Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR)

Stress is an inevitable part of life. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) is an evidenced-based program to help individuals practice mindfulness in one’s own life.

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

During this course, participants 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

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 University. 

The MBSR program is taught online via Zoom and requires an eight-week commitment to attend the weekly 2.5-hour sessions.

Program Features:

  • Orientation (required to attend program)
  • Weekly Session: 2.5 hour each week (first session extended by 30 minutes and last session by 30 minutes)
  • All-Day Retreat: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Hybrid session, offered both in-person at Assumption or via zoom)

The program requires a minimum of 10 registrants to run.

Start the new year with a commitment to yourself. Enrolling now!
Orientation Session: January 25, 2023
8 Week Program: February 8, 2023 to March 29, 2023
All Day Retreat: March 12, 2023

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Assumption

  • Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., 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 eight-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.  

    Dr. Fitzpatrick said that as an MBSR practitioner, she has found the program instrumental in transforming both her personal and professional life, in both subtle and powerful ways, allowing her to be more patient and loving with herself 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 University has been approved by National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4009. The Clinical Counseling Psychology Program at Assumption University 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.

  • A non-refundable $25 Orientation fee due before the Orientation Session. The Orientation fee is applied towards tuition when you register for the program.

    Regular tuition: $600
    Assumption alumni: $350
    Assumption faculty and staff: $150
    HECCMA Consortium members: $350

    Refund Policy:
    Payment will be refunded in full before the start of the first class cycle or participants have the option to defer their payment to a future class.  During the first class cycle, a 60% refund is available.  After the first class cycle, no refund is available.

  • Session Description
    • 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 

    (meets an extra 30 minutes)

    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    Class Six
    • 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.

    All Day Retreat

    9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

    • 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 Seven
    • 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

    (meets an extra 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.
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Mailing List