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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

MBSR is an intensive, evidence-based course for managing stress, reducing pain, and improving well-being offering a deep dive into mindfulness practices including breath meditation, body scan meditation, and yoga.

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MBSR Availability

The Osher Center does not currently offer public MBSR courses. The Osher Center has facilitators formally trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindful Self Compassion. If you have a group of people (e.g., colleagues, friends, family) who are interested in participating in a MBSR or MSC course, please contact for more information and pricing.

What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?


Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is an evidence-based, formal eight-week program including a day-long intensive that was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

The course teaches mindfulness practices (e.g. breath meditation, body scan meditation, yoga), and offers group connection aimed at enhancing self-awareness and self-care in a small, supportive virtual setting. The program is facilitated by UMass-trained MBSR instructor and Clinical Psychologist Meera Murthi, MS, PHD and UC San Diegeo-trained MBSR instructor and Mind-Body Medicine Facilitator Meriden McGraw, MS, MPH.

MBSR can help increase awareness of habitual negative reactions to stress or other stimuli, allowing us to relate to ourselves and the world in a new way. MBSR helps us recognize the moments of choice before reaction to make conscious decisions in the present moment.

Who should enroll in MBSR?

MSBR is perfect for people who are ready for a change and ready to invest time and effort to make mindfulness a part of their everyday lives. This is open to all members of the community with varying levels of stress and different life circumstances. It can be used to improve symptoms of a variety of conditions:

    • Anxiety & panic attacks
    • Stress
    • Asthma
    • Cancer treatment side-effects
    • Chronic illness
    • Depression & grief
    • Eating disturbances
    • Fatigue & sleep problems
    • Fibromyalgia
    • GI distress
    • Headaches
    • Heart disease & high blood pressure
    • Pain
    • PTSD
    • Skin disorders

    Through the cultivation of mindfulness practice, this course supports participants to de-condition stress reactivity and develop new healthy pathways for stress response. Many individuals who participate in MBSR courses also have significant historical, racial, cultural, ethnic, class, and caste-based stress and trauma. While MBSR is not a replacement for trauma-focused psychotherapy, research on mindfulness suggests that mindfulness-based practices activate brain structures that are involved in stress and trauma recovery. In MBSR courses, participants are also invited to cultivate practices in a way that is attentive, sensitive, and responsive to one's emotional, psychological, and physical needs. Core ethics of MBSR courses pertain to non-harming, inclusivity, and reduction of suffering in the lives of participants. In line with this, courses emphasize the exploration and development of choice in mindfulness practices in order to support agency in one's own health and healing. Instructors are committed to bringing awareness to their own racial, cultural, caste, ethnic, and class histories, as well as positions of privilege and oppression in order to work towards safety and inclusivity.

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    What participants are saying: “The course is life changing.”

    heart“I have great admiration for the way the instructor taught the class.  Not only was she required to work with very different people, coming from very different emotional environments, but she had to do it online.  She is exquisitely intuitive to others feelings and states of mind.”

    heart“I had an absolute wonderful experience with the class and it honestly opened my eyes to a whole new level of awareness. The instructor did a great job with being able to formulate the class so that I was able to get as much out of it as everyone else. I felt like I learned something new each week and by the end could tell the difference it made on me.”


    heart“The instructor was wonderful and was very insightful. She practiced what she preached and instead of talking down to us, she made sure that we were on her level and experiencing things like her. This made the course easier to understand and implement because if it wasn't for this perspective, it seems quite daunting. She really communicated well and was always a friendly voice to talk with. She helped facilitate conversation very well and always practiced non-judgment which helped us observe that practice. I was very impressed with the way that she ran the course and overall thought she did a great job.”

    heart“I had a very positive experience. I loved being surrounded by people that were striving to find the same mindfulness that I was.”

    Meet your Instructors

    Meriden McGraw Mindfulness Resilience Train
    Meriden McGraw, MS, MPH
    Certified MSBR Teacher | Wholebeing Institute Positive Psychology Coach
    Meriden combines her master's level education in mental and public health with her training in mind-body modalities to teach individuals and groups techniques for optimal wellbeing. To date, Meriden has completed twenty-seven different teacher trainings both nationally and internationally and holds various certifications in prayanma (breath techniques), positive psychology, mindfulness, and yoga. Meriden has worked with a variety of populations such as professional athletic teams including both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, corporate lawyers and their clients, human resource departments, veterans, mental health professionals, families, and adolescent girls. Meriden’s mission is to make these techniques simple and applicable for life in the 21st century so she can help her clients be their best selves personally and professionally, thus enhancing overall organizational performance, and societal wellbeing
    headshot of meera murthi
    Meera Murthi, MS, PHD
    Certified MSBR Teacher | Counseling Psychologist
    Meera completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and clinical training at the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University. She is a qualified instructor of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) University of Massachusetts & Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) UC San Diego Medical Centers for Mindfulness.

    Meera has specialized in childhood and adult trauma and eating disorders (bulimia, overeating), and has worked for over a decade with women and men on a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, health diagnoses (e.g., cancer), family and couples, LGBTQ, cross-cultural adjustment, immigration, body and self-esteem, and trauma issues and recovery.

    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Collaboration with Cincinnati COOKS

    "I didn’t think it was going to work, but it works, and I’ve tried all types of methods to relieve stress.”

    "We began to find who we were and where we are (in life).”

    "It exceeded my expectations. This type of mindful relaxation is like yoga for the mind.”

    The course was coordinated by the Osher Center for Integrative Health at UC, led by MBSR-trained facilitator Dr. Meera Murthi and made possible with funds gifted by the Vijay R. Sanghvi Family Foundation. The gift was designed to provide integrative medicine therapies, such the practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction, to Greater Cincinnati’s under-resourced communities.

    The course involves both formal mindfulness practices, such as awareness of breath, sitting, walking meditation, yoga, body scans, and weekly exercises all of which were geared towards cultivating mindfulness and awareness in everyday life.

    These reviews are just a few of the accolades lauded by students who participated in an 8-week course on stress reduction at Cincinnati COOKS! — a free culinary job training program for under and unemployed individuals operated by the Freestore Foodbank.
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    Contact Us

    Osher Center for Integrative
    Health at UC

    Medical Sciences Building Suite 4358
    231 Albert Sabin Way
    PO Box 670582 
    Cincinnati, OH 45267-0582

    Mail Location: 0582
    Phone: 513-558-2310
    Fax: 513-558-3266