Genesis to Host Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program

WESTFIELD — Once again, the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) will be presented at Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center in Westfield. The program will begin with a free orientation session on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. After the orientation session, the program will continue every Wednesday evening until Nov. 11, in addition to a one-day retreat on Sunday, Oct. 25.

The program was developed at UMass Medical Center in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues. Its central purpose is to support individuals dealing with stress, illness, and/or pain who wish to become more resilient and nurture healthy attitudes and well-being in the midst of difficulties. In the 35 years since its initial application in medicine, MBSR has spread into the fields of psychology, healthcare, business, the military, neuroscience, and education. More than 300 hospitals and medical centers nationwide now offer MBSR training, in addition to community-based offerings like the one at Genesis.

The instructor is John Meiklejohn, who for 30 years has operated a private practice of psychotherapy for adults, teens, and children. Over that time, he has introduced mindfulness and mindful-awareness practices to many clients, young and old, as part of their therapeutic work. He is authorized to teach MBSR classes through the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical Center and is currently a leader and coordinator of the Westfield Meditation Group that meets at the Genesis Center.

More than 1,000 peer-reviewed journal articles and studies confirm that this eight-week MBSR training can benefit individuals experiencing acute or chronic stress arising from work, school, illness, finances, grief, or aging; individuals with a chronic illness or chronic pain; adults experiencing anxiety, panic, depression, or sleep disturbances; and those seeking approaches that generally enhance overall well-being and resilience.

Pre-registration is required, and the cost of the program varies based on household income. For more details on the program and fee schedule, or to register, contact Meiklejohn at (413) 348-2848 or j.johnmeiklejohn@comcast.net.