Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an empirically-supported 8-week psycho-educational group intervention that teaches mindfulness meditation as a means of coping with stress, pain and illness. Created by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, MBSR is now taught in hundreds of settings worldwide. The program offers participants the opportunity to develop the capacity to cultivate 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.
Mindfulness practice, most often in the form of mindfulness meditation, mindful movement and other meditative practices, is both challenging and life-affirming. These practice form the centerpiece of the highly experiential MBSR program. Each session of MBSR incorporates a significant component of mindfulness practice, along with group dialogue and sharing, as well as some didactic presentations. The key to gleaning the most from mindfulness practice in MBSR (as in all Mindfulness-Based Programs) is in the daily practice of the meditation and other exercises by participants, and there is a significant home practice aspect of the program.