General FAQs

What kind of programs does PPM offer?

PPM offers introductory workshops and our highly acclaimed 8-week foundation courses to the public three times per year in the Fall (late September), Winter (late January) and Spring (late April). An additional 8-week program specifically for healthcare professionals is offered 1-2 times per year in the Winter and/or Spring sessions. (See current calendar for details.)

Advanced programs, are offered in a variety of formats and are offered throughout our active sessions (September through June). Our Intensive residential retreat is held twice a year in January and June. Special programming is offered throughout the year, including visiting speakers, educator/parent programs and practice support sessions.

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. In order to participate in one of our "Advanced" programs individuals are required to have taken an 8 week Mindfulness-based Stress Management course with Penn Medicine or another organization and must have an active meditation practice. 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 practice. Note: Our mindfulness programs are not intended solely for cancer patients or people dealing with health issues.

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.

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. Even through you haven't been approved, some credit card companies will place a hold on the funds which will show up on your credit card statement as an "authorization". Once approved, the transaction will be executed, the card will be charged the course fee and you will see this as a "Settlement" on your statement.  

Do you offer any kind of financial assistance?

There are several financial assistance options available for participants including work study position and 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 can 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 plan?

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 stress management course. If that is an option you should then contact your insurance company directly to determine whether or not they will cover the cost of this program.  Also, 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 through external Employee Assistant Programs (EAP) programs.  

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 the 8 week MBSR foundation course, the healthcare professionals course and some advanced and teacher training programs. CE credits require an additional fee 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?

Our "Training in Teaching Mindfulness" offerings include a 10-week Practicum in Mindfulness-based Stress Management and a year-long Certificate program. Please note that this "Certificate" program is different from the kind of "Certification" offered by UMass or UC San Diego. This "Certificate" will verify that you completed the teacher training curriculum developed by the Penn Program for 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. The 9 week program is offered 1-2 times per year and specific pre-requisites apply. Contact our offices for information.

Learn more about Professional Development and Training

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 and focus. 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.

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

Most people sit in chairs in our foundation courses, at least initially. Some locations have meditation cushions available for participants, but you are welcome to bring your own. We ask you to bring a yoga mat for weeks 2 and 4 as we will do some mindfulness movement and a meditation technique that involves lying on the floor. We recommend casual, comfortable clothing and suggest dressing in layers to accommodate temperature changes in your classroom.

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