The practice of mindfulness can help you activate your physical, emotional and spiritual resources. These inner resources can help you cope, heal, grow and move more deeply into health and well-being. Research shows that mindfulness practices (sitting- or movement-based) can effectively reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It’s also an effective intervention for chronic pain and illnesses.

The Mindfulness Program at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt offers mindfulness-based training to teach you how to calm your body and mind. This training helps transform how you relate with stress, illness and the challenges of everyday life. 

Mindfulness: Why Choose Vanderbilt

At the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, we offer:

  • Expert instructors: Our mindfulness instructors have undergone specialized mindfulness-based instructor training, making them uniquely qualified to care for you.
  • Individual mindfulness-based therapy: We offer personal mindfulness-based therapy designed to meet your specific healthcare needs. This therapy is part of our team approach to provide integrative care. 
  • Unique expertise: We are one of only six Osher Centers for Integrative Medicine in the world. As a part of the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Medicine, our program offers unique and shared strengths in research, education and clinical care.
  • Advanced research: Practitioners at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine study innovative ways to improve whole health mind, body and spirit. We are committed to research that will help patients manage chronic pain and illnesses. Read more about our research.

Mindfulness: Conditions We Treat

Mindfulness-practices can help you heal and cope with many conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Fatigue (related to cancer treatments)
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal (IBS)
  • Insomnia
  • Mood disorders
  • Stress
  • Ulcerative colitis

Mindfulness: Classes We Offer

At Osher, our instructors offer several types of mindfulness classes. You can register for a class online or contact us at (615) 343-1554.

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). An evidence-based therapy designed to help you cope with persistent depression, mood disorders or emotional distress. MBCT uses meditation and breathing exercises to break the cycle of negative thoughts that can trigger depression.
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). An evidence-based intervention used to increase awareness of your thoughts, body and emotions. MBSR uses meditation and yoga to encourage present-moment awareness, deep relaxation and gentle movement.
  • Mindfulness Monday Drop-In. This 45-minute class is focused on a guided mindfulness sitting practice with optional mindful movement practices. During each session, our mindfulness instructors include time for questions and answers. This free class is open to the public every Monday from 5:45-6:30 p.m. There is no need to reserve your spot in the class – just walk in and join us. We encourage you to check our Osher class website every Monday for possible cancellations due to inclement weather or illness.
  • Mindfulness skills. A training that teaches the fundamental skills of mindfulness for beginners or for people who want to deepen their skills. In this class, you will try a variety of mindfulness practices. You will also discover habits or thoughts that lead to persistent negative and unhealthy life patterns.
  • Daylong silent retreats. We design these retreats to cultivate the sense of moment-to-moment presence and nurture the fundamental qualities of mindfulness. Practices will include seated and walking meditations, guided yoga, loving-kindness meditation and mindful eating. The day concludes by easing out of silence with dyad and group discussion.
  • Professional Development in Mindfulness Facilitation. This training course is designed for those who have experienced the transformation of mindfulness practice in their own lives and wish to teach others. There will be an emphasis on continuing to deepen one’s own practice as we learn to skillfully and compassionately guide others. There will be six full-day meetings and mentoring in small groups once a month through a computer or in-person.

Mindfulness: Patient Resources

Our instructors offer mindfulness resources, including:

Mindfulness: Location

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt
3401 West End Ave., Suite 380 (3rd floor)
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 343-1554
Map and directions

Mindfulness: Instructors

Landrew (Drew) Sevel, Ph.D.
Clinical Health Psychologist

Dr. Sevel is a clinical health psychologist at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He began personal study and practice of mindfulness meditation in 2010. He has received professional training in mindfulness-based interventions and is qualified to teach Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. His clinical work focuses on the application of mindfulness in the treatment of chronic illness and pain, with additional training in acceptance-based and mindful somatic modalities. Academically, Dr. Sevel has contributed to the Mindful Behavior Therapies and Psychophysiology Lab at Bowling Green State University and the Contemplative Neuroscience Lab at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt. He has offered workshops in mindfulness meditation at the local and international level, most recently at the Performing Arts Medicine Association’s 2018 International Symposium.

Amy Black

Amy began her journey into the practice of mindfulness by attending a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course at The Osher Center. She was both surprised and changed by what she experienced, so much so that she made the practice a high priority in her life. Her personal experience led her to explore how she could help others connect with the benefits of mindfulness. She went on to receive facilitation training through Osher’s Professional Development for Mindfulness Facilitation (PDMF) program. Amy is currently a mindfulness facilitator for The Osher Center’s MBSR program, runs the mindfulness resource website Mindful615.com and is on the leadership team for Mindful Nashville. She is especially passionate about providing mindfulness training to communities who might not otherwise have access.

Paloma Cain, M.A.

Paloma has been studying and practicing meditation since 1997. She is a senior teacher at InsightLA and serves on their teacher’s council. She has trained staff at Los Angeles area VA hospitals and at UCLA. She currently leads professional training- and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes at the Osher Center and retreats at St. Mary’s Sewanee. Paloma's work brings together her studies in traditional meditation and contemporary clinical psychology, including evidence-based findings.

Michelle Foote-Pearce, DMin, MSN, M.A., LPC-MHSP, R.N.
Director of Mindfulness Programs and Outreach

Michelle is the director of Mindfulness Programs and Outreach and the director of Health Psychology for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She has completed trainings as a mindfulness teacher and is a qualified teacher of MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) and MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). She is a licensed and nationally certified mental health service provider, an advanced practice registered nurse, and has a doctorate in health care ministry. Michelle has been meditating for over thirty years. She develops and teaches context-based mindfulness courses for patients, community members, to students and other health professionals.

Betsy Oleksa

Betsy has been a meditator for over eight years. After others noticed a change in how she interacted with the world, they wanted to follow a similar path. Knowing that she was looking to bring Mindfulness and Meditation to the business world, she began to investigate programs and paths. Betsy attended an MBSR course at Osher and decided to become a teacher. She completed the training to be a qualified teacher with the Center for Mindfulness.  She is now a Mindfulness teacher for the Osher Center and is excited to share her experience with others.

Mindfulness: Helpful Links