The intersection of mindfulness, eating and our relationship to food is the focus of this professional training. Inherent within that juncture are the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that impact how we relate to food and our body in skillful and unskillful ways. The training emphasizes experiential engagement in mindfulness meditation practices and mindful eating awareness exercises, so that the participant will be able to pass the benefit of these exercises on to clients and patients in a variety of settings. These practices and exercises are integral components of the nine-session Mindful Eating Program Curriculum and Leader’s Guide, designed by Bays and Wilkins, which provides the organizing structure from this training. Every participant will receive a copy of the Leader’s Guide.
The Mindful Eating Program Curriculum and Leader’s Guide program, which is a skill-building curriculum for use with individuals or groups, provides a platform from which participants will explore and teach core aspects of mindful eating. Mindfulness can deepen through the exploration of our relationship to eating and food and provide an opportunity to see more clearly the connection of body, mind and heart. By bringing awareness to and through the senses we can become more mindful of how, when, where, what and why we eat. Participants will explore the joys and sorrows held in eating and food, the disconnects and communions, and the aversions and desires- all of which can be opportunities that facilitate moving toward a healthier relationship with food, emotions and the physical body.
This training will support and enhance the participant’s personal meditation practice which is the essential foundation for teaching mindful eating. It will provide practical ways of integrating mindfulness and mindful eating in working with patients, individually or in groups. The program draws from Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), current research, and the instructors’ combined 26 years of experience working in public and clinical settings with a wide range of people with distressed eating patterns.
The program will be led by experienced clinicians, mindfulness teachers and retreat leaders, Jan Chozen Bays, MD and Char Wilkins, LCSW. It offers participants an opportunity to explore the implications, personally and professionally, of assimilating mindfulness practices and mindful eating skills into their professional work. Since a personal practice is held to be the foundation from which to deliver mindfulness skills in the clinical setting, daily meditation practice, mindful movement and a half-day retreat are essential components of the program.
The ME-CL1 training includes didactic instruction, experiential meditation and eating exercises, group inquiry and dialogue, current research, and time for personal reflection. It offers a multi-faceted approach to mindful eating and is designed to encourage participants to use the nine-session Mindful Eating Program Curriculum and Leader’s Guide to create an approach that is appropriate for the needs of their population. After completing the training attendees will be equipped to facilitate a mindful eating program in their setting. Attendees will receive a CD of mindful meditations directly related to the curriculum and relevant handouts, all to be used with the Leader’s Guide.
Registration will be limited for this intensive program/retreat in order to cultivate an intimate, personal and highly interactive training environment.
At the completion of this activity, the participants should be able to:
- demonstrate delivery of a range of eating awareness practices
- facilitate the nine-session Mindful Eating Program Curriculum in their setting, adapting it to their clientele
- articulate the pivotal importance of mindful inquiry and investigation in teaching mindful eating practices
- appreciate and understand their own unique qualifications, strengths and weaknesses in regards to facilitating mindfulness and mindful eating in their work
- develop or deepen their own mindfulness meditation and mindful eating practices and understand the impact and importance of these personal practices in the successful delivery of the curriculum
- articulate habituated patterns of mind, emotions and body sensations related to eating behaviors
This 5-day intensive, experiential program is intended for professionals wishing to incorporate mindful eating and supportive mindfulness-related practices in their one-on-one clinical practice and/or into group work in which eating, food and body are aspects or the central focus. The program was designed for clinicians in mental health or healthcare fields and clinicians-in-training in these fields. This program is also relevant for therapists and counselors who do not specialize in eating-related disorders as a way to understand, through the lens of mindfulness, the unique opportunity that eating and food provide as gateways to self-awareness and understanding for those who experience anxiety, depression, abuse, stress and/or illness.
It is our experience that successful delivery of mindfulness-based facilitation requires facilitators to have a commitment to an ongoing, daily mindfulness meditation practice. To this end we have created recommendations for acceptance to this training.
- Advanced degree in mental health-related field (e.g., psychology, social work or counseling) or currently enrolled in graduate training toward licensure. It is not expected or necessary to be an eating disorders specialist.
- Advanced degree in health care field (e.g. dietician, RN, APRN, PA, physician, psychiatrist) or currently enrolled in graduate training toward licensure. Appropriate for those working with but not limited to bariatric surgeries, weigh management, diabetes, eating disorders.
- A personal commitment to an ongoing meditation practice
- Attendance at formal meditation retreats or formal meditation training recommended.
Mindfulness Practice: Based upon the foundational assumption that the only true teaching of mindfulness comes out of regular and systematic personal practice, this 5-day training is steeped in mindfulness practice. Early morning and evening practice sessions are a crucial component of the training itself and will include a variety of mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, mindful movement, and mindful walking and body meditations. Selected meals will be taken in silence, some being designated as mindful eating practice sessions. Several evenings will include silence from the conclusion of evening practice until breakfast the next morning, and a half-day guided retreat will be provided.
Group Size: In order to facilitate the individualized and intensive nature of both mindfulness and mindful eating, the training will be limited in size to 40 participants with a minimum of 2 experienced teachers to keep the student-to-teacher ratio low and the learning environment intimate and direct. Smaller breakout groups of 10-12 participants will be able to meet with one teacher.
Retreat Setting, Accommodations and Self-Care: The choice of a relatively isolated retreat setting is intentional to facilitate mindfulness practice, reduce outside distractions and create a safe and productive holding environment for the unfolding of the work and the group. The training is intended to be a protected forum for facilitating experiential learning, group cohesion and dynamics, and deep abiding attention to self-care and compassion. Single and double accommodations are clean and pleasant, and adequate but minimalistic, to encourage focused attention to the work itself. Meals are prepared and presented with deep intention to be healthful and nourishing by staff that is sensitive to the intention of the setting and the needs of the participants. Breaks will be provided to allow for participants to walk, hike, run or explore the surrounding environment as a means of supporting the sometimes challenging work itself and to facilitate self-care.
The utilization of mindful eating in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health and healthcare fields. The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially 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 trainings are being offered through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, as well as at other sites across the country and around the world.
Continuing Education Credits
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 29.0 hours of credit.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 29.0 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 34.75 contact hours.
Dietitians: Course meets the qualifications for 12.5 hours of continuing education credit for Dietitians as required by the Commission of Dietetic Registration.
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 CME 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 CME activity.
Registration: 1:00–5:00 pm
Dinner: 5:30–6:30 pm
First Session: 6:45–8:45 pm
Session Ends: 12:00 pm
- Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays
- Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
- The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life By Parker Palmer
- Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship Edited by Steven Hick & Thomas Bien
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
- The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being by Daniel Siegel
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- The Zen of Eating by Ronna Kabatznick
- Art of the Inner Meal by Donald Altman
- Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.
- Eating the Moment by Pavel Somov
- Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating & Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food by Susan Albers
- Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine by Saki Santorelli
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. and as you probably noted on the website, you will have a roommate. In most cases several of you will share a dorm-style bathroom nearby.
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.
Continuing Education Credit Fees
|Psychologists, Psychotherapists (LCSW, MFT, LPC), Dietitians||$75|
Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable minimum deposit of $300 USD 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. All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance after that date 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.
A refund (minus your $100 non-refundable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing on or before a date 30 days prior to the start of the training. No refunds will be allowed after this 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.
The UCSD Center for Mindfulness is pleased to offer two $250 scholarships to attend the Mindful Eating-Conscious Living 5-Day Professional Trainings based upon financial need. The scholarships are available to anyone who needs financial assistance in order to attend. Applicants for the scholarships are asked to register for the training (the $300 initial deposit WILL be refundable for scholarship applicants who do not receive an award) and submit a 1-2 page essay addressing the following questions:
What is your clinical background and experience, (including any training or experience with the practice of mindfulness and mindful eating)?
Why do you wish to attend this training, and what are the barriers to your attending?
How do you imagine implementing or integrating this training into your work and/or life?
Submit essays to the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness at email@example.com.
Upon submission of your registration you will be asked to submit an online ME-CL1 Training Application Form.
Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.