Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

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Course description

The aim of the course MBSR (Mindfulnes Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) is to develop full awareness, to (re)gain a more balanced life(-style), to enhance your level of concentration and motivation, and to reduce too high stress-levels. You will practice to fully comprehend the ‘just-ness’ of experiences – “a bodily sensation is just a bodily sensation, an emotion is just an emotion, a (negative) thought is just a (negative) thought, a sound is just a sound”. This will help you to allow whatever difficulty appears in your awareness instead of resistance or avoidance. The mindfulness approach is about the pure here & now awareness and most importantly non-judgemental acceptance.

Learning objectives

The purpose of MBSR and MBCT is to be able to let go difficulties (otherwise said, to be able to take distance), without intervening, to enhance self-awareness and to calm down in a deeper level.

Instructional method

The course provides an equal balance between sharing experiences (own practice, personal difficulties), observation and reflection (self-tests, discussion), theoretical background (on mindfulness, stress-reduction and mindful cognitive approach), and skills training (mindful meditations).


You will be trained by Paula Meesters, the PhD-psychologist of Utrecht University

Max. number of participants


Number of credits

1.0 EC

Course certificate

After completing the full course and being an active participant, you will receive a course certificate.

Course schedule

DayDateStart End

Study load

In addition to the scheduled sessions, you should take into account an extra study load of approximately 14 hours in total. This study load generally consists of homework assignments in preparation for the next session.

No-show and cancellation policy

This course is free for GSLS PhD candidates. However: free of charge does not mean free of responsibility. Once you have signed up for a course, we expect you to attend. For every late cancellation or no-show we have had to disappoint others who would have liked to attend. This is our policy:

  • You may cancel free of charge up to 4 weeks before the start of the course. After this date you can only cancel if you have a GSLS PhD candidate to replace you in the course. Send the name and contact information of your replacement to pcc@uu.nl, at least 2 working days before the start of the course;
  • We expect that you actively attend the full course, but at least 80%. It is mandatory to attend the first session. If you are absent the first session you cannot follow the remaining of the course;
  • Not meeting the above requirements means you will be charged a no-show fee (€ 200). We will send the invoice after the course has ended. We are unable to make any exceptions, unless you have a valid reason (i.e., illness or death in the family 1st/2nd degree or partner). Your supervisor has to send an e-mail to pcc@uu.nl indicating the reason.

Unfortunately we don’t offer this course for participants not part of the GSLS. Our courses tend to be fully booked by GSLS PhD candidates.


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

The course helped me to realise that we are human beings and not human doings, and that we have to take care of ourselves to also be able to perform.

This course was way beyond my expectation. It helped me a lot to reduce my pressure.

Start date and time
End date and time
Utrecht Science Park
Entrance fee
This course is free for GSLS PhD candidates.

Registration for this course opens 2 months before the course start. You can register via our course portal. After opening, the portal shows how many spots are still available.

More information
PhD Course Centre