2020 has been a stressful year. First we had the bushfires and then COVID-19, and we haven't settled yet. In some ways our sense of knowing how life works, what we can expect on a day to day basis, has changed. Things feel more uncertain and uncertainty is implicitly stressful.
Although many people lost work in 2020, counsellors (such as myself) received an increase in referrals and often had to turn people away. I was relieved to be able to continue to offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses, albeit online.
What is MBSR?
MBSR is an 8-week course that integrates the teaching of contemplative practices such as meditation with western psychology, with a view to building skills to reduce stress. It is an evidenced-based program that can be helpful with stress, depression, anxiety, stress related health problems and managing pain. You can click on the links below to
How does MBSR compare to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Counselling)?
The first randomised study to compare the options of individual cognitive behavioural therapy or an eight-week mindfulness group for people with moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety found that there were no statistical differences between the two treatments.
Although I work primarily as a counsellor, it was results like this that led me to train as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher. I have now taught the course for 7 years and am convinced that it is a good option for many.
MBSR is not a substitute for counselling but it sometimes it may be all that is required. The course may also complement counselling. I speak with everyone who books a course, in a pre-course interview to ensure that it is a suitable choice.
Doing the course with the support of a group has significant benefits. It will help motivate you to practice what you learn. The group can be thoroughly enjoyable and provide good connection through this time of greater social isolation.
7 good things about an MBSR course
- Learning mindfulness meditation teaches a useful lifelong skill
- Once you have established a practice you can continue by yourself.
- Greater mindfulness is associated with less physical illness, improved well-being, improved self-control, less negative emotions, better capacity to tolerate difficult feelings and improve concentration, focus attention and working memory.
- Engaging in an MBSR course often leads to decreases in symptoms of anxiety, depression and psychological distress.
- MBSR groups are enjoyable. Most participants say they love the support of the group and benefit from hearing stories from other group members.
- MBSR is non-pathologising. In the course, we explore the workings of the human mind and how this can feed stress. You'll find you have more in common than not with other group members regardless of what has brought you to the course.
- It is a course about self-care and building resilience. We can all do with more of that.
Book our February course
Our next HeadRest MBSR course begins on Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021. Book early to ensure you have a place and to ensure the course goes ahead. If you book by Jan 19 there is an early bird discount,
To register www.headrest.com.au or ring me to discuss whether a group is a preferred option for you 0431 842950.