MBSR teacher training – Questions and answers

Questions ? Find the answers here.

A teacher training requires your investment in time, energy and money, so you might have more questions to find out if this program is the right place for you. Here we share some of the questions you have asked us. Click on the question to read the answer.

Online teacher training

Can a teacher training program where experience plays such an essential part, be offered online?

It actually can. When covid arrived, we were grateful that we already had a long-term experience teaching online. In the past year, we took most of our professional trainings online, and had surprisingly good experiences offering the mindfulness teacher training programs online as well. The training days offer a lot of practice – both teaching practice and personal mindfulness practice. This is what participants have told us they appreciate. There are plenary sessions as well as many practice periods where you have the opportunity to work together 1-on-1 or in small groups; practicing teaching, guiding and reflecting.  The days are spacious in that formal mindfuness practice as well as breaks are offered throughout the day, allowing you to re-source and to renew concentration.

A typical training day would look like this:

07:30 – 08:00 mindfulness practice

09:30 – 12:30 training [with break]

12:30 – 14:00 lunch break

14:00- 17:30 training [with break]

In a few modules, there will be an additional meeting hour on Saturday evening.

Meditation experience

I have been meditating for a while now, but should I first have some more years of meditation under my belt before I move on to a teacher training?

This is a question that even experienced mindfulness teachers sometimes ask themselves. Once you embark on the path of meditation, you discover how much there is to learn and develop. The MBSR teacher training offers deepening of one’s own meditation, and learning and practising how to guide others can be a deep learning experience. Meditation is life-long learning. It is a path we can go for the rest of our lives. We are never ‘done’. So if you have basic meditation experience and are open to learn, this will be a good start for embarking on the Teacher training path.

I have been meditating for years. I wonder what I can still learn in an MBSR teacher training.

In a way, the answer to this question is similar as above. If you are open to learn, you can continue to deepen your understanding of mindfulness and to develop more awareness. Many experienced meditators come to our teacher trainings and discover that immersion in the MBSR program actually provides deep insights and a new understanding of mindfulness.

You can never have too much meditation experience. Curiosity and a willingness to develop more awareness, wisdom, and skills is most important. The experience you bring, will add to your quality as a teacher. This program being a teacher training, it might offer you many news things, such as learning to guide a range of different mindfulness practices, didactics of MBSR, group dynamics, specific mindfulness teaching skills and theoretical background.

I already know about mindfulness

Mindfulness is a transformational practice. It effects people’s hearts and minds and can offer deep insights and change. Guiding people in this, it is important that you can do this in a good and safe way. Your personal mindfulness experience is a great start for this, but teaching mindfulness requires additional competencies, too. Teaching and guiding skills, knowing how to hold a group, theoretical know-how, and knowing the MBSR program inside-out are just a few of them.

As a mindfulness teacher, it is essential to know first-hand the processes that can arise in, or after mindfulness practice, and to learn how to skillfully guide others in this. All these skills and competencies are trained and strengthened during the MBSR teacher training. It will provide a solid basis for your teaching, allowing you to guide the MBSR with confidence, and based on your own experience.

Why MBSR?

The short answer:

*MBSR has a great design and a clear structure, and is accessible to many people
*MBSR offers a wide variety of practices catering for different bodies and different likes
*MBSR offers meditation practice as well as insight in one’s daily life
*MBSR has proven to be effective in its 40+ years and is supported by research world wide.

A longer answer:
The popularity of mindfuless started with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program – MBSR – in the late seventies. This 8-week program combines insights of western science (education, medicine, psychology) and eastern wisdom traditions. It has a clear format, offering participants to learn about mindfulness step-by-step in an accessible and practical way. Not only does it teach participants how to do various meditations, but it also offers new insights into their daily lives; discovering more joy, and learning how to best deal with stress and suffering. The variety of practices offers different ‘ways in’ for different people.

The program has been around for more than 40 years, and its popularity and effectiveness is supported by thousands of research studies worldwide. When you become an MBSR teacher, you can connect to the wider field of MBSR professionals. The MBSR teacher training program will also provide a solid basis for developing add-on specialized courses for particular target groups (mindfulness for patient groups, certain professions, children, etc.) where needed.

I am definitely interested.
But not sure if I want to become an MBSR teacher.

Not everyone who comes to the MBSR teacher-training program, starts with a clear wish to teach afterwards. Some people join the program just for deepeneing their own meditation practice and understanding. And some discover along the way they enjoy guiding others, and start a teaching practice after all. Both motivations are welcome when you register for the program.

I am a therapist. Do I need training?

As a therapist, coach, or teacher, you have been trained thoroughly and know a lot about the workings of the human mind, and the experience you bring to this work as a professional can be a really helpful basis for learning to teach mindfulness. It is natural that you wonder why you should take additional teacher training.

Teaching MBSR, however, requires slightly different skills and attitude. Guiding a mindfulness group calls for an attitude of ‘not knowing’ – starting from a deep respect for the participants’ own wisdom and ability to see and learn from their experience in their own way and pace. In learning to teach mindfulness, you learn to guide people and support them in their process of discovery, rather than teaching them how to do it. As mindfulness teachers, we are more like a midwife than a teacher. The didactics are therefore different than many of the other professional skills you might have learned. In learning to teach mindfulness, you might even need to unlearn some of the things that are appropriate in your current work. And find that this is an additional expertise, providing added value for your other profession as well.

BACK TO THE MBSR TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM

MBSR Teacher training

Training cohort 2021 / 2022:

13 modules; 10 weekends and 3 Saturdays

1:  April 10-11, 2021
2:  May 8-9, 2021
3:  June 12-13, 2021
4:  July 3, 2021
5: Sept 25-26, 2021
6: Oct 23, 2021
7: Dec 4-5, 2021
8: Febr 5-6, 2022
9: April 2-3, 2022
10: May 7-8, 2022
11: June 4-5, 2022
12: July 2, 2022
13: Sept 10-11, 2022

Read more about the program and registration here.

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