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Certificate Programs
MBSR Teacher Certification
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Training Retreats
ATT :: Advanced Teacher Training for MBSR and MBCT Teachers
June 14-19, 2015 / Petaluma, CA
MBCP :: Mindfulness-Based
Childbirth and Parenting

January 18-24, 2015 / Petaluma, CA
MBCT :: Mindfulness-Based
Cognitive Therapy

February 15-20, 2015 / Petaluma, CA
MBRP :: Mindfulness-Based
Relapse Prevention

June 28-July 3, 2015 / Clinton, WA
MBSR :: Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction

September 20-26, 2014 / Petaluma, CA
March 23-29, 2015 / Tampa, FL
July 11-17, 2015 / Batavia, NY
September 13-19, 2015 / Lucerne Valley, CA
ME-CL1 :: Mindful Eating-Conscious Living: A Foundational Professional Training
June 16-21, 2015 / Clatskanie, OR
October 4-9, 2015 / Wallingford, PA
November 5-10, 2015 / México
MSC :: Mindful Self-Compassion
December 7-12, 2014 / Joshua Tree, CA sold out
May 4-9, 2015 / Petaluma, CA
October 25-30, 2015 / Clinton, WA
December 13-18, 2015 • Lucerne Valley, CA
MSC :: Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training
August 18-24, 2014 / Batavia, NY sold out
February 8-14, 2015 / Petaluma, CA sold out
August 7-13, 2015 / Garrison, NY
November 8-14, 2015 / Lucerne Valley, CA
Mindfulness for ADHD :: Training For Adults, Parents and Professionals
August 7-10, 2014 / Petaluma, CA
Bridging the Hearts & Minds of Youth
February 27-March 1, 2015 / San Diego, CA
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MBSR: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training

Faculty: Susan Woods, LICSW and Char Wilkins, LCSW

September 20-26, 2014 • EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA

March 23-29, 2015 • Franciscan Center, Tampa, FL

July 11-17, 2015 • Chapin Mill Retreat Center, Batavia, NY

September 13-19, 2015 • Royal Way Spiritual Retreat Center, Lucerne Valley, CA

Early-Bird Registration Fee: $1095 + Room & Board

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an empirically-supported 8-week psycho-educational group intervention that teaches mindfulness meditation as a health intervention. Created by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, MBSR offers participants the possibility to develop a different relationship to stress resulting from chronic physical and psychological illnesses. Research outcomes have demonstrated positive improvements in physical and psychological symptoms, as well as changes in health attitudes and behaviors. This 5-day teacher training retreat will provide health care professionals and educators the opportunity to study and experience the foundational underpinnings, mindfulness meditations and specific exercises that are the framework of the MBSR program. The themes, rationales, intention and practice skills of each MBSR class session will be reviewed, discussed and practiced. Participant screening guidelines will be covered, and samples of client handouts will be provided. There will also be time set aside for personal mindfulness practice.


This intense 6-day retreat training (March 2014 training is 5 days) is highly interactive.  In the first part of the training, trainees will experience the MBSR program. In the second half of the training, trainees will be given the opportunity to practice teaching various components of the MBSR program under the supervision and guidance of the teachers. Inherent in this teacher training is the necessity of a personal mindfulness practice as a platform from which to teach. The delivery of MBSR requires the teacher to teach from a personal integration of what it means to embody a non-judgmental present moment focus with an understanding of how this supports and strengthens such mind states as kindness, compassion and equanimity.  This training will provide the opportunity to strengthen these teacher competences.

This retreat training will integrate didactic and experiential teaching modules. The curriculum includes both large and small group learning, with opportunity for role-play and simulated patient-practitioner encounters.  There is daily meditation practice yoga/mindful movement, and periods of silence. The ethical underpinnings of teaching MBSR will be discussed. 

This professional training will be led by experienced clinicians, mindfulness teachers and retreat leaders, Susan Woods, LICSW and Char Wilkins, LCSW.

Registration will be limited for this training in order to provide an environment that promotes in depth learning in an atmosphere of intimacy and shared experience. 


At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding of the foundational principles of the MBSR program
  • Will be able to demonstrate the basic MBSR teaching skills
  • Understand the central role of mindfulness meditation practice for general wellness and  self-care in the regulation of emotions and behaviors
  • Articulate the rationale for a teacher’s ongoing mindfulness meditation practice  in teaching MBSR  
  • Discuss and outline formal and informal meditative practices and mindfulness as a mode of being in daily life

Target Audience

This 6-day intensive workshop (March 2014 training is 5 days) is intended for health professionals wishing to teach MBSR. Those attending should be either professionals in a health or mental health field, clinicians-in-training, or interested professionals who do not intend to deliver the intervention directly but have other professional interests in the topic (i.e. researchers, administrators, etc.). All participants should have at least a modest regular meditation practice and an established practice is preferred.

Participant Guidelines

It is our experience that successful delivery of MBSR requires facilitators to have a commitment to an ongoing, daily mindfulness meditation practice. To this end we have created recommendations for acceptance to this MBSR training.

  • Advanced degree in health or mental health-related field, education, law, business, clinicians-in training.
  • Participation in an 8-week MBSR program
  • Experience facilitating group process
  • Personal  daily meditation practice and/or a movement practice (yoga, qigong, tai chi)
  • Have attended a silent teacher led mindfulness meditation retreat

Will I be qualified to teach MBSR after taking this training?

Feeling ready to teach MBSR raises a number of important questions. We see this training as the first step in your development as an MBSR teacher.  As a result of participating in this training you will leave with basic MBSR teaching skills. This retreat-training is not an endorsement for teaching the MBSR program.  However, upon completion of this training some participants may feel ready to teach an MBSR program. Co-teaching with an experienced MBSR teacher is an excellent way to develop further skills and confidence before teaching on your own. If it is not possible to co-teach, then supervision from an experienced MBSR teacher is a helpful alternative. 

Regardless of your decision about your readiness to teach, facilitating an MBSR program cannot be reduced to teaching a set of mindfulness-based techniques.  You will be embodying your understanding of mindfulness meditation and its place in the alleviation of suffering.  So your teaching will always be founded on revealing your trust in such sensibilities as an open awareness of kindness, generosity, calmness and compassion.  

We are committed to training competent teachers and with that in mind, we have developed the 5-day Advanced Training for MBSR and MBCT Teachers. In this training the focus is less on the curriculum of the two programs and more about exploring teaching from the foundation of an embodied mindful presence.  This training program also explores the process of mindful reflective inquiry, which is such a key component in the effective delivery of MBSR and MBCT.  Embodying mindful presence and mindful reflective inquiry develop over time from intentional practice and with the experience of teaching.  This invitation is to embark on a journey of awareness that demonstrates an inner and outer listening along with a compassionate stance that incorporates a willingness to expand our understanding of what it means to be engaged in offering mindfulness-based programs.

Application Essay

Upon submission of your registration, you will be asked to complete and e-mail a short essay describing your reason for wanting to attend this MBSR Training, a brief CV as well as a description of your meditation practice. In regard to meditation practice, you will be asked to describe the tradition in which you practice and any retreats or other meditation experiences in which you have participated. Should your essay or qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.


UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness    •   5060 Shoreham Place, Suite 200    •   San Diego, CA 92122-0980
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