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MBSR-TT: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training

Mindfulness Northwest is excited to announce our apprenticeship-based program for becoming a Certified Teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The program involves extensive hands-on in-classroom training in a small cohort with a high faculty:student ratio. 

The next cohort begins September 22, 2019. Applications are being accepted now.

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.

                      Apply for the 2019-20 Cohort - Registration is now open

For additional details on this program please see:


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. The program begins with one year of practicum-based training with cohort support and continues into a mentorship-based self-paced program which can be completed in a second year or at your own pace over a longer period.

This training is an "advanced training" in that it's designed for those who have already received training in teaching and 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 trainings 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 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 the process you will be closely connected to, and supported by, our three Senior Teachers and the other members of your cohort.

Structure of the training:

MBSR -TT unfolds over four phases. The first two phases are done with a small cohort of up to 10 students in an intensive practicum-based setting. The last two phases are more flexible and mentorship-based. Note that this program uses an academic year. New cohorts begin Phase I together in September and complete Phase II in late May/early June.

 Phase Timing Overview Support Available
Phase IFall & Winter of the first yearYou will be embedded in two MBSR classes with up to one other cohort member observing a Senior Teacher and participating as a participant observer with progressively more teaching responsibility in the Winter quarter.
  • Participating in two high quality MBSR classes taught by an experienced Senior Teacher.
  • Weekly live debrief after each MBSR class meeting.
  • Weekly Zoom meeting with the entire cohort.
Phase IISpring quarter of the first yearCohort support continues and the flexible nature of the program kicks in. If you are ready to teach solo or co-teach we will support you in organizing your own class, or we may be able to offer you the opportunity to teach a Mindfulness Northwest class. If it's too soon to teach independently, the support of co-teaching with one of our Senior Teachers will be offered.
  • Weekly Zoom meetings with the entire cohort continue.
  • Written reflections after each class taught (or co-taught) are read and commented on by one of the Senior Teachers.
Phase IIIYour own timing. Typically during the second year of the program but flexible.Organize your own MBSR classes to teach with our support with materials and advice on logistics.
Or co-teach: with another trainee or with a teacher outside the program.
During Phase III you will teach three (3) MBSR classes. Note that you can organize these 3 MBSR courses in any way you wish including charging participants or being paid by your employer. 
Phase III is an opportunity to be fully "in the teacher's seat" but with plenty of support from the program.
  •  You will be assigned a mentor from our faculty who will:
    • Comment on your weekly written reflections through all 3 MBSR classes.
    • Be available to you for up to nine 1-hour video conference mentorship meetings (additional meetings can be arranged).
Phase IVYour own timing, typically during the third year of the program. Submit a teaching portfolio showing that you are a fully capable beginning teacher of MBSR ready to teach independently.
  • Portfolio review with a Senior Teacher. Additional training and support might be recommended.

Phase I (Fall and Winter of year 1):

In Phase I you immersed in the MBSR classroom as an embedded practicum student in two consecutive courses. We place one to three MBSR-TT trainees maximum in each of our MBSR courses mixed in with regular course participants. This participant-observer process begins with you observing (with the eyes of an emerging teacher) the Senior Teacher leading the class, then gradually evolves into increasing amounts of teaching responsibility in the second MBSR course.

MBSR classes with the MBSR practicum option are offered quarterly in Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and online (using the Zoom video platform). While online participation is fine we highly recommend that at least one of these two courses be taken live in person at one of our Puget Sound region locations.

Phase I learning supports:

1) MBSR Attendance: Attend two high quality MBSR classes 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 two 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 video meetings with the entire cohort and our Senior Teachers for 90 minutes weekly when classes are in session.

Phase II (Spring of Year 1):

The flexible nature of our small and responsive training program comes to the fore in Phase II. Depending on your state of readiness you will next be invited to do one of the following: (1) teach your own MBSR class, (2) co-teach an MBSR class with another trainee, or (3) co-teach an MBSR class with a Senior Teacher. The trainee is responsible for organizing this third MBSR class in the series and we will offer support. In the case of co-teaching with a Mindfulness Northwest Senior Teacher the course is always organized by Mindfulness Northwest. 

Phase II learning supports:

1) Teaching Responsibility: You are now actively teaching MBSR while still in a setting of very high support and guidance.

2) Video Recording of Teaching: You, and the other trainee if applicable, will continue to collect short video recordings of your teaching.

3) Written Reflections: We have developed a productive format for learning and development as a teacher through written reflections. Trainees share these reflections with each other, facilitating continuing cross-fertilization and with the Senior Teachers, one of whom will respond each week.

4) Weekly Cohort Meeting Online: we continue our weekly 90 minute video meetings with the entire cohort and our Senior Teachers during Phase II.

Scheduling Note: Phase I and Phase II are scheduled during the initial academic year of the program. During this initial year the cohort stays in close contact as you move through the training process together.

Phase III (year 2 / flexible):

In your Phase III teaching 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 Phase III we ask you to organize and teach three (3) MBSR courses. Either on your own or, when appropriate, 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 Phase III you have begun teaching MBSR on your own with the program's support.

During your Phase III teaching while you arrange the venue and do the outreach needed to form a class, you are also welcome to use Mindfulness Northwest MBSR class materials (manuals and recordings) which you will be familiar with from your 3 MBSR courses in Phases I and II.

Mutual support between peers in the training cohort is also encouraged. Program-organized weekly video meetings are during Phases I and II only but we encourage cohort members to keep in close contact and you might choose to continue having regular video meetings with your peers.

Phase III Learning Supports:

  • Assigned Mentor - During each of your three MBSR courses you will be assigned a Senior Teacher to be your mentor and support.
  • Written Reflections - After you teach each MBSR class session you will write a written reflection on how the class went. We've developed a self-reflection format that we feel helps to both strengthen your confidence and pinpoint areas of growth and learning. Your reflections will be read carefully by your mentor who will respond each week.
  • Peer Support - You'll be able to stay connected with other cohort members as you go forward. All of our teacher trainings emphasize serving our Pacific Northwest region which makes it more possible for lasting collegial relationships to build.
  • Mentorship Meetings -  Have up to nine 1-hour video meetings with a Senior Teacher mentor over the process of teaching the three MBSR courses. The scheduling of these is up to you and additional mentorship meetings can be requested (additional charge).

SCHEDULING NOTE: The timing of Phase III is flexible. Our recommendation is to teach one MBSR course per quarter in the second academic year after Phases I & II but you are free to arrange these courses to suit your circumstances. You must, however, complete Phase III within three (3) years of completing Phase II to be considered for Certification in Phase IV.

PHASE IV: Certification as a teacher of Mbsr

Upon completion of Phases I, II, and III you have now been a part of six MBSR courses with increasing levels of responsibility.  You are next invited to submit a portfolio for certification.

This portfolio includes video samples of the most recent MBSR course you taught highlighting your ability to teach in the three main modes of MBSR instruction (didactic, leading practice, and inquiry). You will also submit a full set of home practice recordings to be used by your future students and demonstrate wise use of written materials to support your 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. If additional learning is required, we will do our best to support you through this process. Our teacher evaluation utilizes the emerging industry standard assessment for evaluating mindfulness teachers: the Mindfulness-Based Intervention Teacher Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC).

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. Certification as a teacher of MBSR is not a guaranteed outcome of the program but having worked closely with you from the beginning we don't expect any surprises at this final stage.

Copyright 2019 Mindfulness Northwest
Mindfulness Northwest, a 501c(3) Tax-Exempt Non-Profit  360-830-6439
214 N. Commercial St. #103, Bellingham, WA 98225


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