8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses

The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course is an in-depth mindfulness course that runs over an 8 week period – one evening per week plus a day long workshop. It is, however perfectly suitable for beginners as well as those who already have a foundation in mindfulness practices. You’re welcome to have a look at the course description below for an outline of what the course entails. KILLARNEY The MBSR course will run in Killarney in 2020. Please drop me a line here to express your interest in this course and I will email directly when the schedule is confirmed. Here are some comments from participants who took part in this course over the past 6 months: “My old habit of ruminating has stopped as I am identifying things and dealing with them and moving on.” “As one part of a variety of things I am trying to do to stabilise my mental health, it has been extremely beneficial.” “I feel it grounded me. I have re-calibrated myself.” “The course has opened the door a little so that a wedge of light and understanding of why I act and react in the ways that I do has entered my consciousness.” TRALEE Unfortunately, the MBSR course due to begin in October has been postponed and will now run in early 2020. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused to you by this change in schedule. Please drop me a line here to express your interest in this course for 2020 and I will email directly when the schedule is confirmed. (Flexible payment options available. There are also a number of places at a reduced rate for people in receipt of social welfare and on reduced income.  Please contact me if this applies to you. Please note, a special rate of €270 applies to those of you who wish to repeat the course). Who is the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme suitable for? If you’re interested in a Mindfulness course that supports you to take an active role in your health and well-being and if you are ready to learn how to integrate mindfulness more into your daily life, then this is the course for you.  Further reading about MBSR This internationally recognised course was designed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and is now running in many countries around the world. Much scientific research has been conducted about the benefits of this particular course and it has been proven to help with: stress anxiety sleep disturbance chronic pain high blood pressure depression feeling overwhelmed and much more. (Please read below for further details). MBSR is for anyone wishing to bring a greater sense of balance and meaning to their lives as well as those who are dealing with stress of any kind.  It is extremely supportive for those who are prepared to make a commitment to a daily practice for the duration of the 8 week programme. For people being treated for medical or psychological conditions, the MBSR program is a complement to, not a substitute for, the professional care of their doctor or psychologist. What can I expect to be doing on the MBSR course? Learning formal mindfulness meditation practices such as mindful breathing, sitting meditation, guided body scan meditation, and gentle movement Learning about the effects of stress on our bodies and minds Exploring patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving and their relationship to stress Developing strategies for applying mindfulness in daily life Learning through reflection, group discussion and worksheets Having the opportunity to practise in an environment that is conducive to stillness and supportive of our efforts to develop increased awareness Practising in the company of others who are committed to doing the same thing  What does the MBSR course involve? 2 ½ hour class once a week for 8 weeks One full day session 10.30 am – 4.30 pm (held on a weekend) Recommended 45 minutes of daily practice using 4 guided practice CDs To benefit fully from the program it is recommended that all participants make a commitment to attend each class and the practice day.  Mindfulness training is primarily experiential in nature and the development of the practice continues at home between classes, using CDs with guided meditations. This necessitates devoting approximately 40 minutes per day to home practice. While this may seem initially daunting, most people find that they get into the swing of the practice quite quickly and immediately begin to feel the benefits. The support of the group also creates a momentum that makes it easier for participants to commit to the practice. It’s worth noting that research and experience has shown that, in fact, this commitment to daily practice is the most important aspect of the course. Mindfulness is best experienced “from the inside out” and it is through the personal experiencing of mindfulness that we come to understand the possibilities it opens for us in our daily lives. Background to MBSR course: The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR) was developed in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre (UMass) by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. This 8 week programme was initially designed to support participants to respond more effectively to stress, pain and illness. We have all, no doubt, experienced times when we have conducted our lives mechanically, on auto-pilot and have become separated from our ability to appreciate the many joys that life offers us. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme is based on the belief that by developing increased awareness of our selves, including body, mind and heart, we will have the ability to restore ourselves to a balanced sense of health and well-being. Extensive research has shown that MBSR is beneficial to people with a range of medical conditions. In more recent years, the MBSR programme has been adapted by others working particularly in the area of mental health. Reports from this area of work clearly indicate that the MBSR programme can greatly assist those experiencing psychological distress, including anxiety, panic, depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Since its inception at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre more than 20,000 people have completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programme. In recent years research in neuroscience has made compelling discoveries about the brain’s capacity to grow and change, including evidence that meditation helps to create new pathways in the brain that increase our ability to be more positive and creative. Please note: For teachers in Kerry ETB schools, this MBSR course is approved by Kerry ETB as per Croke Park CL 2011 “Approved school based inservice/Continuous Professional Development.” (This course is also approved by other professions under Croke Park hours so please check if this applies to you.) Testimonials from recent participants: “I’ve been to 3 other people to try and fix my anxiety but nothing has worked half as good as this course. It has given me stuff to work on and keep at, rather than just taking a tablet….Since starting this course, I’ve played 2 games of football and been travelling out of town a lot more. It’s taught me that I can handle the anxiety.”    Seán, 22 “I couldn’t recommend this course highly enough. I thought the whole programme was well balanced, enjoyable and highly respectful of individual members of the group.  All techniques learnt were demonstrated with great skill and ease….  Throughout the programme Susan supplements her course with her own mindful  CD’s which are a joy to have, as every time you put them on you are instantly transported back to group practice…. the style of teaching is so relaxed you can’t help but learn in this very friendly supportive environment.”        Anne                                                                                                                                                “When I signed up for the course, I had already recognised that I was functioning on auto-pilot and over-analysing everything. The course confirmed this but more importantly, it showed me how to break such habits using various simple techniques. I am like a driver with an “N” plate now…I have the basic skills of mindfulness but need to keep practising!! The course was fab – really well structured and organised. I am so sad it’s over! ”    Deirdre I have previously tried to dabble in meditation, but I found it hard to sustain without the initial guidance. I would highly recommend the mindfulness course, as with Susan’s guidance and the group support I was able to find some peace of mind while dealing with an illness on a daily basis. It has allowed me to take the time to understand a bit better my mind and body with curiosity and will hopefully better equip me for the future. I especially like how mindfulness doesn’t try and push away the difficulties in our life, but allows us to see them from a different perspective, because at the end of the day the present moment is all we ever have.”      Sharon “A fantastic experience and a revealing journey into more awareness in the present moment. Can fully recommend this!…For me, it has helped me in my confidence, my belief in myself, “just” by looking after myself…”       A “This course has given me a greater insight into myself, it has given me the knowledge and tools to deal with difficult and challenging times. I know it will help to support and sustain a more positive and enriching life ahead.”      P “I have become much more aware of what I do. I have begun to use the breathing technique. It has helped me with my concentration, anxiety, giving too much thought to what other people think of me. I feel much happier in myself. I sleep much better. I don’t have as many negative thoughts. I tend to see things differently.”     S

5 week Introductory courses running regularly in Tralee, Killarney and Listowel

Killarney Intro EVENING course Details of the next Introduction to Mindfulness course are below: Dates:  Monday 7th October to Monday 11th November (no session on Bank Holiday Monday 28th Sept) Times:  7 pm – 8.30 pm Venue:  John Paul II Pastoral Centre, Rock Road, Killarney Cost:   € 90 To secure your place, please send a deposit of €30 using STRIPE, the secure payment system by following the link below. All you will need are your credit card details. A receipt will be issued to you and your card details will not be stored. Alternatively, you may forward a cheque to Susan Barrett, Camp, Tralee, Co. Kerry. PAY DEPOSIT HERE I’d be happy to chat to you if you have any queries about the course so please feel free to contact me on 087 2838171 or by emailing here. Next course in Tralee I hope to offer an Introduction to Mindfulness course in Tralee at some stage during the Winter. Please drop me a line here to express your interest in this course. Next course in Listowel I hope to offer an introductory course in Listowel during the winter months. Specific dates will be available soon. However in the meantime, please feel free to drop me a line here expressing your interest in the course and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Such a pleasure to holding regular courses in the lovely Baile Mhuire Day Care Centre in Tralee. It was beautifully decorated for us all for Valentine’s day! And also in the beautiful surrounds of the Listowel Arms Hotel. With plenty of space for mindful movement A warm and comfortable room With a great view of the river!   In the centre of town, this beautiful hotel has free parking and is easy to find     What to expect on this course: Introductory courses provide an opportunity to learn about Mindfulness in a relaxed and supported way….classes run for one session per week for an hour and a half for 5 weeks. Each session is practical with a focus on developing your own mindfulness skills and practice that will assist you in everyday life…..   Course Outline: The skill of mindfulness is taught through formal and informal mindfulness practices. Formal mindfulness meditation practices are introduced during this course and include mindful breathing and sitting meditation, guided body scan meditation, and gentle movement. The course includes a 20 min guided CD. Informal mindfulness practices are also introduced as a support to integrating mindfulness into daily life. While the programme provides an overview of the philosophical underpinnings of mindfulness, much of the content is practical. Because of the experiential nature of mindfulness, participants are encouraged and supported to undertake short home practices between classes. During classes, there are opportunities for group dialogue and the chance to discuss participants’ experience of home practice and to examine skilful ways of dealing with challenges arising. While classes are designed to support participants to bring awareness to the present moment, they are not intended to involve group therapy. Who is the “Introduction to Mindfulness” course suitable for? This course is suitable for those who are completely new to mindfulness practice as well as those who are already familiar with mindfulness and wish to deepen their practice with the support of a group.

Workshops and Taster Sessions

Killarney – Cultivating Awareness in Nature Workshop New Development!       Full Details Date: Saturday 28th September Times: 10.30 am – 5.30 pm Venue: Killarney National Park Cost: €60 This workshop day will take place in KILLARNEY where we will  spend the day in reflection, immersed in the magnificent surrounds of our National Park.  The day will include a range of mindfulness practices, including walking meditation, sound awareness and other nature based practices. We will visit Muckross Abbey and spend some time in reflection there. We plan to spend most of the day outdoors but will have contingency plans should the weather challenge us!   This workshop will be jointly facilitated by Susan and John Cummins. Details of John’s qualifications and experience can be found here.    Booking details: There is a lot of interest in this day so if you would like to secure your place, please make your booking as soon as possible. Pay your deposit of € 30 via the secure online payment system here (Please note that due to the interest in this day, it will not be possible to refund your deposit in the event of cancellation.) Workshops and Taster sessions Unfortunately, due to a very recent family bereavement, I have delayed the scheduling of workshops for a couple of weeks. I hope to post new dates soon.   In the meantime, please feel free to drop me a line here expressing your interest in a workshop and I will get back to you as soon as I can.   However the workshop in Killarney in late September entitled “Cultivating Awareness in Nature” will go ahead as planned. Please see info and booking details elsewhere on this page. Who are these workshops/taster sessions suitable for? If you are a beginner, these half-day practical and informative workshops/taster sessions will introduce you to the theory, principles and practices of Mindfulness. Information on follow-on courses will be available at each workshop. If you already have experience of Mindfulness, these workshops will provide great opportunities to refresh your practice, get yourself back on track and meet up again with other like-minded people.  The workshops will provide a little bit of calm, allowing you to establish an intention of self-care. Booking and advance payment for each workshop is essential. Please get in touch if you would like to be added to the mailing list and notified directly of upcoming workshops…… enquire here or feel free to contact Susan on 087 2838171. Also, if you would like to consider taking part in either the Introduction to Mindfulness course in Tralee beginning in February or the the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course beginning in Killarney in late January, please feel free to get in touch directly here. You are also most welcome to contact Susan on 087 2838171 if you would like to discuss which course might best suit you .

Self-care sessions for education and health providers

Mindfulness is a practice that can be undertaken by staff teams, teachers and groups of community leaders as part of their Continuing Professional Development. Many groups and staff teams find a mindfulness workshop useful for self-care and for team building. Mindfulness courses on offer to your organisation, staff team or school include: A one-off introductory Mindfulness workshop for staff, which includes a presentation on the theory and principles of Mindfulness as well as experiential practices. The timing of this session can be designed to suit the needs of your group, organisation or staff team and options and resources for follow up are included. An “Introduction to Mindfulness” course which includes 4, 5 or 6 practice sessions, once weekly, designed to introduce your team to the main principles and practices of Mindfulness as well as supporting them to look at ways of incorporating Mindfulness into the workplace. Times for this course can be scheduled according to the needs of your group but the course works particularly well when run in the late afternoon or early evening, at the conclusion of the working day. Participation as a staff team in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme. Mindfulness sessions can also be tailored to suit the needs of your organisation’s team or staff grouping so please feel free to contact Susan to discuss your particular requirements. Over the past number of years, courses, introductory sessions and presentations were held with: Credit Union staff Adult Ed Teachers Tinnitis Support group Stroke Support group Baile Mhuire Stroke Service, Tralee Ard Curam Stroke Service, Listowel Young Adults with Down Syndrome Nursing Staff working with children with life limiting conditions Early School Leaver students Youth groups Community Mental Health Service Staff teams of Secondary and Primary schools Active Retired groups Staff of Kerry Council Council Rehabcare Fexco UCC Dental School Mental Health Student Nurses, Institute of Technology, Tralee Kerry Travellers Development Project Kerry County Libraries HSE Physiotherapy Department HSE Social Work Department HSE Mental Health Team Recovery Haven Bereavement Group Tearmann Mental Health Day Care Service, Dingle Foster carers Some feedback from these sessions: “The teaching and administration staff of Killarney VTOS Adult Education engaged with an Introduction to Mindfulness Course. The feedback from all members of staff has been very positive. The experience was very worthwhile and effective for team building. A practice which many staff have now integrated into their daily personal and professional lives.” Members of a Stroke Support group reported the following: “People who have suffered a stroke have a lot of stress, worry and anxiety in their lives. Having a session with Susan on mindfulness can really help, showing you ways to relax and techniques to make this realxation part of everyday life.” “I have learned to set time aside for me, just to relax, breathe…no telly, no noise or any other distraction.” “It helps to rest the mind.” It’s fantastic to chill out and forget my troubles.” Helps me to relax and stop worrying.”