search button
Mindfulness Feature August 2021

Mindfulness based stress reduction with Fiona

  • by Fiona Montgomery - Aug 06, 2021

At the age of 35 things were pretty good in my life. I was married with 3 happy children and my main concern was getting a full night’s sleep. I remember thinking there was light at the end of the tunnel on that score and then it happened…. What felt like a double cyclone hit me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, 2 years later, when my children were aged 6, 4 and 2, I suffered a recurrence. For those two and a half years I lurched from surgery to radio therapy; to chemotherapy, then back to surgery and chemotherapy again; never escaping the fear of the cancer returning and what that might mean. The 3rd storm that hit me was the much-regretted end of my marriage.

While grieving over the end of my relationship, and the other losses cancer had caused, I decided to find a way to support my own happiness and peace of mind. My search led me to complete my first Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course in 2015. The course was so beneficial I was inspired to train to become a mindfulness teacher. I completed an 18-month Diploma at the Centre for Mindfulness in Dublin and have been teaching MBSR since 2017.

I regularly meet with my teachers and peers at teacher trainings, retreats and online events. We support one another by sharing our expertise and methods to continuously improve our teaching. To ensure the highest level of excellence in my teaching I attend formal supervision with a senior mindfulness teacher. I am a member of the Mindfulness Teacher’s Association of Ireland (MTAI).

What is the Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) course?

History of the course:

In 1979 Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, and nearly twenty years later the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Both these institutions supported the growth and implementation of MBSR into hospitals worldwide.

The programme was developed to support people who were falling through the cracks of the healthcare system suffering from chronic pain and stress. Since 1979 over 25,000 have completed the MBSR course.

The course is scientifically backed and been shown to help with the following conditions:

Anxiety, Asthma, Cancer, Chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, stress disorders and more.

Course Curriculum

The MBSR course is a secular course (for all religions and none). The curriculum I teach is based on Jon Kabat Zinn’s work and the teachings from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University.

It introduces participants to different forms of mindfulness meditation practice, including sitting meditation, body awareness and gentle mindful movement. We learn to slow down and pay attention, to avoid missing the precious moments in our lives. We also learn to deal more effectively with times that may be stressful.

During the class time we practise mindful meditations. We discuss our experience of the meditations. We complete specific exercises to develop awareness of our own thoughts, emotions and the behaviours resulting from these. We also spend a day together, towards the end of the course, following guided mindfulness meditations, walking, and eating mindfully, to pause with the space and time to deepen our own practice.

The course is highly experiential. To get the most benefit from completing the MBSR course, daily home practice meditation exercises are provided each week (approx. 40 minutes per day is recommended).

The 8 weeks offers the opportunity to try out all the different meditation practices and begin to personally experience the benefits. Each participant gains the tools to continue with a mindfulness practice which fits in and supports their own life on course completion.

See my page for course date and time and price specifics with all the included resources.

Past participant reviews:

Alan Oct 2019 “if you want to improve your mental health become happier within yourself and recognise why you think the way you do, then get on this course with Fiona”.

Peter April 2018 “Excellent programme in helping me accept people in their behaviour and in assisting me develop an awareness of the world around me.”

Ciara Feb 2018 “Thank you for a wonderful experience. Your warmth and approachableness created a nourishing environment in which to learn.”

Colette Oct 2017 “Doing the course with Fiona has really helped me to focus on approaching daily life in a more mindful way that has resulted in me experiencing a new sense of calmness and contentment in all aspects of my life.”

David Sept 2017 “The course has greatly deepened my understanding of mindfulness and MBSR. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in mindfulness, without reservation.

Contact Us

Maitri Studio Limited
4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9099 2428

Company number: NI635546