MBSR Online Program
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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)


with Karen Sothers, M.Ed., E-RYT

and special guest teacher, Dr. Robert Bonakdar*

MBSR Online 8-Week Program:  Spring 2024 Schedule 

Wednesday Evenings:  April 24 – June 12, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (PT)

Day of Mindfulness:  Saturday, June 1, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (PT)

Note:  Session 1 and 8 may be 15 – 30 minutes longer.

MBSR Overall Description

In the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 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 any 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 graduates of MBSR with Karen:

  • 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 are the MBSR Online 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
  • Two one-on-one phone sessions with Karen to individualize your mindfulness practices (30 minutes between sessions 1 – 3 and 30 minutes after session 8)
  • 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
  • The MBSR Online Resource Library where you can review the videos and audios from selected parts of each weekly session
  • *Experience Dr. Robert Bonakdar’s exploration of “Your Brain on Mindfulness” by watching the video posted on the MBSR Online Resource Library along with practicing mindfulness with him as you listen to his guided meditations.
  • Reading from the comprehensive MBSR program manual (digital) to reinforce the in-class learning process
  • Sharing with and listening to other group participants as a way to inspire your mindfulness formal and informal practices
  • Nine weekly Mindfulness Encouraging Words emails to support your mindfulness practice between each session
  • The Day of Mindfulness retreat on a Saturday between week 6 and 7 to deepen and expand your mindfulness practices

What is the MBSR Online Program structure?

  • Eight sessions of 2.5 – 3 hours each (Over 30 hours of class time including the Day of Mindfulness)
  • Two one-on-one phone sessions with Karen (30 minutes between sessions 1 – 3 and 30 minutes after session 8)
  • Nine weekly Mindfulness Encouraging Words emails to support your mindfulness practice between each session
  • 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 sessions

What graduates from Karen’s recent MBSR Online Program have to say:

Who can enroll in the MBSR Online 8-Week Program?

This program is available for anyone who prefers online learning. The MBSR Online Program is also a beneficial match for those who:

  • can’t commute to an in-person program due to the distance, traffic challenges and/or body pain challenges
  • have scheduling challenges and can only do an online program
  • have physical challenges such as body pain, side effects from chemotherapy, etc. and need to use the comfort of their home
  • have mental and emotional challenges like anxiety and depression
  • are immune compromised and/or have social anxiety about being in groups
  • will miss one or two of the 8-week sessions and want to experience the missed sessions via the video and audio recordings
  • prefer online learning and trainings

What is the registration fee for the MBSR Online Program?

Special Rate:  $495 if you register at least 5 days prior to the start of the MBSR Online Program.

Full Registration Rate:  $595

Registration fee includes: 8 weekly class series, Day of Mindfulness, comprehensive MBSR digital program manual, digital daily practice mindfulness recordings, 9 weekly Mindfulness Encouraging Words email support, 2 one-on-one phone sessions with Karen (30 minutes each) and access to MBSR Online Resource Library for 6 months plus so much more!

What if I am unable to attend one or more of the live MBSR Online 8-Week Program weekly sessions?  

The selected audio and video recordings of the training will be posted on the MBSR Online Resource Library for your review.  You will be able to download the audio meditations to your computer for ongoing practice or listen directly from the MBSR Online Resource Library for 6 months. You can also review the selected video recordings on the MBSR Online Resource Library for 6 months but the videos are not available for download.

What is the refund policy?

Payment will be refunded in full (minus a $50 processing fee) if Karen is notified by email of cancellation 14 or more days prior to the start of the MBSR 8-Week Program. Refunds will not be made after 14 days prior to the start of the MBSR 8-Week Program. 

Will health insurance pay the MBSR registration fee?

No, the MBSR registration fee is not covered by health insurance.

Pre-registration is required:  Due to the unique small group experience, registration is limited to a maximum of 15 – 20 participants.  For information on how to register, read the following on How To Get Started. If you have questions, email Karen by clicking HERE or call Karen at 858-481-2251.

How To Get Started:

    1. Confirm with your calendar that you can attend the MBSR Online Program schedule listed above (8 weekly online sessions plus the online Saturday Day of Mindfulness).
    2. Review the Technology Requirements listed below to make sure you have (or can access) the required equipment for video conferencing.
    3. Register for the MBSR Online Program:

Please note:  What are the Technology Requirements for MBSR Online 8-Week Program?

To ensure your optimal learning experience, the MBSR Online Program will be delivered through the Zoom video platform. The requirements for Zoom to work properly include 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.

Also, you will receive the digital version of the MBSR Program Manual and digital versions of additional class materials (slides, etc).  If you want to use the paper copy during class time instead of the digital version, you will need a printer.

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 on 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

MBSR Program Director/Teacher:  Karen Sothers, MEd, E-RYT, has been directing and teaching MBSR 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).  Karen taught the MBSR In-Person Program at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine from 2004 to 2020. With the onset of COVD in-person group restrictions in March 2020, Karen created a highly beneficial online version of MBSR that she has been leading for the past 3 years. For more than 30 years, Karen has dedicated her life to teaching the art and science of conscious living.  She blends healing and transformative mind-body practices with the most current research in mindfulness, resiliency and compassion to inspire people to live more fully, and with greater ease and vitality. Karen is highly regarded for her down-to-earth teaching style and wise, compassionate presence that makes stress mastery, mindfulness and other mind-body practices accessible to everyone.

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 the MBSR research and neuroscience along with an experiential guided meditation practice.


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

To read more reviews from graduates of MBSR with Karen, click HERE.