From 4 October 2018 09:00 to 6 December 2018 12:00

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction (course)

Course description

Our habitual, automatic and unconscious patterns of reacting to stressful situations are known to be a source of stress, both at work and in our personal life. The aim of this course is to get to fully understand this process, to gain insight into our own automatic patterns, and to acquire alternative, more flexible ways of responding to situations that repeatedly have been stressful to us in the past. The skills learned in this course can be practiced after the course, and thus help to prevent (work)stress from accumulating and becoming a health problem in the future.

What you will learn

  • skills to pay attention to the present moment-to-moment experience of bodily sensations (including breathing), thoughts, and emotions
  • awareness of unpleasant sensations, emotions and thoughts and how our habitual ways of reacting to these are a cause of stress
  • how to stop these automatic patterns of reacting to difficult situations and how to respond in a more effective and flexible way instead
  • physiology of stress
  • how self acceptance, self kindness and self care are helpful
  • to recognize and respectfully take care of one’s personal boundaries (learning ‘to say no’ to what is unacceptable for you)
  • stress in interaction and communication with others

Course programme

The course consists of 8 weekly sessions of 2.5 hours, plus an extra session of practicing ‘silence’, in which all aspects of what is learned come together. Participants are asked to practice one hour each day at home (mainly doing meditation exercises and keeping a log). The willingness to do this is necessary to participate.

The effect of Mindfulness has been widely studied, and it turns out that it is not recommended to participate if you suffer from or have:

  • acute, serious depression,
  • psychosis,
  • serious addiction (alcohol/drugs),
  • negative attitude towards meditation.

Participants will fill out a small questionnaire. The trainer may decide to exclude anyone from participation based on this information.

Course schedule

Thursday mornings, 09.00 - 12.00.
October 4, 11, 18, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and December 6, 2018.


Marjan Ossebaard, Instituut voor Innovatie en Leren

Max. number of participants


Number of credits

3.0 EC

Course certificate

You will receive a course certificate after attending all course sessions and active participation.

Course fee

Course fee internal PhD candidates: €225.
Course fee external participants: €500.

‘Internal PhD candidates’ refers to PhD candidates who are working (either on a salary or on a scholarship) at the faculty of Science, faculty of Veterinary Medicine or UMC Utrecht. Please note that you can use your personal course budget of €400/year (€1,600 max) to pay for these courses. This budget is managed by your department (faculty of Science/Veterinary Medicine) or your Division (UMC Utrecht). 

‘External participants’ include PhD candidates working elsewhere (even those registered with the PhD programmes of the Graduate School of Life Sciences, e.g. at the Hubrecht Institute), PhD candidates from other Schools and postdocs.

I learned to recognise stressful situations and how to cope with those. Also I am more aware of my own thoughts and how they influence my reaction to certain situations.
Start date and time
4 October 2018 09:00
End date and time
6 December 2018 12:00
Entrance fee
Course fee internal PhD candidates: €225. Course fee external participants: €500.
More information
PhD Course Centre