Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness is simply about paying attention to present moment experience with a sense of openness, curiosity, and acceptance, and the fruits of mindfulness practice include kindness, compassion, and better health!
Stillwaters offers the full 8-week, evidenced based Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course as well as a variety of mindfulness-based offerings informed by the practices and principles of of MBSR.


About the 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Course

Stillwaters offers Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through the Shallowford Family Counseling Center, a ministry of Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. MBSR is an educational offering designed to enhance our innate human capacity for mindful, wholehearted awareness.

This interactive, engaging, practical program is grounded in practices that enable you recognize habitual patterns of reaction. Responding intentionally instead of reacting emotionally becomes a possibility. Participants may discover long-held emotional and behavioral patterns that create unnecessary stress. These reactive patterns are often the basis of mental, physical and spiritual disease and suffering. As insights arise through self-observation, an increased sense of stability, kindness, compassion, and joy emerges.

This life-affirming program includes:

  • Guided mindfulness practices
  • Gentle movement and mindful yoga
  • Activities to cultivate greater awareness in everyday life
  • Group dialogue and support (but not therapy)
  • Daily home practices
  • Supporting materials

Next Class: Future class dates TBD.  Questions or requests for this course, contact Kay
Class Location: Shallowford Presbyterian Church, 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta
Course Tuition: $260  *Note: A portion of your tuition benefits Shallowford Family Counseling Services to support those in need of counseling who are unable to pay.


About the 4-week introductory Mindfulness-based Stress Resilience course:

Mindfulness-based Stress Resilience is a 4-week interactive program informed by the teaching, research, and design of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). MBSR is an evidence-based program that’s taught in major health centers worldwide, as designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Like all skills, the skills of mindfulness and wellbeing require practice, so this education offering unfolds over four weeks.

Course Outline and Themes

Class One: Foundations of Mindfulness and Coming to Your Senses. Introduction to mindfulness meditation and gentle mindful movement.
Class Two: Stress Resilience. Cultivating gratitude, kindness, and compassion. How we pay attention matters!
Class Three: Perception, mental maps, and attitude. Responding vs. reacting, investigating conditioned patterns.
Class Retreat: A day of silence and guided meditation to deepen and strengthen practice. Includes sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement, and mindful eating.
Class Four: Mindful relationships. Deep listening, reflection, and attuned communication.Integrating mindfulness into daily life. Establishing habits of renewal and reflection.

Next Class: See current course offerings! Questions or requests for this course, contact Kay
Class Location: Shallowford Presbyterian Church, 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta
Course Tuition: $150 

About our Mindfulness Refresher: A 21 Day Journey of Mindful Connection, Renewal, and Support (for those with some meditation experience)

MBSR Alums and Mindfulness Meditation practitioners: Let’s recommit to waking up to the fullness of life by “being the change you wish to see in the world.” Never has there been a more important time to join together as a community of practice through a 21 day journey of mindful connection, renewal, and support. Twentyone days can create a habit! If you’d like to reinvigorate or deepen your personal practice and your capacity for kindness, compassion, and peace that passes understanding, this four-week course is designed for you!

This course is for anyone who has taken an experiential course on mindfulness, including all MBSR graduates. We will revisit mindfulness practices including sitting and walking practice and mindful yoga, along with practices for gratitude, kindness, and compassion. Reflections will include poetic inquiry and discussions will focus on attitudes and routines that support ongoing practice and the cultivation of kindness and wholehearted awareness.

Next Class: See current course offerings! Questions or requests for this course, contact Kay
Class Location: Shallowford Presbyterian Church, 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta
Course Tuition: $100


Facilitator Information

Kay Stewart, M.Ed., facilitates the MBSR program through the Shallowford Family Counseling Center. Kay has received professional training through the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical Center and has 26 years’ experience teaching health and fitness on faculty at Emory University. Kay completed graduate work in Mindfulness and Contemplative Education in May 2013 and is partnering with Robby Carroll, Shallowford’s Parish Associate for Congregational Care, to bring MBSR to Shallowford.

Both the MBSR program and the facilitator create a safe, hospitable environment as they partner with participants to form a deeply engaging space for learning and growth.

MBSR Program History and Research

This evidence-based program was first developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn at University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Since its inception, extensive research points to MBSR as extremely helpful in improving one’s quality of life. Cutting edge neuroscience and brain imaging now point to MBSR as an effective intervention for many common mental and physical health problems.

Evidence shows MBSR to be helpful with:

  • Stress – job, family, relationships, financial, health
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Chronic pain and illness

MBSR in the News

MBSR has been featured in the Bill Moyer’s PBS documentary Healing and the Mind, Dateline NBC, ABC’s Chronicle, and has been a topic of various national print media. It is outlined fully in Kabat-Zinn’s best-selling book, Full Catastrophe Living. Training for MBSR facilitators worldwide is housed at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts. The program is now available at universities and medical centers across the country, including Duke, University of Michigan, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Virginia. There are over 200 centers worldwide offering MBSR, and research has expanded the program into counseling centers, schools, professional leadership programs, prisons, and the workplace.

What participants are saying about  MBSR program

“After taking MBSR it’s easier to feel a general sense of peace and well-­being, even in stressful times or situations.”

“The meditations, yoga, and relaxation practices helped me to be more present, not only during those practices, but at other times as well.”

“The course has helped me to be more calm, settled, and present.”

“It reminded me that there is only the present. . . a truth we forget most moments in a day!”

“It taught me to find the help I was seeking, within myself.”

“It helped me to slow down, and that’s a good thing.”

“Connecting with ourselves helps us connect with others. In this age of isolating technology, this may be the most important thing of all.”

“I feel like I’m less stressed than I was and I’m learning to focus more on conversations with the people I’m with and not thinking about the things I need to go do!”