MBSR Online Program
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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

MBSR Online Live with Karen Sothers, M.Ed., E-RYT

with special guest teacher, Dr. Robert Bonakdar

MBSR 8-Week Online Live Schedule:

 Thursdays,  September 10 – October 29, 6:00 – 8:30pm*
Day of Mindfulness: Saturday, October 17, 9:30am – 4:30pm

*Note:  Class 1 and 8 will be 30 minutes longer from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

MBSR Overall Description

In the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week online program modeled after the world-renowned MBSR developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., you will learn how to:

  • Pay attention with curiosity and kindness to your present moment experience
  • Intentionally respond with wisdom and compassion rather than react automatically    
  • Relate skillfully to physical and emotional pain to live more fully in the midst of it
  • Use mindfulness meditation to improve your sleeping patterns
  • Build your capacity to learn from and transform difficult emotions, such as anxiety, anger, frustration and depression
  • Increase self-acceptance and self-compassion while decreasing critical self-judgments
  • Create and sustain a daily formal and informal mindfulness practice
  • Apply MBSR as a highly effective complement to the conventional medical care you are currently receiving to relieve physical symptoms, such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems or high blood pressure, etc.

MBSR Overall Benefits

According to published research plus as reported by our graduates of MBSR at SCIM:

  • Long-term relief from physical and psychological symptoms
  • More effective responses to stress and less reactive
  • Improved energy levels, mindset, mood and sleeping patterns
  • Less pain and improved pain management
  • Overall increase in acceptance and compassion for oneself and others

What is the MBSR 8-Week Online Live Program?

This program is available for anyone who cannot physically attend the MBSR 8-Week In-Person Program due to reasons such as coronavirus concerns, proximity, scheduling/commuting needs as well as other reasons.  (Note:  MBSR 8-Week In-Person Program is not currently being offered due to coronavirus in-person restrictions.)

The entire online program is delivered live through the Zoom video conferencing platform.  Participants will engage with the teacher and interact with one another through their computer during the weekly class time.  (Please see Technology Requirements listed below.)

What are the MBSR 8-Week Online Live modalities?

Throughout the 8-weeks you will experience:

  • Systematic instruction in formal mindfulness meditation practices
  • Listening to digital mindfulness audio recordings in-between classes to create your own daily formal meditation practice (10 – 45 minutes per day)
  • How to integrate informal mindfulness practices as part of your daily activities, such as mindful breathing, eating, driving, exercising, working, communicating, etc.
  • Gentle mindful yoga postures adapted to your needs
  • Walking meditation practices
  • A one-on-one phone session with Karen (30 minutes between classes 1 – 3)
  • Learning about the science, physiology and psychology of mindfulness and stress using the visual aid of power point slides to guide the exploration and discussion
  • Reading from the comprehensive MBSR program manual (digital version) to reinforce the in-class learning process
  • Group and dyad dialogue interactions to enhance the awareness of what you are learning and practicing each week
  • Weekly Mindfulness Encouraging Words emails to support your in-between class formal and informal practices
  • The Day of Mindfulness retreat on a Saturday between week 6 and 7 to deepen and expand your mindfulness practices

What is the MBSR 8-Week Online Live Program structure?

  • Eight Weekly Classes of 2.5 – 3 hours each (A total of 30 hours class time including the Day of Mindfulness)
  • One-on-One phone session (30 minutes) with Karen between classes 1 – 3
  • Eight weekly Mindfulness Encouraging Words emails to support your mindfulness practice between class sessions
  • Day of Mindfulness retreat on a Saturday between week 6 and 7
  • Commitment to your own daily formal (10 – 45 minutes per day) and informal mindfulness practices in-between weekly classes

What a participant in Karen’s recent MBSR online program has to say:

“This was the most “together” and seamless Zoom meeting that I have attended yet, and I have attended many Zoom meetings recently.  Karen’s organization, clarity and the obvious numerous hours she puts into developing each training is so evident.  She is a calm yet engaged and enthusiastic teacher. Her non-threatening, non-judging presence travels right through Zoom and is felt as a soothing, comforting presence that facilitates trust, openness and curiosity in me and the group.”

-Ann, 47, San Diego

What are the Technology Requirements for MBSR 8-Week Online Live Program?

To ensure your optimal learning experience, the MBSR Online Live Program relies on Zoom video conferencing. There are minimum requirements for Zoom to work properly.   This includes having a computer with speakers, microphone and video capabilities (webcam) along with a high-speed internet connection. Mobile devices (phones and tablets) may work although the class material is optimized for full screen viewing with a computer.

For the best listening experience and to ensure the privacy of others, if possible, using a headset during the Zoom video sessions is encouraged.

If you need guidance and how to use Zoom, please review the following:

    1. Review the Zoom system requirements by clicking here:  System Requirements
    1. Try out a test meeting by clicking here:  Zoom Test Meeting
    1. Learn how to test your audio and video in the meeting by clicking here:  Test your audio and video
    1. Watch a video tutorial about how to use Zoom by clicking here:  Zoom Video Tutorial

What is the tuition fee for the MBSR 8-Week Online Live Program?

Tuition fee is $495.  Fee includes the 8-week series, Day of Mindfulness retreat, comprehensive MBSR program manual (digital version), 8 weekly Mindfulness Encouraging Word emails with additional practice support,  (downloadable) mindfulness audio files and one-on-one with Karen (30-minutes).

Pre-registration is required:  Due to the unique small group experience, registration is limited to a maximum of 20 – 25 participants.  For information on how to register, read the following on How To Get Started:

How To Get Started:

    1. Confirm with your calendar that you can attend the MBSR 8-Week Online Live schedule listed above (8 Thursday weekly online sessions plus the online Saturday Day of Mindfulness).
    2. Review the Technology Requirements listed above to make sure you have (or can access) the required equipment for video conferencing.
    3. Register for the MBSR 8-Week Online Live Program:  Email Karen at Karen@KarenSothers.com that you are interested in registering for the MBSR 8-Week Online Live program. Karen will email you the MBSR registration form to complete and information on how to pay the tuition fee.

Program Director/Teacher:  Karen Sothers, MEd, E-RYT, has been teaching MBSR at Scripps since 2004.  She has completed the MBSR teacher training taught by the UMASS Center for Mindfulness. Karen earned a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Kansas State University and a Masters of Education in Health and Exercise Science from Vanderbilt University. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT).  For more than 25 years, Karen has dedicated her life to teaching the art and science of mindful living.  She blends the time-tested healing practices of meditation and yoga with the most current research in mindfulness, resiliency and compassion to inspire people to live more fully, and with greater ease and vitality.

Special Guest Teacher:  Dr. Robert Bonakdar is the Director of Pain Management at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. In addition to the many other professional roles and trainings, he has completed the MBSR for Healthcare Professionals course with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli and the Richter Fellowship in Southeast Asia, where he studied acupuncture, Tai Chi and mind-body practices.  Dr. Bonakdar will be sharing his expertise in an overview of MBSR research and neuroscience as well as some experiential guided practices.


To read additional MBSR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click HERE.

To read what MBSR 8-week graduates are saying about the benefits of MBSR with Karen, click HERE.