Mindfulness course

What you will learn

Mindfulness is a great tool to reduce stress and suffering and at the same time find more joy and focus. Read below some typical examples where mindfulness can help.

>> >> Filip (38) has short periods of days/weeks that he feels low. It’s in these periods that he starts questioning all kinds of things. Is he in the right job? Should he stay in his relationship? What does he really want from life? The worries make him feel even more low.

>> Marleen (24) is a PhD-student. She is used to deal with deadlines and stress. Lately things don’t go so well. The quality of her output is less than what she demands of herself. She tries to compensate by working extra hours. But she almost can’t focus and suffers from insomnia. The fact that her extra effort doesn’t bring much causes extra stress and frustration.

>> Fatima (29) suffers from panic attacks. Lately she experiences them on average twice a week. Her biggest fear is to get a panic attack on the street or in a train, so everyone can see it. To prevent this, she is constantly checking whether a panic attack is about to happen.

Like most people, Filip, Marleen and Fatima tend to respond reactively (= automatically) to their circumstances. Filip’s automatic response to his feeling low is worrying. Marleen’s automatic response to feeling less productive is working extra hours. Fatima’s automatic response to her panic attacks is to check whether a new one is about to happen.

Mindfulness is not about a set of rules or a certain wisdom that tells you how to respond to difficulties. It’s about cultivating an ‘inner space’ that enables you to choose your response more consciously. A consciously chosen response will in most cases be a far more accurate answer to a challenging situation than a fixed response which you use all the time.

With an increased capacity for mindfulness, you will see that there are some challenging situations where your response is making things actually worse. Resisting a situation you have little impact on can cost a lot of energy, time and frustration. A consciously chosen response would then be to try to accept the situation.

You will also experience that there are some situations that you don’t need a response. Some difficult feelings for example might just demand a moment of conscious attention.

The inner space which you develop with mindfulness will also help you to allow difficult thoughts/feelings without being completely pulled into them. Like for example “I am a total failure” becomes “I have this thought that I am a total failure and I have this sad feeling connected with it”. The benefits of this capacity to allow difficult thoughts/feelings can be truly transformative. First of all, you will feel less overwhelmed and/or paralysed by difficult thoughts/feelings. Second, tolerating these thoughts/feelings is the only sustainable way to come to terms with them. Third, if you increase your capacity to tolerate upsetting thoughts/feelings, you will feel less of a need to fight/run away/suppress/disprove them.

The “workaholic” can start to feel more space to not work. The “people pleaser” can start to connect more with his/her own social needs. The “perfectionist” can start to focus more on what interests him/her rather than on if his/her work is faultless.

Benefits

Benefits of more mindfulness include enjoying the present moment better, better self-care, saving yourself extra stress, time and frustration by not trying to change things you can’t change, a better focus, less anxiety, connecting deeper to people around you, responding more adequately to present challenges. 

About me

The course is taught by me, Francisco Beisterveld. I’m a certified mindfulness trainer and EFT-therapist. I work also as a POH-GGZ for the student GP’s office de Uithof/Janskerkhof in Utrecht and GP’s office UT Campus in Enschede. More information about me you can find here.

Details

  • Language: English
  • Price: 135 euro standard price, 90 euro if you’re part-time employed/work as a PhD, 60 euro student price. The rest of the course fee is paid by your health insurer (if you have a Dutch health insurance). As I offer my services as a POH-GGZ under the supervision of a GP, my sessions are billed like regular GP visits. In The Netherlands GP visits are covered by your “basispakket”, your deductible is not used for it nor will you receive a bill. Please contact me before registering if you don’t have a Dutch health insurance. 
  • Location: online through zoom
  • Number of sessions: 8 + 1 optional follow-up session

For whom is this course

This course can be valuable for everyone. It can be especially valuable:

  • if you often feel that you’re stuck in negative thoughts/if you ruminate a lot
  • if you suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • if you experience a lot of stress
  • if you notice difficulties with focusing
  • if you want to enjoy things more
  • if you feel often sad/depressed
  • if you have sleeping problems

Format

There are 8 weekly live online group sessions. During the sessions we do meditations & other awareness exercises. Some exercises we do together, some exercises you do in pairs (in ‘breakout’ rooms). There’s also opportunity to reflect on your experiences with the home exercises.

In between the sessions you do (almost daily) home exercises which take between 10-30 minutes a day. There is an option to do some exercises with a course buddy, but you can also do all exercises alone if you prefer.

All sessions are recorded, so if you cannot attend a session you can watch it at a different moment.

Structure of the course

  • Session 1: Automatic pilot
  • Session 2: Being in our head
  • Session 3: Bringing our mind to one point
  • Session 4: Recognising adversity
  • Session 5: Allowing
  • Session 6: Thoughts are not facts
  • Session 7: Optimal self-care
  • Session 8: Retaining what you learned in this course

FAQ

Is the listed price for one session or for the whole course?

The listed price is the price for the entire course.

Can I still join the course as it already started?

You can join anytime you want. But I’d suggest to not start later than during the second week (so that you still have time to do some home exercises of week 2 before the third session).

Can I miss a session?

That’s not a problem. All sessions are recorded, so you can watch them at a different moment. 

I prefer not to work with a buddy, is that possible?

Sure, it’s just an option.

Is this course/mindfulness spiritual?

The essence of this course/mindfulness is strengthening the skill to have curiosity for the present moment. There is nothing spiritual about that essence. There are no spiritual exercises/instructions/elements in this course. 

I don’t have time to meditate. Does it make sense to join?

The course is designed for people who have the goal to grow their capacity for mindfulness. For this you will need to meditate. If you don’t have time to meditate, then you might have more from a book about mindfulness. 

Can I grow my capacity for mindfulness by reading about it/listening podcasts? / Is there a way to bypass meditation?

Mindfulness is a capacity to experience an inner space. There’s no knowledge or insight that can substitute an experience. You can read 10 books about love, but it won’t bring you closer to the experience of feeling love. 

I can find many other online mindfulness course on the web. What’s the difference with your course?

Most mindfulness course in the world are either following the 8-week MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction) or 8-week MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy)-protocol. Also this course is to a large extent based on the MBCT-protocol. So in that regard the differences are small. What makes this course different is my background in psychotherapy and the addition of some Emotion Focused exercises. 

I’m a Muslim/Christian, can practicing mindfulness mean a clash with my tradition/practice?

Mindfulness can be practiced independent from any religion. There are no mantras, prayers, rituals or any spiritual or religious elements. 

Upcoming editions

26 September

Dates: 26 September, 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 October, 7, 14 November

Time: 17.00-18.00

 

23 November

Dates: 23, 30 November, 7, 14, 21 December, 4, 11, 18 January 2023

Time: 17.00-18.00