Mindfulness for Stress Resilience and Burnout Prevention: a 6-hour workshop

As a provider in the mental health realm I went into the one-day Mindfulness for Stress Resilience and Burnout Prevention course already aware of the research and best practices to prevent burnout.  And yet, this training shifted my therapy practice and day to day personal awareness, serving as a much needed "reset button."  I appreciate that the workshop provided a balance of new information as a context for learning, but also allowed for ample time to practice.  It is clear Tim has experience with mindfulness as he models and welcomes participants into awareness of the present moment in a way that is accessible.  Mindfulness can seem intimidating and elusive, but Tim has a gentle way of sharing that put me at ease.  I attended this one-day training with a group of co-workers and highly recommend it, especially for those in the healing professions.  It can be hard to carve out time in our busy world, but I believe it is for this very reason that I gained such value from the course both personally and professionally.

Emily Wood, MA, LMHCA, NCC 

Introduction to Mindfulness: our 2-3 hour workshop

We had the pleasure of Tim Burnett speaking to our team and introducing us to the concept of mindfulness.  His presentation was the perfect combination of background about the concept and active learning exercises.  Many on my team expressed their thanks, and they felt it demonstrated that leadership really cared about employees because we helped them learn about this valuable stress-reducing technique.  Plus, we all felt energized after our participation!
Beth S. Thompson

Senior Director, Marketing, Fortune 500 company

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

My whole experience with your Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class was terrific.

Probably the highlight for me was the Saturday retreat. It blew the doors off my self-created limits on how much of a day I could spend in mindfulness.

Michael Kelberer, Bellingham, WA

Meeting Mindfulness: A One Day Workshop

The Whole U offered a Mindfulness One Day Retreat on 9/26/15 led by Tim Burnett from Mindfulness Northwest in which I participated. I went for the first time last year, as a “woo woo skeptic” and returned for a second time. Tim Burnett is a knowledgeable, empathetic, respectful and insightful teacher and is able to discern and meet the diverse needs and knowledge levels of a group of people he doesn’t know and who don’t know each other. He creates a safe, comfortable, non threatening environment and makes it clear that people can participate as much or as little as they’d like. Descriptions of all practices are clear. The format of information and then silence for most of the day, and then review, works well. The setting this year at the Center for Urban Horticulture was beautiful and conducive to the retreat.

He‘s also very good about “reading” groups and then changing the program based on that. An example of this is the group this year felt more open or receptive, and he incorporated a forgiveness meditation into the afternoon, which wasn’t done the previous year. Everyone in our (introverted) small group appreciated (but no one commented on it in the group discussion.)

Why does a person participate in a mindfulness retreat, especially the first time? Since this is sponsored by the Whole U, is it work related? Job stress? Life transitions? Curiosity? An uninterrupted Saturday? Whatever the reason, this retreat is healing and restorative in itself, and it can also be the beginning of new learning and ways of thinking. In the forgiveness practice, one of the repetitions included “As much as you are ready.” This also describes this retreat; it offers much, and a person can participate to whatever degree is comfortable for them.

Linnea Mulder, RN, UWMC

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Recovery

I have LOVED this course -  have found it so helpful and practical in ways I had not expected. I know that long term success will come from daily meditation and incorporating it into the routine of my life; I know this will take time.

I am so grateful to both of you for your time and knowledge, and so very grateful to the other students for sharing honestly and helping me heal by relating their stories, hopes and barriers. Please pass that on to them today.  I will definitely recommend this course and other mindfulness based courses to others, and also plan on attending future classes/courses when they come available.

Mindfulness has sincerely helped my commitment to sobriety and my well being. I feel encouraged and optimistic and you and Mark are a huge part of that. I wish the course was longer, or multiple times a week :) I wish I had time just to sit and have coffee with the two of you and pick your brains about meditation and mindfulness!/p>

I could go on and on, but what I want to say is just: Thank you, Thank you.

A Deeper Peace in the Middle of our Difficulties

A participant in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class in Bellingham reports:

I went to the class looking for a way to help myself with long-term problems.  The problems still exist.  The solutions have yet to be found.  But the time spent in the class brought needed temporary relief and awakened me to the viability of a deeper peace that surprisingly can exist alongside of difficulties.  That awakening was transmitted through Tim's skillful, heartfelt approach to sharing practices that are simple, accessible, and build upon themselves with commitment from the practitioner.  If it is hard to figure out where to go or what to do, a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course is a great place to begin.

And Anacortes-based Massage Therapist Joe Arellano adds:

The 8 week MBSR course led by Tim Burnett provided invaluable lessons toward returning my reactive mind to a stable reset point. Further, the MBSR course was a deeply enriching experience and I was saddened to witness 8 weeks end so soon.

Mindfulness can help with high blood pressure

A participant in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class in Bellingham reports:

Just wanted to say that I felt that I got a lot out of your teachings and I feel I have a fresh perspective on life and a couple tools in my bag to help me. On a side note, one of the reasons I took the class was for severely high blood pressure…it has since dropped drastically since implementing meditation and mindfulness practice into my daily life.

Getting Started with Mindfulness” one-day retreat

Thanks so much for the workshop you and Jonas presented on Saturday. The reason I participated is my job as a clinic RN has become increasingly stressful due to increased volume and decreased staff (nothing new there), to the extent that every day as soon as I get to work I feel tense, rushed, and distracted as I will only be able to get the very basics of my job done in order to provide safe care and that’s even questionable. It makes me sad as I respect and appreciate the patients and physicians I work with.  I thought perhaps there might be a better way then better living through chemistry (except coffee of course) so thought I’d try your workshop, understanding that probably my life couldn’t be fixed in 7 hours.

However, in 7 hours I at least gained an awareness of breathing, of centering, of at least trying to be in the moment. When engaging with another person, I learned (though I had to ask twice), to at least think about purpose, attention, acceptance.

If I had memory  retention more than that of a gnat there was much more you offered; the permission poem, for instance.

So thank you, you truly have a gift of the ability to communicate your knowledge, and it’s much appreciated.

From the UW School of Medicine

This academic year the school of medicine faculty wellness committee sponsored five sessions of mindfulness training organized and run by Tim Burnett.

Each was a 5-week series  scheduled on sequential Sunday evenings from 6-8:30 PM

with the exception of the fourth class which was a retreat held from 1-7PM in place of the regular class.

The classes were full with waiting lists from the day after they were announced. Participants paid a fee and the USOM paid the remainder.

Tim was extremely professional, well organized and easy to deal with from an administrative standpoint in addition to being a very skilled teacher of mindfulness.

The class reviews were uniformly positive with many participants signing up for more than one 5 week session. We offered both introductory and continuing mindfulness training. We provided the space, yoga mats and publicity as well as handling the registration process.

Claudia Finkelstein MDCM

UW/HMC Long Term Care Service

[contact info available on request]

Mindfulness supports new physicians

I did not realize how burned out I was until I filled out the physician burnout survey just before the first MBSR class. I had been going to work and having a bad day each day, but had not made the connection that I was having a bad day every day. I really was not enjoying my job, not even the time spent with patients, which had always been the fun part of it. Within 2 weeks of starting the MBSR class, I started enjoying patient care again, and with regular meditation, the millions of little daily annoyances stopped getting to me. Recently, I stopped meditating for a few weeks and began to feel the irritation creeping back (although I am at least still enjoying my time with patients). I started meditating again and am already feeling better.

The MSBR course gave me a chance to develop stress-lowering techniques that I can incorporate into the usual course of my busy day as a resident. These methods have allowed me to provide better care for patients by being able to be more focused when I am speaking with them rather than worried about what I need to do when I leave the patient’s room.

The focus that the course has on teaching students to be present in the moment has also helped me to better separate my work life from my home life which helps me feel more focused when I am at work and better able to foster personal relationships outside of work. I believe that other residents would benefit from the techniques taught in this course.

Participating in MBSR was great in a number of ways. I am pretty good at holding “curiosity” as a cornerstone of how I approach relationships with patients.  It is a helpful way to ground myself and to not wander over into the world of judgment.  The MBSR course reminded me to also be gentle with myself, well more so than I usually am, to notice when something came up or a practice was challenging, but not to get judgmental about it.  And at the outset, I was facing an unknown future (and really whose is not?!) with a fair amount of fear.  I cannot say the course eliminated the fear but it again reminded me of the stance of curiosity, openness.

The practices are useful, especially if I were to really adopt them as practices. And regardless of how attentive I am to incorporating them in my daily life, they are there for me to have and use, and they have been useful for me since the course.

Learning and practicing the various techniques will be really helpful for my work with patients and others who I advise.

King County Classes

Our King County Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes for employees enrolled in the Healthy Incentives program are starting to come to a close. Here are a few notes from attendees:

  • I very much appreciated the past 8 weeks of the MBSR offered by Kurt Hoelting and Janice Sack-Ory.  They were both very effective with unique styles.  Mindfulness practice is now an important daily practice which I am convinced will benefit my overall health.
  • Thanks to you also for the poems; very effective.
  • My practice increased as we moved thru the class. It is still difficult at times to find the time to practice, but it’s worth it. Great class & instructors; would like to continue.
  • The deliberate slow tempo of all of the activities is an obvious cue that his environment [MBSR class] is different, and restful.
  • The class was great. I feel that it helped me a lot and I notice the change in my mindset at work. I hope this class is offered again so that more King County employees can take it.

And a reflection from Mindfulness Northwest teacher Kurt Hoelting who flew to a Zen Monastery in Japan the morning after the class he co-taught with Janice Sack-Ory ended.

As I write this, my jet is just lifting off from Seattle-Tacoma, headed for San Francisco and Osaka, Japan. Puget Sound is fading into the mist and fog and rain of this early March morning. It will still be winter when I get to Sogenji.

My final MBSR class with King County employees concluded last night. As always, I was moved by the quality and depth of closing reflections from participants as we went around the circle of twenty-five people, sharing what has been valuable about this eight-week journey into mindfulness. One said, “I used to be caught in my reactivity, and I didn’t even know it. Now I see that I really can turn my reactions into responses – that I have choices – and this has made all the difference.” Another said, “I am so much calmer now. I was really stressed when I started the class. Those stresses are still there, but I don’t get pulled into them nearly as much. It’s hard to put into words.” Another said, “It gives me comfort to run into colleagues from this class now, and to know that we share this bond. I don’t feel so alone, and I feel better able to be present to my work.” Another said, “I was really disconnected from my body before. It was like me and my body were two. Now I do the body scan every day on the bus when I’m riding to work. I feel more calm when I get there, and I am really learning how to listen to my body. It makes a huge difference.”

Watching these insights take root in my students is inspiring. But I have also been feeling a need to take a break from teaching, and to go deeper again into my own practice. This is a trip I’ve been wanting to take for a long time, though I feel some apprehension going into it – a full month of intensive practice, mostly in silence. I’ve never done more that a week-long silent retreat before.

- from Sogenji Journey on Kurt’s Inside Passages website

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