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Welcome to the Duke Health & Well-Being Programs website!

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. It is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and being present for the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress. Offered at Duke since 1998, our program challenges participants to practice present moment awareness, deep relaxation, and gentle movement.

Can’t come to an onsite class every week?  Consider MBSR Distance Learning

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the roles of stress and reactivity in health and healing
  • Cultivate mindful awareness through several different types of meditation practices
  • Establish a daily meditation practice
  • Recognize negative patterns of reactivity triggered by stressors, and utilize mindfulness to develop alternative responses to stress
  • Apply mindfulness to cultivate a deeper connection with your body, emotions, and relationships with others

What to Expect


The MBSR program consists of 10 sessions; nine weekly sessions, each 2.5 hours long, and one all-day intensive, the Day of Mindfulness. The learning in your weekly class sessions is supported by written material and audio tracks with guided meditations. Access to these materials are included in the course fee.

The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course is a psycho-educational group learning activity, focusing on personal development.  It can be an influential practice and have a positive effect on many conditions contributing to stress, but it is not group therapy and is not a substitute for treatment by a health professional for serious conditions such as addiction or substance abuse, anger, depression, PTSD, or suicidal thinking. Read more about the frequently asked questions and possible risks associated with MBSR.

Attending Session One: Orientation is crucial. MBSR is not for everyone. Instructors will explain in detail what to expect, who MBSR is for, and who it is not for. After session one, students and faculty can reflect, discuss, and decide if MBSR is a good fit. Contact your instructor or as soon as possible if you can’t attend the first session. If you and/or your instructor determine after the first orientation session that this course if not the best fit for you at this time, you may receive a refund.


The learning in your weekly class sessions is supported by written material and audio tracks with guided meditations.  Access to these materials are included in the course fee.


To facilitate the strong group learning environment that enriches each class experience, we do not permit participants to “make-up” missed sessions with a concurrent or later course.  If you know in advance that you will miss a session, let your instructor know.  If you have to miss a session unexpectedly, see your instructor about what you missed.

This course includes weekly classes and a Day of Mindfulness. In order to obtain a certificate of completion, attendees must attend 8 out of 10 sessions plus complete the course evaluation.

If you have any questions about whether MBSR is right for you at this time, before registering please feel free to contact us at:

Financial Aid Information

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.

Upcoming dates and deadlines

Registration Open!

January 2024

Early Registration Deadline: December 8, 2023
Last Day to Register: January 3, 2024

  • Wednesdays: (5:45-8:15 pm EDT) January 10 – March 6, 2024 w/Riitta Rutanen Whaley at Duke Integrative Medicine
    • Day of Mindfulness: Saturday (9 am- 4 pm EDT) February 24, 2024 (Cary Presbyterian Church)
  • Thursdays: (1:00 – 3:30 pm EDT) January 11 – March 7, 2024 w/Maya McNeilly at Cary Presbyterian Church
    • Day of Mindfulness: Saturday (9 am- 4 pm EDT) February 24, 2024 (Cary Presbyterian Church)


Click here to meet the MBSR Instructors.

Accommodations Statement

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access should contact us in advance of the program.

Continuing Education Credits Available

NBHWC - Approved CE - Seal_3 (3)The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC): This course is an NBHWC-Approved Continuing Education course. Those who successfully complete all the course modules and requirements will earn a Certificate of Completion and National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) Continuing Education Credits. The National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching designates this course for 22.5 credit hours.

In order to obtain credit hours, attendees must attend 8/9 weekly classes plus complete the evaluation OR attend 7/9 weekly classes plus attend the Day of Mindfulness plus complete the evaluation.

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