MBSR Healthcare Professionals

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for
Healthcare Professionals
(MD, NP, RN, LPN, LICSW, NCC, LPCC, LMFT)


Demands faced by health care professionals include heavy caseloads, limited control over the work environment, long hours, as well as organizational structures and systems in transition. Such conditions have been directly linked to increased stress and symptoms of burnout, which in turn, have adverse consequences for clinicians and the quality of care that is provided to patients. Consequently, there exists an impetus for the development of curriculum aimed at fostering wellness and the necessary self-care skills for clinicians. 
Irving, J. A., Dobkin, P. L., & Park, J. (May 01, 2009). Cultivating mindfulness in health care professionals: A review of empirical studies of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 15, 2, 61-66.


NEW 8-week MBSR Course Beginning January 4, 2017

Details & Registration: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-8-week-course-tickets-29196996001


Burnout is endemic in health care professionals with over 40% of nurses reporting general occupational burnout, 28% of physicians endorsing two out of the three aspects of burnout, and up to 60% of psychologists admitting to having practiced at times when they viewed themselves as distressed to the point of clinical ineffectiveness. 

Burnout has been also associated with decreased patient satisfaction, “suboptimal self-reported patient care”, and longer patient-reported recovery times.  
Moreover, stress has been shown to:

  • significantly reduce clinicians’ attention and concentration
  • detract from decision-making skills
  • diminish health care professionals’ abilities to communicate effectively, to convey empathy, and to establish meaningful relationships with patients

Stress and burnout in health care professionals are associated with various physical health problems including: 

  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • heart disease
  • depression
  • obesity
  • hypertension
  • infection
  • carcinogenesis
  • diabetes
  • premature aging.

Benefits of teaching mindfulness to healthcare professionals:

Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues have taught MBSR to medical students at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center for over two decades. Others have extended this endeavor to include undergraduate student populations as well as other mental health professionals.

Reported benefits of teaching MBSR to healthcare professionals include:

  • significantly lower levels of perceived stress
  • increase in ratings of self-compassion
  • demonstrated positive effects on self-report measures of psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression
  • increased ratings of empathy and spirituality
  • significant increase in empathy, focus, and mood
  • significant decreases in symptoms of burnout
  • increased relaxation and life satisfaction
  • interpersonal functioning and coping with stress
  • greater ability for relaxation and self-care
  • improvement in work and family relationships
  • declines in negative affect, perceived stress, rumination, and state and trait anxiety
  • significant increases in positive affect and self-compassion
  • higher patient evaluations on measures of the therapeutic relationship, as well as ability to solve problems and to communicate clearly during patient sessions

Benefits offered to patients of MBSR trained providers:

  • Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Reduced pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life and improved self esteem
  • Ability to cope more effectively with short and long term stress
  • Greater symptom reduction of: post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety and panic, depression, fatigue, GI distress, heart related conditions, cancer, migraine headaches, and other chronic conditions.

Resources: Cohen-Katz, J., Wiley, S. D., Capuano, T., Baker, D. M., Kimmel, S., & Shapiro, S. (January 01, 2005). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on nurse stress and burnout, Part II: A quantitative and qualitative study. Holistic Nursing Practice, 19, 1.)
Cohen-Katz, J., Wiley, S., Capuano, T., Baker, D. M., Deitrick, L., & Shapiro, S. (January 01, 2005). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on nurse stress and burnout: a qualitative and quantitative study, part III. Holistic Nursing Practice, 19, 2.)
Irving, J. A., Dobkin, P. L., & Park, J. (May 01, 2009). Cultivating mindfulness in health care professionals: A review of empirical studies of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 15, 2, 61-66.
Smith, S. A. (2014), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: An Intervention to Enhance the Effectiveness of Nurses’ Coping With Work-Related Stress. Int Jnl Nurs Knowledge. doi: 10.1111/2047-3095.12025


The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program includes:

  • 8-weeks of instructor-led classes
  • Instruction in mindfulness meditation practices including sitting, walking, and eating
  • Body-scan relaxation
  • Group discussions
  • Gentle yoga and Qi gong
  • Relaxation and meditation methods for calming the body and mind
  • Effective communication and stress reduction strategies
  • Pain management
  • Methods for overcoming challenging emotions (e.g. anger, anxiety, depression) 
  • Daily “homework”
  • Individual, tailored instruction
  • CD’s and workbook
  • CEU’s are available and approved (30 contact hours)