, and then you can proceed.

Register In The Institute

Phase 2: Teacher Certification

mbsrteachercertification_ph2-1Obtaining MBSR Teacher Qualification is a prerequisite to formal certification status. Certification is a process of ensuring that an MBSR teacher has achieved a level of teaching that clearly demonstrates competency and best practice skills. Download a summary of the process.

Requirements for MBSR Teacher Certification are the following:

  • Will have been granted Teacher Qualification.
  • Will have taught a minimum of five additional MBSR 8-week courses with at least six participants in each, and preferably more.
  • Completion of the 5-day Advanced Training Intensive for MBSR and MBCT Teachers (or equivalent).
  • At least 10 hours of mentorship (beyond that required for Teacher Qualification) with an approved MBSR Mentor (see list).
  • An established mindfulness meditation practice (daily formal sitting practice, informal practice).
  • A mindful movement practice (yoga, t’ai chi, qigong).
  • Continued yearly attendance at 5-7-day silent teacher led meditation retreats.

Mentorship will include the following:

  • Video recordings of you teaching at least one full session of the MBSR program (usually Session 4 or 5)
  • Submission of your audio recordings of a 40-minute body scan, a 40-minute sitting meditation practice, and two 30-minute mindful yoga practices (lying down and standing sequences). These are the recordings your participants listen to at home.

Upon completing these requirements, please submit a formal letter of application for Teacher Certification to the UCSD Teacher Qualification and Certification Committee. Your letter must include documentation of the following: the dates of all MBSR teacher retreat trainings sponsored by UCSD (or equivalent), when you obtained teacher Qualification, your Mentor’s name and dates of mentorship and the dates, location and number of participants of all MBSR courses taught, teaching materials, and participant handouts. Please request your Mentor send a letter of recommendation supporting your application and readiness for Teacher Certification directly to the Committee. In addition please submit letters of recommendation from two professionals in your field and three letters of recommendation from participants in your most recent MBSR class. Please also document your personal mindfulness meditation practice and attendance at silent teacher-led retreats, naming the teacher(s) and location. Please include an application fee for $1000.

Your request will be reviewed by the Committee and upon approval, you will be issued with a letter confirming you have satisfied all the necessary modules for Teacher Certification status and will be issued with a Teaching Certificate. You can then be listed in the directory of “certified” MBSR teachers on the UCSD website.

What You Can Say When You Have Achieved Certified Status: Upon receipt of your formal Teacher Certification, you may market and represent yourself as a “Certified Teacher of MBSR” as defined by the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute.

Estimated Fees for MBSR Teacher Certification

MBSR Teacher Training Intensive Registration: $1195 or MBSR Teacher Training Practicum Registration $1745
MBPTI Application Fee: $100
Mentorship Administration Fee for Qualification: $220
22 sessions of Individual Mentorship for Qualification: $3410
Teacher Qualification Review Fee: $750
Mentorship Administration Fee for Certification: $100
10 sessions of Individual Mentorship for Certification: $1550
Advanced Teacher Training Intensive Registration: $1175
Teacher Certification Review Fee: $1000

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $9500