General FAQs

What kind of programs does PPM offer?

Our primary offering is our highly acclaimed 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Management course.  This course is open to the public and offered three times per year in the Fall, Winter and Spring. Advanced programs are offered in a variety of formats throughout the year and require that participants have completed the 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Management foundation course.  Additionally, we offer Intensive mindfulness residential retreats and various special programming throughout the year, including visiting speakers, educator/parent programs and practice support sessions. Visit current calendar for details.

Can anyone take these courses?

Introductory workshops and 8-week foundation courses are open to the public and do not require any previous mindfulness experience. Individuals must be at least 18 years old to participate. Our advanced programs are designed for individuals who have completed an 8 week Mindfulness-based Stress Management course with Penn Medicine or another organization. Note: Our mindfulness programs are not intended solely for cancer patients or people dealing with health issues.

To begin considered for mindfulness teacher training participants must have taken the 8-week foundation course; attended a 5-day silent residential retreat and have a minimum of 2 years of daily personal meditation practice. 

Where are the classes held?

The classes are held in a variety of locations in and around Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties as well as in South Jersey. Morning and evening options are available. See the current class list for details.

You can click the link below to view all of our locations, however, this does not mean that there is a class offered at every location.  Class locations vary between sessions and you should always visit the current calendar to locate where a class will be held.

View Our Locations

What are the costs for mindfulness courses?

Our 2-hour introductory Workshops typically cost $49.00. Our primary offering, the 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Management foundation course costs $569 which includes eight 2 ½ hour sessions and an all-day retreat. Costs for advanced programs, special events and intensive retreats vary in cost depending on the length of the program.  See individual programs for specific costs.

When can I enroll for a course and how do I do that?

Registration for most of our programs typically opens approximately 6 weeks prior to the start of a session (Fall, Winter, Spring). We send out an e-mail to our mailing list announcing the start of enrollment. All registrations must be completed online. We cannot take registrations over the phone. Enrollment typically closes 48 hours prior to the start of a program.

How do I pay for my course?

Participants will be asked to enter credit card information at the time of registration and full payment is expected at the time of approval. We accept VISA, MC, American Express and Discover. Some course registrations require review prior to approval which means you will temporarily be in a "pending approval" status. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: In some instances, even though you may not be approved, some credit card companies will place a hold on on funds equal to the amount of the course. This will show on credit card statement as an "Authorization". Once approved, the transaction will be executed and your statement will be updated from "Authorization" to "Settlement" status.  If you have questions or concerns regarding this "authorization" please contact our offices immediately.  Disputing the charge may result in the delay of your approval or cancellation of your registration.

Do you offer any kind of financial assistance?

There are several financial assistance options available for participants including work study positions, scholarships and installment plans.  In the event that an individual does not qualify for or is not able to take advantage of one of these opportunities (as in the case of a work-study positions), we will work with you to create a payment structure that works within your budget.  Contact our offices for details regarding these options.

Are your programs covered by health insurance or can I be reimbursed under a flex spending account?

We do not process or accept insurance through our office. We recommend you speak with your Primary Care physician who may be able to identify an appropriate diagnostic code and provide you with a referral to a stress management course. If you are able to obtain a diagnostic code, you should then contact your insurance company directly to determine whether or not they will cover the cost of this program.  We cannot provide you with a diagnostic code as this is not a clinical program. 

We do accept budget transfers within the University of Pennsylvania Health System. We can provide attendance verification and/or payment receipts if needed for reimbursement.

Can I get Continuing Education Credits for taking PPM courses?

The Penn Program for Mindfulness collaborates with several accredited providers to offer Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists, social workers and nurses for both the 8 week Mindfulness-based Stress Management foundation course and Healing the Heart and Mind: Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals course. Additionally, CE credits are available for the Practicum, which is the first step in teacher training. There is an additional fee for CE credits that varies depending on the total number of course hours and the type of credits being requested. See individual courses for details.

Do any of these programs provide certification in mindfulness or mindfulness training?

We do not offer Certification in teaching Mindfulness.  Please visit the "Training in Teaching Mindfulness" page to learn more about what we offer for individuals interested in learning how to teach mindfulness. 

What if I want to learn to train others in mindfulness?

The Penn Program for Mindfulness does offer training for professionals in the form of a Practicum in Mindfulness-based Stress Management. This program is for individuals who wish to apply mindfulness-based practices in their professional life or want to take the first step towards teaching mindfulness. This 10-week program is offered 1-2 times per year and specific pre-requisites apply. Contact our offices for information or visit our Training in Teaching Mindfulness page.


What if I have to cancel my registration for a course?

Should you decide to cancel your registration, program fees are 100% refundable up until one (1) full week prior to the start of the program.  In the case of the 8-week foundation course the cancellation date is one week prior to the start of your session, not the start of your class. After that date, there will be no refunds, no exceptions.

Foundation Course FAQs

Why do people take the 8-week foundation course?

Individuals take the program for a variety of reasons. Generally, participants come to the program to learn how to management every day stress.  Mindfulness meditation techniques can help to improve mood, increase focus, decrease worry and negative thinking and increase productivity. However, there are individuals who take this program for more specific and/or significant concerns such as anxiety, pain management, illness or grief. The techniques learned in this course are universal and as such can be applied to a multitude of conditions.

What will I be asked to do when taking an 8-week foundation course?

Participants in the foundation course will be asked to commit to practicing the mindfulness techniques learned in class at least 40 minutes per day on their own. Additionally, there will be weekly reading assignments and exercises to complete during the days between classes.

What if I cannot make all eight sessions or have to miss the all-day retreat?

Because each class builds upon the previous one, in order to receive the most benefit from this program, it is recommended that you plan to attend all 8 classes and the all-day retreat at your registered location. If you anticipate being unable to do this, we suggest that you consider taking the course at a later date. For an unforeseen conflict you may be able to make up one missed class during the same week at another class location. You should contact our offices to check availability for and schedule make-ups.  Make-up space cannot be guaranteed as some locations have space limitations.  Make-ups are granted on a first come, first serve basis.

Do I have to bring anything or wear anything special for the 8-week program?

You will be asked to bring a yoga mat to class for weeks 2 and 4 of the program as we will do some mindfulness movement and a meditation technique that involves lying on the floor. Most people sit in chairs so if you need to bring something to be comfortable sitting in a standard-sized chair, such as a pillow or cushion, you may do so. Finally, we recommend casual, comfortable clothing and suggest dressing in layers to accommodate temperature changes in your classroom.

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