MBSR Training For Therapists

Therapists in white doctor's coats learning about MBSR in a classroom.

Mindfulness has become an increasingly popular subject for those suffering from stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR, is a form of mindfulness created for those who haven’t responded to traditional therapies. Removed from an initial Buddhist framework, MBSR is a non-religious treatment with an increasing scientific backing.

It’s now used as a complementary medicine in many practices and communities.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at MBSR, MBSR training, and the potential benefits for therapists.

What Is MBSR Training?

MBSR therapy is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and it was a therapy originally developed for managing stress. MBSR was founded in 1979 by Jon Jabat-Zinn, a professor of Medicine Emeritus.

Nowadays, MBSR is used to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as chronic pain and addiction. Research is ongoing into the potential uses of MBSR.

MBSR can be a useful tool for therapists. Due to the wide application of MBSR, and a growing interest of mindfulness in the public consciousness, MBSR training can potentially enhance your practice. A basic level of training in MBSR can be used alongside other stress-reducing techniques in a clinical setting.

Alternatively, you might consider becoming an MBSR instructor. Certified MBSR instructors need to undergo a more intense training schedule, which, depending on the course, may take several years.

Forms Of MBSR Training?

You might have noticed from just a quick search online that there are many forms of MBSR training. These range from short retreats aimed at teaching the basics, to intense courses for certifying instructors.

Basic MBSR training is easily accessible, with most courses lasting for only 8 weeks. These basic courses can sometimes be completed online, but will often include in-person lessons. At the end of this course, you should have a better understanding of using MBSR for mindfulness and stress reduction in your own life.

MBSR teacher training is an intense course, offering complete understanding of MBSR techniques. Students who complete the course should be trained to run their own MBSR retreats, and deliver the basic MBSR training. These courses last for at least one year, and some take up to 5 years to complete.

There is currently no official governing body for MBSR therapy, although the International Mindfulness Integrity Network sets out recommended standards.

Counselors and therapists in a room learning MBSR.

Is MBSR Effective?

MBSR has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for a range of conditions. It has been used in both in-patient and out-patient care, as well as in the workplace, and in an educational setting.

MBSR has been used for emotional regulation in social anxiety disorder, and research has shown it can be beneficial for stress, anxiety, depression, and improving general quality of life. Research has also shown MBSR can be beneficial for those with PTSD.

Effective and healthy stress management is a key concern for many therapists and clinics, and patients are becoming increasingly interested in the benefits of mindfulness.

Examples Of MBSR Teacher Training Courses

One of the most widely recognized MBSR teacher training courses is offered by the Brown Center for Mindfulness. This is an intensive course that takes between 3and 5 years to complete.

Other respected courses include the Centre For Mindfulness Studies in Canada, and the UC San Diego Center For Integrative Health.

While there is no governmental body overseeing the training and practice of MBSR, the Global Mindfulness Collaborative has been created to uphold standards. We recommend taking a look through their list of approved MBSR courses, if you’re interested in training.

MBSR Training For Therapists

MBSR training can be beneficial for therapists interested in introducing mindfulness into their practice, and looking for an evidence-based, secular method. A basic 8-week course can provide therapists with an understanding of MBSR, before embarking on full-length teacher training.

However, you may find this 8-week course is enough for your interests. The 8-week course provides students with a basic understanding of mindfulness and its effect on stress reduction.

While there are benefits to MBSR training for therapists, it is a long and intense course. It also requires a background of personal meditation practice, so it isn’t something you can dive right into.

With that said, many of the courses are set at the student’s pace. You can schedule the training around your current work, although you should prepare for an intense timetable.

MBSR is an evidence-based mindfulness course that has been shown to be an effective treatment tool in many cases. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is becoming increasingly common in clinics, hospitals, and health centers, and is gaining popularity worldwide.

For therapists looking for a meditation-based therapy program, MBSR is definitely one to consider.


MBSR, or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is a meditation-based practice that is used for controlling stress and anxiety. Although the basics of MBSR for personal use can be covered in an 8-week course, teacher certification requires more intense training.

Clinical studies have shown MBSR to be an effective treatment course for many stress-related disorders.

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