Mindfulness Retreat for Medical Professionals

Mindfulness Retreat for Medical Professionals

Mindfulness Retreat for Medical Professionals
April 8 – 10, 2022
Portland, Oregon

Mindful Medicine’s Retreat for Medical Professionals is a restorative retreat by healthcare providers for healthcare providers.

Based on the well-established Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, this is a highly accessible and valuable program for anyone seeking to improve health. Our experience, supported by evidence in the medical literature, is that mindfulness training can significantly improve the quality of life and medical practice of participants.

Our nonresidential, interactive retreat is offered by our highly experienced instructors, who foster an atmosphere of respect and appreciation, and create a space to create connections with other professionals for mutual support. Mindful Medicine is not associated with any healthcare system. It is a safe place to speak freely and be heard by those who share your experiences.

Retreat Dates & Times

The program includes an introductory meeting on Friday evening, continues all day Saturday, and a half-day on Sunday. A commitment of participation for the entire session is expected for the full benefit of the retreat, a mutually supportive environment, and integration of the material.

  • Friday, April 8, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, and
  • Saturday, April 9, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and
  • Sunday, April 10, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Our nonresidential, secular retreat will be held at Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple, at 6401 NE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97211.

The Mindful Medicine Retreat Program

Class content will include practical strategies and tools for integrating mindfulness into your daily life. Participation will include practice of mindfulness techniques in session, at home and between sessions.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Introduction to Mindfulness for Medical Professionals
  • Mindful Sitting, Moving, and On-the-Go Practices
  • Burnout Realities and the Pandemic
  • Resilience and Self-Compassion and Why Both Matter
  • Practices that support caring for ourselves and our colleagues

This workshop is for educational purposes only and is not psychotherapy or medical treatment. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any psychiatric or medical condition.

How We Will Spend Our Time Together

  • Didactic instruction on meditation and related brain science
  • Walking Meditation
  • Body Scan Meditation
  • Listening and Seeing Meditation
  • Mindful Breathing Practice
  • Discussion of practice experiences among classmates
  • Mindful Eating Meditation
  • Information about the mind and body relationship to stress
  • Sitting Meditation

Participation in the group is always your personal choice.

Tuition and Support

  • $400: Physicians and dentists
  • $275: Nurses and all other healthcare providers
  • $200: Residents
  • $100: Donation to support our sliding scale & scholarships (Tax-deductible, a 501(c)3 organization)

Materials are included. Once you register here using the button below, a payment statement will be sent to the email address you provide.

If you have been affected by COVID-19 and are unable to invest, please contact us at mindfulmedicinepdx@gmail.com! We are here to help.

Registration

Click here to begin the registration process.

CME

Up to 9.5 hours CME are available for this retreat.

Our Facilitators

Denise Gour, LCSW, is Certified by the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness as a teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She specializes in mindfulness approaches for treating stress, depression, anxiety, and addiction challenges. She has worked as a licensed clinical social worker since 1999.

 

Laura Martin, LCSW is Certified by the UMass Medical School Center for Mindfulness as a teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).  She has been teaching mindfulness professionally since 2002, has worked for many years as a clinical social worker in community mental health, and currently maintains a private practice.

 

 

If you have any questions about the retreat, we would be happy to hear from you.

How Can Mindfulness Turn Back the Tide of the Medical-Industrial Complex?

How Can Mindfulness Turn Back the Tide of the Medical-Industrial Complex?

” The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there? “
~Jack Kornfield~

The development of medical insurance and pharmaceutical industries has profoundly changed the way medicine is practiced.

Patients and Providers have experienced erosion of connection and autonomy.

The medical-industrial complex has created a dehumanized and depersonalized experience for patients and providers.

One way of looking at this dehumanizing transformation is to compare it to the development of “mono-culture” in modern agriculture in the inner continental United States, a region that – for eons, in its natural state -thrived with diverse and rich grassland ecology. Keep in mind the interconnections of our practices ripple throughout the world. Unhealthy conventional farming practices not only impact the local lands, but the “mono-culture” products (corn syrup and corn-based additives for starters) contribute to obesity and chronic disease for those eating the processed foods. Run-off of chemicals and waste poison our waters all the way to our oceans.   The land degrades from its natural state. All the connections become degraded!

STRIPS is beginning to reverse this sad state of affairs back to the natural condition, healthier for all.

The majority of physicians practice within the medical monoculture. By bringing full presence and empathetic connection to each patient encounter, physicians create “strips” of care within this unwieldy giant complex.

Teaching mindfulness and compassion skills to physicians is the beginning of returning to the natural state of human beings caring for other human beings.

We may not be able to turn back the tide on the medical industrial complex completely, but we can create “STRIPS” of mindfulness and compassion, one interaction at a time. Sowing these seeds of caring connection creates growing islands of natural goodness that heal the de-humanization occurring in our present medical complex, returning authentic compassionate care to our current so-called “health care” system.

Please add to our conversation by posting your comments on our FB page.

 

Jeff Horacek, MD has been a practicing primary care doctor for nearly 20 years and is the medical director for Mary’s Woods Retirement Community. While working for Providence Health System in 2007, Dr. Horacek developed a deeper recognition and appreciation of the mind-body-spirit connection through meditation and yoga. This connection has become an important part of his personal and professional life and integrates that knowledge into his work with geriatrics, diabetes care, health coaching, prison populations and drug/alcohol treatment centers.
I, me, my and mine

I, me, my and mine

A very close friend recently shared an interesting quote:

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget they are just ideas…we fail to see the opportunity for joy is just in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.” Thich Nhat Hanh

This quote has me thinking of how I might be entrapped by my thoughts and ideas. How much of my personal and professional life is swayed by thought patterns. Not actually by reality but by getting “stuck” on an idea of how things “should” unfold. The medical profession is ripe with opportunities for this type of disappointment.

Patients come to their physicians to find relief from unpleasant symptoms in their bodies, to heal an illness, or just to check in to make sure things are on track for good health. We have tremendous responsibilities and power with our assessments, diagnoses, and treatment plans, and this can create a powerful sense of “I-ness” and “my-ness.” “I” can fix this. “My” plan is… The credit is “mine.”

Sometimes doctors get a bad rap for our poor connections with others, due in large part to a perceived focus more on ourselves and our expertise than on the patient sitting in the room with us. Even when we intentionally practice patient-centered care, as humans we tend to have a certain self-referencing attitude which, unchecked, can cause undue suffering. I’m constantly learning how – by mindfully paying attention in the present moment – I can notice when my thoughts create more suffering than necessary. It also helps to have a trusted other to help us see beyond the “I” and “my” lens.

Last night was a perfect time to explore some of these issues. I enjoyed an enlightening dinner with a good friend. It is so important to have time just relaxing and having fun together. I lamented to my friend Donald about the birthday party I had gone to recently where someone I care about deeply had snubbed me. That never feels good. The “snub” set off a cycle of thinking that was not healthy at all. Neuroscientists might have said my “affect network” had been activated, or my cortex was suffering from lack of reward or recognition. Even knowing the brain science, it felt crummy.

Donald curiously asked what emotions had been activated. By the way, Donald knows a thing or two about mindfulness and emotions. He is an author and therapist who travels the country teaching other therapists about mindfulness, and sharing tools to help people be successful in their mental health practices and in their own lives. A well-informed friend with whom to share my pain.

The two primary emotions I felt quite strongly were: irritation and sadness. Irritated and sad that this other person had not treated me as I desired to be treated. My hopes and expectations and connection needs went unmet, and it felt unpleasant.

Donald had a great idea. He suggested I tell the story again and this time not use any of these words: I, me, my and mine. Easy right? No, actually; quite difficult. Just look above and see how many personal pronouns “I” have already used!

The next iteration of the story was without all of the personal pronouns. It was a completely different and fascinating experience to tell “my “ story without all the self-referencing “I-ness.” The events were described as “this person” experienced this or “these eyes” saw this or “this body” felt that. It totally took the personal (and painful) nature out of the story. We both were amazed how different the story was. The two of us laughed whole-heartedly, which felt very therapeutic and completely took the sting out of a perceived snub from the night before. There was more joy, more depth of experience and more recognition of all the other people present at the party.

It turns out that “I” so easily get caught up in a story going on in my mind. We are not our thoughts but just people who experience thoughts. Mindfulness is so helpful because it can take us out of our mind and into our actual experience-rich life. As the bumper sticker says, “Don’t believe everything you think!”

It has been fun to play with this “No I, Me, My, or Mine” game today. Maybe you can try it as well. See if you can find that part of your mind that is producing thoughts that make everything so personal. See if you can create a little separation from those thoughts and make things less personal. It might cast a new light on your experiences.

This comes back to our practice of being physicians and health professionals. What happens when we are with clients that can trigger reactivity in us and make things personal? How does that affect the quality of care we deliver? How does it impact our personal lives?

“I” challenge “you” to play the ”No I, me, my or mine” game. Please let us know what you learn. The lesson for me: It is more fun to be a part of “we” than just stuck in my own mind with a “me.” Life is better when shared with meaningful connections to our friends and dear ones.

P.S. My friend Donald Altman, M.A., LPC has a new book, “The Mindfulness Toolbox”, with many “mindfulness gems” to use in the medical practice.

 

Jeff Horacek, MD has been a practicing primary care doctor for nearly 20 years and is the medical director for Mary’s Woods Retirement Community. While working for Providence Health System in 2007, Dr. Horacek developed a deeper recognition and appreciation of the mind-body-spirit connection through meditation and yoga. This connection has become an important part of his personal and professional life and integrates that knowledge into his work with geriatrics, diabetes care, health coaching, prison populations and drug/alcohol treatment centers.