Tuesday, August 13, 2013

So, you want to be an MBSR teacher?

Lately, I've gotten a number of emails from folks who want to know how to become MBSR teachers.  I decided to post my response here for those of you who are interested.  
If you are interested in a career in MBSR, the Center for Mindfulness (CFM) has an info page at http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/oasis/index.aspx 

When you go to that page, you will see that the very first requirement is to engage in "beginner's mind" and take the MBSR program as a normal participant. You are welcome to apply for my program in Cambridge MA that starts on Oct 6th if you would like. The application for my program is at http://mindfulboston.com/stress.html#application

But, of course, the CFM runs their own MBSR. So if you would prefer to take your first MBSR program there in Worcester MA instead, that would make a lot of sense. 

These days, my classes have included a pretty large number of people like yourself who have a professional interest in MBSR. My last couple of semesters have had about 30% students who are both "beginner's mind" students as well as being "in the biz". This includes people who have current careers in medicine, psychology,  social work, education, and also meditation teachers from other traditions.  So you will not be alone in your interest. 

Once you have completed your first MBSR program, you can then start your teacher-level training with the CFM. You will be required to attend at least one 5-day silent meditation retreat first, and then you should enroll in their teacher-level training called

"Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine: A 7-Day Professional Training"
http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/7day/index.aspx  Be aware that this training sells out at least six months in advance so apply as soon as you can.  The CFM brochure at http://www.umassmed.edu/uploadedFiles/cfm2/training/Oasis%20Brochure%202013.pdf has an excellent diagram showing the stages that lead to certification as an MBSR teacher.  Scroll down to the second page. 

Alternatively, some of my students decide to apprentice with me in some way before starting their training at the CFM. During classes #7 or #8 of the MBSR program that I teach I will go over the details of what opportunities there are for further study with me. Also, most of my MBSR semesters include one or two apprentice students so you can ask them yourself during class.  

 I also offer business coaching for MBSR teachers who are interested in setting up their own MBSR programs... but I charge good money for that. I want to make sure folks are seriously invested if I am going to work with them one-on-one to assist them with their business.  

I wish you well in your exploration of what it means to teach MBSR.  There is a great need for dedicated teachers.  Welcome!