Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, (MBSR), was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School. MBSR is an intensive 8-week, 9-session training in mindfulness awareness taught in Salt Lake City by Vicki Overfelt. (to see other instructors in different areas see below). Groups meet weekly for 2-2.5 hours and for an all-day session between weeks six and seven. Guided instruction in various mindfulness practices is provided, including sitting and walking meditation, the body scan, gentle yoga, and other guided meditations. These practices are enhanced through inquiry exercises, group dialogue, daily home assignments, guided audio files, and practice materials.

Describing the class, the CFM writes “Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you — consciously and systematically working with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.”

“In contrast, you’ve probably encountered moments of ‘mindlessness’ — a loss of awareness resulting in forgetfulness, separation from self, and a sense of living mechanically. Restoring within yourself a balanced sense of health and well being requires increased awareness of all aspects of self, including body and mind, heart and soul. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is intended to ignite this inner capacity and infuse your life with awareness.”

How can mindfulness benefit me?

Stress is an inherent part of our lives. We do not practice mindfulness in order to escape the stress in our lives. We practice mindfulness so that we can relate to our stress in a healthier way. We practice to embrace who we are – completely, non-judgmentally, with compassion. We practice mindfulness to wake up to our surroundings and all that is contained in the present moment. This can mean simply waking up to our emotions, our physical state, our families, friends, and colleagues, our daily shower, eating, driving – everything we do. We practice mindfulness to be in touch with our lives.

Two decades of published research by the Center for Mindfulness indicates that the majority of people who complete the course report:

  • Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem
  • An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.


In addition to MBSR courses in Salt Lake City and Park City, we now have offerings in the following counties:  Utah, Davis, Weber, Box Elder and Cache!  The contacts for each county are listed below.  To view a list of all MBSR courses, community practice opportunities, and other MBSR-related events offered in Utah, please visit:  http://www.dbhprevention.org/mindfulutah.  If you don't find what you are looking for, please contact an instructor in your county.


Winter 2018 MBSR, IHC's LiveWell Center in Park City taught by Heidi O'Donoghue:  Details TBD.  For more information, please call Melissa at (435)658-7880.


Winter 2018, Red Butte Gardens, University of Utah taught by Vicki Overfelt:  This course is now full.  If you would like us to keep you on a waitlist in case of cancellations, please contact voverfelt@mbsrslc.com.  Also, be sure to sign up for our 2018 newsletters where we'll highlight upcoming MBSR courses and other special events going on in our community!

Winter 2018, Vitalize Community Studio taught by Heidi O'Donoghue:  See special events page for registration details.


  • Friday mornings from 7:15 am - 8:15 am at 21st Yoga.  Join us for an early morning meditation practice at the new yoga studio 21st Yoga!  Sessions are guided by Vicki Overfelt.  Please see the website for address and pricing details.


Vicki Overfelt has an MA in Education from Columbia University and is fully certified in MBSR through the Center for Mindfulness.  A practitioner of mind-body disciplines for more than 30 years, Vicki is dedicated to sharing the practice of mindfulness with others and guiding them in ways to consciously and systematically work with stress, pain, illness, and the challenges of everyday life. Vicki currently focuses her instruction specifically on the study of stress reduction through the practice of mindfulness and specializes in the delivery of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).  To read Vicki's full bio click here.

Additional Qualified MBSR Instructors in Utah

If you are interested in joining our community, please contact Vicki Overfelt.  You may find out more about the MBSR teacher training path here.

  • Salt Lake County:
    • Trinh Mai, LCSW, Associate Professor College of Social Work, University of Utah (trinh.mai@socwk.utah.edu)
    • Amy Armstrong, (amy.armstrong@hsc.utah.edu) 
    • Rob Davies, LCSW (rob.davies@hsc.utah.edu) - in training
    • Heidi O'Donoghue (yourpathyoga@gmail.com)
    • Barbara Lester, LCSW (barbara.lester@imail.org)
    • Anna Smyth, (annasmyth000@gmail.com) - in training
  • Weber Coutny:
    • Valerie Bentley, PhD, LCSW, Mindfulness Program Coordinator for the Intermountain Urban North Region (valerie.bentley@imail.org): McKay-Dee Behavioral Health Institute Center for Counseling and Therapeutic Services
    • Sarah Richards (sarrichards@gmail.com)
  • Davis County:
  • Utah County: