Mindfulness Northwest is excited to announce it's apprenticeship-based program for becoming a Certified Teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)Interested in fundamental training in how to teach mindfulness? Please see our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP). MTTP serves as a pre-requisite for this training.
Our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training program (MBSR-TT) is an immersive, intensive training in how to teach MBSR with integrity and excellence in a way that's respectful and responsive to the groups you'll work with. Over the course of two years you'll be working closely with our Senior Teachers and your peers in the intimate MBSR-TT cohort of just 8-10 trainees.
This training is an "advanced training" in that it's designed for those who have already done significant training in leading meditation, yoga, or related contemplative disciplines. For those newer to this work we recommend first taking our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP) or other training in the study, delivery, and teaching of contemplative practice (e.g. yoga teacher training, introductory mindfulness teacher training with other institutes, etc.).
MBSR-TT is a powerful and empowering two-year training to prepare you to teach MBSR using both peer/cohort support and the apprentice model with refined guidance from our faculty of Senior Teachers. Throughout this two year process you will be closely connected to, and supported by, our three Senior Teachers and the other members of your cohort.
MBSR -TT is a two-year program followed by a certification review process.
In year 1 you will immerse yourself in the MBSR classroom through a program we call the MBSR Practicum, which includes three MBSR Practicum courses. You will be a part of a small cohort of fellow trainees who are embedded in Mindfulness Northwest MBSR classes with 10-25 regular participants. We allow space of up to 2 trainees in each of the MBSR classes taught by our three Senior Teachers. The MBSR classes with the MBSR Practicum option are offered quarterly in Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, and the East Side. The entire training cohort then connects weekly in a video conference meeting.
The first year the program revolves completely around the 3 MBSR Practicum courses you will be embedded in which are organized by Mindfulness Northwest.
During each MBSR Practicum courses in year 1 you are invited to benefit and learn in six ways:
1) MBSR Attendance: Attend the MBSR class you are embedded in as a trainee.
2) Progressive Teaching Responsibility: Move gradually from being an observer to a teacher over the course of the three MBSR Practicum courses.
3) Video Recording of Teaching: You and the other trainees embedded in your class will collect short video recordings of trainees and Senior Teachers teaching in each MBSR class.
4) Weekly In-Person Debrief Meetings: Following each MBSR class you will meet with your assigned senior teacher for a 30-minute debrief to discuss questions and observations while they are fresh.
5) Weekly Cohort Meeting Online: join in weekly meetings with the entire cohort and our Senior Teachers for 90 minutes every Friday morning when classes are in session.
MBSR Attendance - it's essential to attend completely. Being embedded in the actual courses you are training to teach is the core of our program. In each of the 3 MBSR Practicum courses plan on being present for all 9 meetings: 8 evening meetings plus the retreat day.
Progressive Teaching Responsibility - You will move gradually from being an active participant/observer in the first course, to teaching sections in the second course, to teaching or co-teaching fully in the third course. Our program is carefully individualized to meet your needs and abilities. Each week we'll assign you a level of teaching that's appropriate to your abilities and learning potential. All students will be embedded in an MBSR class with a Senior Teacher in class #1 and class #2. In class #3 some trainees will be co-teaching, or teaching on their own, and some may be invited to train for one more round with a Senior Teacher depending on the trainee's needs and the resources available.
Video Recordings of Teachings - Each week we collect video snippets of the teaching going on in the class. These are uploaded to a shared server for viewing individually and together in our weekly online cohort meetings. To see and discuss actual live teaching regularly is a powerful path to learning.
Weekly Cohort Meetings Online - During all 3 of the MBSR Practicum courses we meet on Friday mornings from 7:30am to 9:00am with the online Zoom video platform. During these meetings we discuss the intentions and details of each week's MBSR class based on the curriculum and what's emerging "in the room." We'll also share and discuss some of the video recordings made. There is time for discussion and support.
In your Year 2 teacher you will be ready to organize your own MBSR classes and continue your journey as an MBSR teacher with the support of the program. During year 2 we ask you to organize and teach three classes. Either on your own or, when possible, co-teaching with another trainee or another MBSR teacher in your community. Note that the business arrangements of these course are up to you: you may charge participants or do these courses as part of a work project, etc. During year two you have begun teaching MBSR on your own with the program's support.
The support from your Mindfulness Northwest senior teachers during year 2 is through a one-on-one mentorship assignment. For each of these three MBSR classes you'll be assigned one of the Mindfulness Northwest Senior Teachers as your mentor. You'll have a weekly reflective exchange with your mentor by email and your mentor will be available to you for questions and support.
During your Year 2 teaching you are also welcome to use Mindfulness Northwest MBSR class materials (manuals and recordings) which you will be familiar with from your 3 MBSR Practicum courses. (Note that after graduation from the program you will be asked to create your own materials.) Mutual support between peers in the training cohort is also encouraged.
Year Two process and supports include:
Note that if you are unable to complete the teaching of 3 MBSR classes during year 2 we will work with you to extend your program within reasonable parameters.
Upon completion of both years of the program you are invited to submit a portfolio for certification.
This portfolio includes video samples of the 3rd MBSR class you taught on your own or with a partner (class #6 in the program) highlighting your ability to teach in the three main modes of MBSR instruction (didactic, leading practice, and inquiry). You will also submit practice recordings to be used by your future students.
Upon submission of your portfolio it will be reviewed by one of the Senior Teachers and you will be invited to a portfolio review meeting. In this meeting we will highlight strengths and areas of improvement needed and share the determination around whether you are now certified.
We reserve the right to ask you to teach additional MBSR class(es) or re-do portfolio materials if our standards of excellence are not yet met. We are committed to working with students to complete this process.