Jan 25 Wed

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (Orientation)

Jan. 25, 2023
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts

Program runs weekly on Wednesdays from February 8 to March 29, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

This program is hosted by the Clinical Counseling Psychology Program, in conjunction with the Aaron T. Beck Institute for Cognitive Studies and the Institute for School Counseling and School Psychology at Assumption College.

Please register here for the January 25 Orientation session.

Stress is an inevitable part of life. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) is an evidenced-based program designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn over 40 years ago to discover what it means to practice mindfulness in one’s own life. Mindfulness provides a skillful means to live the life we currently have.

MBSR has been found to have a variety of benefits, including:

  • Increased engagement in and enjoyment of life
  • Reduction in the experience of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improvement in physical health

You will learn several approaches for starting a formal meditation practice in order to support your cultivation of mindfulness. In addition, you will learn a variety of small but powerful methods for increasing mindfulness in everyday life. In a culture motivated by busyness and achievement, the invitation to be quiet and sit with yourself can sound both daunting and liberating. Come experience the power of mindfulness in your own life.

Learning Objectives:

  • Engage in “formal” mindfulness meditation methods such as body scan, gentle yoga, sitting and walking meditation
  • Engage in “informal” mindfulness meditation practices to develop mindfulness in everyday life
  • Explore hindrances to mindfulness in your own life
  • Develop and integrate mindfulness-based self-regulatory skills and capacities

Program Leader:
Headshot of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Assumption CollegePaula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Assumption College.  She has experience teaching and conducting research in mindfulness and meditation, positive psychology, and interpersonal synchrony in both typical and atypical populations.  She has completed the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness Practice Teaching Intensive, the second formal program in Teacher Education for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and is trained to teach the full 8-week MBSR program.  Her research has been funded by NIH and NSF and employs innovative, multi-method research designs and the formation of collaborative research teams with diverse backgrounds that cut across disciplinary expertise—developmental psychology, clinical psychology, social psychology, movement science, neuroscience, and education.  

“As an MBSR practitioner, I have found the program instrumental in transforming both my personal and professional life, in both subtle and powerful ways, allowing me to be more patient and loving with myself and others as well as opening up new career opportunities for growth.” 

Mental Health Counselors may earn up to 28 CEUs for completing the program.  The Clinical Counseling Psychology Program at Assumption College has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4009. The Clinical Counseling Psychology Program at Assumption College is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. Up to 28 NBCC credit hours may also be used towards the collection of PDPs per the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Learn more about the program at an Orientation on Wednesday, January 25 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
There is no cost or commitment required to attend the orientation. You will have the opportunity to register for the program at the Orientation Session.

Register for January 25 Orientation

The MBSR program requires an 8-week commitment to attend the weekly sessions and practice on your own at home.


  • Orientation (required to attend program): Wednesday, January 25, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Weekly Session: Wednesdays, February 8 to March 29, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (first and last session extended by 30 minutes)
  • All-Day Retreat: Sunday, March 12, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m (hybrid or optional in-person attendance on the Assumption University campus).

Location: Assumption University, La Maison Francaise/Auditorium

  • Regular Tuition: $600
  • Assumption Alumni: $350
  • Assumption faculty and staff: $150
  • HECCMA Consortium: $350

The Program:



January 25
6:30pm – 8:00pm
  • During the orientation session you will be learn about the MBSR program and meet the program leader to decide whether the program is right for you.  
  • You will be introduced to mindfulness first-hand through guided instruction in approaches you will be practicing during the program.  
  • You will have the opportunity to review the requirements for participating, learn about the role of group dialogues and discussion in the MBSR program, discuss the risks and benefits, and have all your questions answered.  
  • If you decide you are ready to embark on this journey of self-discovery you will have the opportunity to commit to the 8-week program, register, and pay.  
Class One 
February 8
6:30pm –  9:30pm
(extended 30 mins)
  • In this class, we explore what it means to live in the present moment and be fully engaged in our own lives.  
  • You will be experientially introduced to mindful eating, standing yoga stretches, mindfulness breathing, and the body scan.
  • You will receive an audio-guided body scan for home practice and instruction on mindfully performing a routine task.

Class Two
February 15
6:30pm – 9:00pm

  • Our view of the world is a driving force behind whether we automatically react to situations or whether we respond to them skillfully.  
  • While many of life circumstances are not under our control, our perception of them is. 
  • In this class we continue cultivating awareness of sensations in the body and explore the impact our interpretation of them has on our mental and physical well-being.
  • For home practice, you will continue practicing the body scan and be invited to notice pleasant events in your everyday life.
Class Three
February 22
6:30pm –9:00pm
  • The experience of being fully present is both powerful and pleasurable.  
  • In this class students practice several distinct mindfulness approaches—lying down yoga, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and body scan.  
  • For home practice, you will alternate the body scan audio-recording and lying down yoga recording as well as be invited to notice unpleasant events in your everyday life.
Class Four
March 1
6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • This class explores the stress-reactivity cycle, review the physiological and psychological consequences, and discuss its impact on everyday life.
  • More effective and positive means of responding to stress are addressed and discussion of mindfulness as a means of recognizing and reducing the negative consequences of our automatic, habitual responding patterns follows.  
  • Continue alternating the body scan and lying down yoga for home practice, and notice automatic habitual patterns of responding in daily life.
Class Five
March 8
6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • This session marks the half-way point in the course.
  • We will engage in the formal mindfulness practices you have been practicing at home as a group—mindful yoga and sitting meditation.
  • An investigation of the coping methods used in daily as well as exploration of the ways in which our growing awareness of reactivity creates the capacity to recover more quickly will be undertaken.
  • Sitting meditation and standing yoga audio-recordings will be provided for home practice.  You are also asked to notice difficult communications during daily life.
All Day Retreat
Sunday, March 12
9:00am – 4:30pm
  • The intensive practice of numerous mindfulness methods in a day-long silent retreat provides preparation for establishing mindfulness in daily life.
  • Inviting openness to any experience is practiced as mindful attention is strengthened.
Class Six
March 15
6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Curiosity will be brought to understanding stressful communications and exploring the possibility of remaining aware and balanced in our interpersonal relationships.
  • We continue to grow our capacity to be flexible and recover more rapidly during challenging situations through our practice of yoga and meditation.
  • Alternate sitting meditation with body scan, standing yoga, or lying down yoga.
Class Seven
March 22
6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • The focus of this session is on the integration of mindfulness practice into one’s own daily life. 
  • Participants have the opportunity to reflect on adaptive and self-nourishing behavioral choices compared to maladaptive and self-limiting choices.
  • The invitation is extended to engage in formal practice (sitting meditation, yoga, body scan) without recordings for home practice.
Class Eight
March 29
6:30pm – 9:30pm (extended by 30 minutes)
  • As the session comes to an end, we foster our momentum through formal practice as a group.
  • Discussion focuses on appreciating the accomplishment of the last seven weeks and discussing how to integrate the lessons learned into life moving forward.
  • Opportunities for continued practice and development of mindfulness are offered.

The program requires a minimum of 10 registrants to run.

Register for January 25 Orientation

Can’t make this program but would like to stay updated about future events? Let us know and we will contact you when future dates become available

This program is hosted by the Clinical Counseling Psychology Program, in conjunction with the Aaron T. Beck Institute for Cognitive Studies and the Institute for School Counseling and School Psychology at Assumption College.


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