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, and the daily indignities experienced as a result of racism and other forms of oppression. . Research outcomes have demonstrated positive improvements in physical and psychological symptoms, as well as changes in health attitudes and behaviors. This 6-day teacher training intensive 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 teacher training intensive is highly interactive. Throughout the 6 days (or two weekends), trainees will move back and forth from experiencing the sessions of MBSR and working in small groups to begin practicing teaching the various components of the MBSR program under the supervision and guidance of the teacher trainers. 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 teacher training intensive 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 is led by skilled mindfulness teacher trainers who are also experienced clinicians, mindfulness teachers and retreat leaders.
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
- Demonstrate the basic MBSR teaching skills
- Describe 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 teacher training intensive is primarily intended for professionals wishing to teach MBSR. Those attending should be either professionals in a health or educational field, clinicians-in-training, or interested professionals who may 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 or equivalent experience and training, or clinicians in training
- Participation in an 8-week MBSR program (May be a live online MBSR taught by certified teachers if there are no in-person MBSR program is available in your area. If you’re participating only in a live online MBSR, we recommend you also participate in a 5-day Navigating Life’s Challenges or equivalent to fulfill the prerequisite.)
- Experience facilitating group process
- Personal daily meditation practice and/or a movement practice (yoga, qigong, tai chi)
- Have attended a teacher-led silent mindfulness meditation retreat of at least five nights (click to be taken to a list of meditation retreat centers that offer qualified retreats)
- 5-night predominantly silent meditation retreat, which is teacher-led, and primarily involves a variety of formal mindfulness practice (sitting, walking, yoga, etc). Retreats that are predominantly yoga-based or involve a great deal of other activity aside from formal mindfulness practice are not acceptable.
- You must have completed MBSR at least one year prior to the start of the TTI, although we will accept a shorter period of as little as six months if they can demonstrate a greater than two year practice of formal mindfulness meditation with specific formal training.
- 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. However, this retreat training is not an endorsement for teaching the MBSR program. Rather, we believe that preparing to become an MBSR teacher requires additional training elements in order to develop competency and best practices skills.
As a result the MBPTI at UCSD has developed the MBSR Certification Program. This training consists of two phases: being granted “Qualified Teacher” status is the first phase, which then moves into the second phase which culminates with being granted full certification as an MBSR teacher. For further information, please visit our MBSR teacher certification pages. It is our mission at the MBPTI that our MBSR trainees are not only being trained to become competent MBSR teachers but are also being invited to embark on a journey of supporting a particular kind of awareness that demonstrates an inner and outer listening along with a compassionate stance that incorporates a willingness to expand their understanding of what it means to be engaged in offering mindfulness-based programs.
- What can I say when I have attended this training?
After attending the training, you may state: “_____ (your name) has attended and completed the 6-Day MBSR Teacher Training Intensive through the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute.”
- What can I do when I have completed this training?
Upon completion of this training, you may register for our Online 10-week MBSR Teacher Training Practicum. You may also offer one-two hours of introductory workshop.
During the registration process, you will be required to fill out an online MBSR Teacher Training Intensive Application. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.
Continuing Education Credit
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 31.25 CE credit.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 31.25 CE credit 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 CE credit is accepted.
Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 37.5 contact hours.
CE credit fee: additional $75
A refund (minus $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.
It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School 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 use of devices. Persons who refuse or fail to disclose will be disqualified from participating in the CME activity.
Tentative Schedule for online Training
Day 1: Orientation & Welcome 4:00pm-6:00pm (PDT)
Day 2-6: 6:30am-5:30pm (PDT)
Day 7: 6:30am-12:00pm (PDT)
Check your local time here.
Tentative Schedule for in-person Training
Registration: 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
First Session: 7:00-9:00 pm
Optional Morning Practice: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Breakfast: 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Evening Session: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Optional Morning Practice: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Breakfast: 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Final Session: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Lunch: 12:00 noon
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness; By Jon Kabat Zinn
- Buddha’s Brain; Rick Hanson
- A Contemplative Dialogue: The Inquiry Process in Mindfulness-Based Interventions (2016); By Susan Woods MSW LICSW, Patricia Rockman MD CCFP FCFP, and Evan Collins MD FRCPC
- The Dharma of Modern Mindfulness: Discovering the Buddhist Teachings at the Heart of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; By Beth Mulligan
- Awakening Together; By Larry Yang
- Mindfulness of our Time by Crane, R.S., Callen-Davies, R., Francis, A., Francis, D., Gibbs, P., Mulligan, B., O’Neill. B., Pierce Williams, N.K., Waupoose, M., Vallejo, Z. (2023)
- Resources to support a socially engaged Mindfulness Based Program pedagogy
- A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness: The Comprehensive Session-by-Session Program for Mental Health Professionals and Health Care Providers; By Wolf, C, Serpa, JG. New Harbinger 2015
- Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine; By Saki Santorelli
- Here For Now; Elana Rosenbaum
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion; By Christopher Germer
Frequently Asked Questions (for in-person training)
- 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 2 pm on the first day of the training. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 2 pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5 pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at dinnertime. We plan to end the retreat by noon 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 the retreat center directly 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.