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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction FAQs

In case of severe weather or the threat of severe weather, please call Duke Integrative Medicine (919-660-6826 or 919-684-9811) or send an e-mail inquiry to Duke Integrative Medicine Programs and Training ( for information regarding classes on bad weather days.

If no prerecorded message or auto reply email with information is received, Duke Integrative Medicine is operating normally, and scheduled events should be assumed to occur as scheduled.

Even if classes are scheduled to meet, use your own discretion regarding travel and road conditions. Please be safe!

Yes, our program is based on the program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass , and all of our instructors have studied with him or other nationally recognized mindfulness instructors.

The course registration fee is $495.00.  If you register by the noted early registration deadline qualify for a 10% discount.

Duke Affiliates qualify for a 15% discount at the time of their registration. This discount is not eligible to be combined with the early registration discount. Duke Affiliates are defined as Duke Employees, Duke Registered Volunteers, and Duke Students.

The registration fee includes access to a online course site containing weekly support material and audio tracks with guided meditations, and ten instructor-led, in-person sessions.  There are no additional required materials.

  • Awareness of Breathing – simple focus on breath, observing thoughts without being caught up in them.
  • Body Scan – a way of discovering embodiment -what it means to live in and with the physical body by becoming more aware of the sensations in the different parts and regions of the body.
  • Walking Meditation – Walking as a way of meditating.
  • Mindful Yoga – Nurture awareness of the body while moving through a series of gentle stretches.
  • Loving Kindness – Projecting feelings of friendliness and kindness towards yourself and others.
  • Choiceless Awareness – a mindfulness meditation practice that deliberately does not “choose” a particular focus for attention, but instead takes a broad attentional stance that includes sounds, sights, sensations, emotions, and thoughts with equal interest.

If you are unable to do yoga or movement practices because of a physical limitation the instructors will work with you and help you find another posture.  The yoga is very gentle and its main focus is on stretching and awareness of the breath during movement.  You are also not obligated at any time to engage in any practice you feel may be uncomfortable or unsafe.

It is a common experience for many participants in the early weeks of the course to feel more stressed.  They may feel this way because awareness has grown and you are beginning to sense more deeply, and understand more clearly, how much stress you are actually facing and how intense it really is.

In our experience there are a few circumstances that may require additional support to manage this experience.  In some situations the stress an individual is carrying can take on a particularly painful and challenging character and in those cases we often strongly encourage that person to have an additional safe place, usually a therapist or counselor, where they can talk, process, and heal the difficulties that are being unearthed and illuminated by the light of mindfulness.

For example, if a person is carrying severe trauma and suffering from PTSD the flashbacks may become more intense, at least at first, and the need to process the experience in therapy of some kind may arise.  If a person struggles with anger issues, with growing mindfulness they may feel the intensity of their anger or the harshness of their angry thoughts more deeply.  In such instances the very intensity of the pain–made clear by mindful awareness–can be the doorway to healing if the person chooses to work skillfully with an anger management specialist or a skilled trauma therapist, and can use the authentic self-awareness developed by their mindfulness practice to inform their treatment.

Please be assured many, many, participants carrying one or more of these challenges have successfully completed the MBSR program.  The program is designed to benefit people suffering with exactly these kinds of stresses!  With good advance awareness and utilization of proper support remarkable healing is possible for anyone.

You are asked to do home practice- i.e. meditating on your own 45-60 minutes, daily, and reading from the weekly online readings between the class sessions.

No.  This MBSR program is not appropriate for young children or adolescents.

No.  The practices and techniques Jon Kabat-Zinn distilled for MBSR are designed to be neutral and approachable for all individuals, regardless of their chosen spiritual practice.  People from a variety of backgrounds have enrolled in MBSR.

Please be sure to arrange your schedule as best you can to minimize the chance you may miss a session.

If you need to miss a session, you are not able to attend that session with another class but you will have access to reading and materials online that will keep you up to speed until you are able to rejoin your class the following week.  You may also feel free to check in with your instructor if you have any questions about the missed week in class.

The Day of Mindfulness session that occurs during your course is the only one included with your registration fee.  If you are not able to attend the Day of Mindfulness with your class, but have attended 8 of the sessions in total, we provide “alumni” of previous MBSR classes the opportunity to register for any future Day of Mindfulness event for a small registration fee, as a way to maintain their practice and stay connected with the community.

If you know in advance that you must miss more than two sessions, we recommend that you consider waiting to taking the course at another time.

If you have an unpredictable schedule due to home or work life and may miss several in-person sessions unexpectedly, you may also consider registering instead for an MBSR Distance Learning course if this would enable you to attend more consistently.

The National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching has approved this course for 22.5 CCEs.

The MBSR program is an educational program not a clinical service, and so is not eligible for insurance coverage from most companies.  Individuals who are referred to the program by their doctor may be able to file for reimbursement, but it is up to you to negotiate with your insurance company.  Supporting documentation to verify your attendance (receipts, letters of description of service from Duke Integrative Medicine, ect.) is available on request.

Duke Integrative Medicine has limited funds available for partial financial assistance for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and MBSR Distance Learning courses. The funds may cover up to 50% of the registration fee. To be considered, please submit your financial assistance application prior to the early registration deadline for your desired course. Please click here to submit a financial assistance application.

For programs with a designated start date, transfers are not allowed. Cancellations can be made by completing a cancellation request form. If you make this request at least 7 days prior to the start of the program you will receive a refund of your payment minus an administration fee equal to 10% of the registration fee. If you request a cancellation fewer than 7 days before the program start date or do not arrive on your scheduled start date you will forfeit your payment. If you and/or your instructor determine after the first orientation session that this course is not the best fit for you at this time, you may receive a refund.

To ensure the best possible experience with our online registration system, accessing online registration and course resources, and for general administration of your account, please be sure your system meets the minimum requirements found here.

No.  This course is for personal use only.

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