MBSR works by teaching people that in-between stimulus and response, there’s a space. It’s in this space that we can choose how to react that allows for our growth and freedom. Most of us are unaware of this space because we have habitual patterns of reacting to life. These habits are formed early and are automatic.
For a successful treatment program, you would typically meet with a therapist, either individually or with a group, for about eight weeks. Depending on the recovery center or the therapist, it could take upwards of two hours or more for a weekly session. The treatment was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 and has been adapted as a workbook format in hospitals all over the country. Many studies have come out from high-ranking institutions, including UCLA, Harvard, Stanford, and UW- Madison, that shows how this approach works and can change people’s brains permanently.
MBSR treatment helps people become aware of habitual reactions to stress and helps them relate to themselves in a new way that breaks the cycle to create more choices in life. The program explores mindfulness meditation training and practice, yoga, and body awareness training, along with patterns of thinking, feeling, and action. Self-help care will be taught, as well as specific information about stress physiology, interpersonal communication, and cognitive-behavioral strategies.
Over the eight week program, you will learn key skills that help you stay tuned in to your surroundings, so you stay in the moment or “present.”