About the Pre-Course Orientation
Once your deposit has been received and as it gets closer to the start date of the course, Helen will contact you to arrange a one to one orientation Zoom call. This is to give you a chance to meet each other, to inform you about what to expect from the course and to make sure this is a suitable time for you to participate. At the end of this conversation you can decide together whether or not to proceed. As MBSR is an intensive course and at times can be challenging, it is our ethical responsibility to set this time aside to link up and have this discussion with you.
If you decide not to go ahead, your deposit will be refunded in full.
Click “Book Now” below to pay your €100 Deposit.
You will receive confirmation by email. Helen will contact you before the course begins to to arrange the orientation .
This 8 week course will take place over nine weeks, with a break on 19th October. There will be a Half Day of Mindfulness Practice on Sunday 6th November, which will with be online from 10am to 2.00pm (or this may possibly be in-person, TBC)
We meet at 6.30pm each Wednesday and finish at 9.15pm. This extra 15 minutes allows for a short break mid-evening.
The course is suitable for those with prior meditation experience as well as those who have none.
As the programme will be delivered live on Zoom relatively stable wifi in a room where you can have privacy is needed.
You are asked to make a commitment to daily home practice of around thirty to forty-five minutes per day for the duration of the course.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979.
In this MBSR course we will explore what we mean by the term ‘stress’ and how it manifests in our lives. We will explore the ways in which mindfulness can support us in responding to the events in our lives rather than being caught up in reactivity - how can we pause in the midst of the everything that is demanding our attention and tune into what is actually happening within and around us, and thus afford ourselves the opportunity to respond in more helpful ways. The programme promotes the development of self-awareness and general well-being. Stress is part of life, we cannot avoid it. We are encouraged to acknowledge life as it is, with all its joys and sorrows, and thus live more fully, with whatever is here.
We practice different forms of mindfulness practice including sitting meditation, the body scan gentle mindful movement and walking meditation. The emphasis is on bringing mindful awareness into everyday life.
Participants will receive a programme handbook in the post to support learning and a weekly email summarising the content and practice instructions for that week, plus guided meditation recordings.
When the course finishes there are online meditation groups you can join. This support can make a big difference to keeping up practice so that when we experience stressful times in our lives it is there to support us.
The programme aims to help us to:
● Use mindfulness to relate in healthier ways to worry and feelings of anxiety and to better manage stressful situations in both work and home life
● Become familiar with the workings of the mind, including the ways we avoid or get caught up in difficulties
● Sustain the practice of mindfulness as a self-care tool that can be integrated into our work and home life
● Explore ways of releasing ourselves from old habits of mind that increase anxiety levels
● Get in touch with a different way of knowing ourselves and the world
● Recognise the harshness of self-judgement and develop self-acceptance
● Be able to exercise greater choice in life
● Manage interpersonal relationships and conflict more effectively
● Experience improved feelings of self-worth and compassion for ourselves and for others
Participants who attend the programme fully will receive a Certificate of Completion in the “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme” from The Mindfulness Centre, on request.
Helen worked as a post primary school teacher from 1980 to 2019. She worked mainly in the Community and Comprehensive school sector, in the area of learning support. She was a member of the Visiting Teacher Service to the Traveller Community from 1997-2007.
Helen trained as Systemic and Family Therapist with The Clanwilliam Institute in the ’90s, while also completing a post-graduate Diploma in Psychology. She is a member of the PSI.
Over the years, Helen took time away from teaching and worked in various education-related capacities in Australia, the U.K. and Ireland. She also worked in the community and voluntary sector, spending time as a project manager for people in recovery from addiction in the Fingal Centre for the Unemployed where she also spent a year as Acting Centre Director, and in second chance education with the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed (INOU).
In addition to her Masters studies at Bangor University, Helen completed all trainings and supervision with senior teachers including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Melissa Blacker, Florence Meleo Meyer, Saki Santorelli and Pam Erdmann at the Center for Mindfulness (CFM) at The University of Massachusetts Medical Center, where MBSR was founded. She trained in supervising mindfulness teachers with the late Cindy Cooper at Bangor University. She also trained in teaching Mindful Self Compassion with the founders of the programme, Dr Chris Germer and Dr Kristen Neff. Helen has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1997 and teaching them since 2004.
Helen was part of the team who developed the M.Sc. programme in Mindfulness-based Interventions within the School of Psychology in UCD, and she has been a senior lecturer on the programme since its inception in September 2014.
Helen and Josephine Lynch co-founded what was to become the Mindfulness Centre in 2008 and they have been bringing international teachers to Ireland to lead CPD and retreats for Irish mindfulness teachers and teacher trainees since 2008. Through this work, she and Josephine were part of the group who spearheaded the development of the professional body for mindfulness teachers in Ireland, the MTAI (www.mtai.ie), which was formally established in February 2018. To the best of our knowledge, it is the only such national professional body for mindfulness teachers in the world. She is still involved with the MTAI, supports its work and adheres to its Standards for Good Practice.
Helen continues to deepen her personal practice and understanding of the power of living more mindfully with regular attendance at retreats and trainings led by world-renowned teachers including Christina Feldman, John Peacock, Akincano Weber, Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Christoph Kock and other teachers at The Bodhi College and has attended retreats led by John Teasdale, Melissa Blacker, David Rynick, Sharon Salzberg and Thich Nhat Hanh, among others. She participated in a 2 year programme in Buddhist Psychology with the Bodhi College 7 years ago, and began another 18-month study programme with them in December 2021.
Helen teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction / Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation.