Student Stories

This MBSR program has been very empowering. The thought that I am able to choose a different reaction to my destructive thoughts, feelings and behaviors is absolutely refreshing. I am now able to not dwell on negative emotions and to face any challenges of life in a thoughtful, logical  manner instead of being addicted to my negativity, as I did in the past." –name withheld, 2012

Thank you again for the class.  It was a profound experience of growth for me, and your teaching and writing style really helped to make things clear and relatable. Thanks also for your supportive words. I have felt much calmer and less swept-away by stressors since the last class, which I know I need to keep working on (wouldn't it be great if we had just one massive insight and we just stayed calm for the rest of our lives? " –Michelle, mother of 8 month old triplets, 2012

This course has helped me calm the chatter, put down the stick and face up to my own responsibilities for my feelings, thoughts and my interactions with life. I never would have thought that a simple practice could both shine the light on the complications and help un-complicate them all at the same time. Thank you!"–Allison Warren, Engineer, or Goddess in Training


Deborah was so kind and loving. Her knowledge and experience of mindfulness meditation made me feel so welcomed and at ease. She was more informative and helpful to me than any counselor I ever went to. I actually feel more confident and hopeful my life has more meaning. The meditation helps me connect to myself and I am more aware of what my body is doing. When I start to tense up I can use the breathing and body scan to stop the downward spiral into a major headache. I now reach for a CD to relax and meditate instead of reaching for a pain pill. Thank you so much!
Karen VanderHelm, RN, retired and on disability, 2011


I feel myself.  I feel peace within myself. I know I can experience joy. I have new skills to keep stress at bay. I am more aware of everything! Now I know there is no turning back.
Cary Cruea, President Massage Bar, Inc., 2011


This mindfulness training program has had a powerful and positive impact on my life. In the months prior to beginning this class, I experienced the losses of two loved ones, and a serious illness of members of my immediate family, as well as the end of a long term romantic relationship. I was stricken with grief and struggling with my tendency to fall into depression, the practices I learned in this class helped me to process my grief and find my wholeness and acceptance again, more quickly than I ever imagined was possible. I have experienced profound glimmers of hope, and I have regained a positive outlook on life. I have learned to become aware of my thoughts and feelings and trust in the natural cycle of life. I hope to continue to meditate regularly and I expect to see a continuation of positive growth in my daily life
L.W., 2011


This course was life changing for me in a very positive direction. I would recommend this course highly.”
MD, mental health counselor, name withheld.


This class made me realize what benefits I’ve been missing out on. Without having attended, I would never have realized what I have during these 8 weeks. You really can’t “imagine” the benefits prior to taking it…it has to be experienced to be believed. Great job! Would love to take a more advanced course if it is offered.
Dan Calonge, 2012


I needed to change the way I was feeling. I knew I had to do this by changing the way I was thinking, but didn’t have a starting point. This class gave me a starting point, and more than that, a path.”
Jeff Muller, UW employee, drafter, 2012


Thank you for helping me find the strength and develop new skills to help care for someone who was going through a crisis in their life. You helped me find my own way as well.
Mike Soper, Senior portfolio analysis, 2012


The biggest impact this class has given me is that it has given me a tool to bring myself into the present moment, at any given time, no matter what is going on. I have much more clarity and things that use to affect me no longer do. It is as if I can see the bigger picture and am able to make decisions that I feel good about. I am in control.
Mandy Froula, homemaker, 2012


This class has helped me become more tuned in with my mind and emotions that drive my stress reactions. I really enjoyed learning all the different types/ways to meditate and being able to pick what works best for me.”
Julie Gunter, 2012

“This MBSR program has been very empowering. The thought that I am able to choose a different reaction to my destructive thoughts, feelings and behaviors  is absolutely refreshing. I am now able to not dwell on negative emotions and to face any challenges of life in a thoughtful, logical  manner instead of being addicted to my negativity, as I did in the past.” name with held, 2012.

“Thank you again for the class.  It was a profound experience of growth for me, and your teaching and writing style really helped to make things clear and relatable”. Michelle 2012

“This class has helped me deal with everyday challenges with more calm and patience. It has also helped me control my anxiety better to where I will no longer need my medication.” Name with held from 4 week class, 2012.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this class. I have the tools and knowledge that I can now use to better manage the stress of everyday life. I will definitely be putting these tools and knowledge into action. Doreen Solberg,  4 week class, 2012

” This class is life changing!. Deborah provided a thorough introduction to MBSR. Her sessions were well planned and she created a calm atmosphere. The accompanying CD has excellent guided meditation practices. Deborah also sent plentiful supplementary material via email. Her classes gave me the foundation I needed to build stress reduction practices into my daily life. I appreciated her professional and caring manner. Connie Veldink, 4 week class 2012.

“Deborah’s 4 week mindfulness class has more than met my expectations. She presented the information and practices clearly, concisely and professionally. I recommend this class to anyone looking to reduce stress in this stressful life.” name withheld, 2012.

“Excellent class!!! I learned so much about and for myself. Deborah was an excellent guide.” Name withheld, 2010

“This course was life changing for me in a very positive direction. I would recommend this course highly.” MD, mental health counselor, name withheld.

“This course has helped me calm the chatter, put down the stick and face up to my own responsibilities for my feelings, thoughts and my interactions with life. I never would have thought that a simple practice could both shine the light on the complications and help un-complicate  them all at the same time. Thank you!” Allison Warren, Engineer, or Goddess in Training

“This course brought me greater awareness in areas I did not  expect. It reminded me how important it is to be open to life’s experiences and laying aside my judgments and preconceived notions. Than you Deborah for the experience. It was very valuable to me. I felt at the beginning of the course that I need more compassion for myself and others in the room. I now see that this is a different style of compassion.” Joanna B.

” I am so grateful for the experience in the MBSR training. Deborah was able to maintain a wonderful balance of sharing and practice. She addressed questions and presented material in a conscientious, sensitive and knowledgeable   manner.She compassionately supported participants when difficult emotions arose. She fostered connection without allowing socializing to dilute the experience of practice. She demonstrated a strong, sincere concern over transmitting teachings clearly in a way that improved the quality of life of participants. She was also very patient with some behaviors at times. I will miss our weekly practice opportunities. I highly recommend Deborah as an instructor. I am grateful for what I have experienced.” Catherine de Marin, Yoga Instructor, therapist, LMP.

“Deborah is a powerful role model for living  mindfully. Her dedication to sharing this with others is her life’s gift to others” Name withheld.

“I am still assessing how this course is affecting me. I am still working on identifying stressors in my life, and from there recognizing awareness. Thank you for showing me that I may shine a mirror on myself to get this process started.” Keva Dekay.

 Deborah has a heart of gold and teaches with passion, caring and enthusiasm. A great introduction to the world of meditation from a very capable enthusiast. Her course CDs and PDF materials are super. Thanks Deborah” Elizabeth Mars, artist

“This course has changed my life. The change is subtle and maybe no one else sees it but I know I have changed on the inside. I have found space between my over running thoughts and stressors. I don’t really know how to describe it. This process is as simple as it sounds and yet the greatest challenge of my daily life, but at least I am aware of it now.”
Alaina Allen, Argosy counseling student 

” Deborah has great commitment to the process, skill in engaging participants at where they are and an incredible humble sense of self. I loved her leadership and encouragement.” Jim Ethier, MD Addictions Psychiatrist

“Deborah is an excellent instructor. She not only understands the concepts behind mindfulness but also has year s of practice and experience. Mindfulness has helped me achieve a stronger balance between work and my personal life.” Ashok Kuppusamy, who took the class for a second time.

“Taking the 8-week MBSR course with Deborah has been a life-changing experience for me. Incorporating a consistent meditation practice into my daily life has helped me become more grounded, peaceful, and present in the moment. Through the practice of mindfulness, I feel more connected with my spirituality and creativity. I also feel the benefit in my relationships, where I am able to be both more separate and more connected. Many thanks to Deborah for offering the MBSR program in the Seattle area. ” Karlene Johnson, graduate student in community counseling at Seattle University

“I was impressed with the breadth of knowledge that Deborah brought to this course. Between the wealth of materials in the PDF and the class discussions, I felt that Deborah has been doing her homework for a long time and is a seasoned practitioner. The class was interesting and so beneficial. Thanks so much for what you offer Deborah.”  Beth A., yoga instructor

” As I decided to register for this class I was finishing my training as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. This is a body centered psychotherapy program using assisted yoga postures. It helps the client become more aware of their breath and what their body is holding.
This class was a helpful addition to my therapist training. It helped me  to personally be more present and aware of each moment. Even though we have our breath at all times this was a great reminder to focus or bring myself back to my breath when I am feeling stressed. This is a great class for those wishing to become more aware of their thoughts, and patterns of thinking.” Ann Ford, Registered Yoga Therapist.

“This class has been very intense and very useful. I have learned what I hoped to and more. Very valuable experience”. Joan Giociomini, retired homemaker/administrator

” As someone who has meditated on and off over the years, I appreciated the learning and structure and the materials ( CDs and handbook). This has helped me establish a regular practice, which I was struggling to do before.” Silvia Ceravolo, supply chain director

” I am a physician  working with patients with depression, anxiety and chronic illness. I found the class extremely beneficial in providing me a variety of tools to work with, with patients.” Barbara Clark, MD

MBSR is a practical, proven approach. This course will give you tools, including practice CDs that will be useful in your every day life.” Silvia Ceravolo, who took the course for the second time.

“With what I have already learned and put into practice after this 8 week course I am definitely better at handling stressful situations. I have improved problem solving and a sense of better clarity”. Name withheld.

” I found the course useful in helping me recognize and cope with the stressors in my life.” name withheld

“I am glad I took the class because I definitely  know how to meditate now. But I didn’t have any life-changing breakthroughs. So I do not think my testimonial would be terribly helpful. Thank you Deborah. ” Renee Duprel

“Excellent introduction to mindfulness and meditation. Looking forward to growing these skills.”
Rebecca Nerison, psychologist 

“MBSR is a powerful tool for managing the many stressors in our lives and bringing awareness and kindness to my everyday experiences. I have cultivated a sense of composure that has been lacking. Deborah is a wonderful teacher and philosopher. She truly understands the practice and philosophies of meditation. She is a skillful guide on a very important path.”
Jamie Carroon, Student , Bastyr University 

“Prior to entering the MBSR program I knew I needed  to slow down. My mind was being pulled in several directions. Despite my best efforts, I could not relax, calm down or slow down. Then, my husband encouraged me to enroll in the MBSR program. This was the answer to my problem! Now, I am able to focus and not be so overwhelmed. I can handle many different stressful situations with the thoughtfulness and calmness that was not there before.” Purvi Mody Pharmacist, Pharm D. BCPS

The testimony below is from a participant in a 2007-2008 six month medical pilot study using MBSR in health and weight management.

September 25, 2008.
Hi Deborah,

I just wanted to say hi and let you know how much I appreciate the things that you taught me in our Pathways program.

I am currently going through the one of the hardest periods I ever have in my life  and I am able to use the mindfulness and meditation practice to keep me centered.  That amazes me because I really thought that once the program was over, I’d forget what I learned. You truly helped change my life.

I am so thankful to each of my mentors. You would barely recognize me today compared to last December, my self confidence is through the roof (most days) and my appearance is pretty drastically changed too. I have passed the weight goal that Laurel set for me and am fast approaching my own body composition goal, having dropped 4 pants sizes. I feel better all around physically and mentally.  Obviously, the 3 of you have helped me changed my life drastically and I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program.  I’m even doing a little amateur modeling right now for our photography club here at Grange and plan to branch out once I get a portfolio together. If any of you ever need a poster child for success, I’m willing to help.

I owe it all to you guys for teaching me that my life is worth working for.

Thanks so much!
Nikki Mozes, API
Personal Lines Underwriter
Grange Insurance Association

“If you put in the time and effort, the rewards are substantial and life changing. The benefits only come with practice, not just reading about mindfulness. Deborah is  a great instructor and I highly recommend taking the class with her.” Ashok Kuppusamy, Manager, software development  

” I feel stronger in my ability to discern different aspects of my thoughts. My mind feels sharper, able to connect to more inner authenticity. I am less reactive and able to catch my feelings more so. I am able to sit in a more relaxed state. I have known about this course for several  years and knew eventually I would take it, both for my own holistic health and well-being and as well for the health and well-being of my clients. I was drawn to Deborah’s gentle and informative website and have found the website to be be  a reflection of Deborah’s teaching style. She introduces  the concept of mindfulness in a gentle way, slowly sharing how this work fits into every aspect of our lives. Her workbook is chockful of good articles, recommendations, poetry and suggestions, I am really happy to have it as resource, I highly recommend taking this course with Deborah. Her years of personal and professional experience and her down to earth and informative manner make for a great combination in the step to opening to more mindfulness in your life.”  Jacqueline Smith, graduate student at Antioch

” I think if anything, meditation helps me have a clear awareness of my choices and recognition of what I am feeling. Letting go of “shoulds” has been positive.”   Jane Mortell, M.A., Mental Health Counselor, Supervisor, Hall Health Student Health, UW

“I gained much more than I expected. I have gained calmness, reduction in anxiety, and chronic neck pain is fully resolved. I have had to manage through a most stressful illness of an immediate family member which began at the same time I entered  the stress reduction program. The timing was a true gift when I needed it the most. It gave me the ability to avoid depression and anxiety that was intense and debilitating the first two weeks of the class. I also am more calm and capable of my fear-anger pathway, communicating out of a calm base of awareness. I am less reactive and certainly less anxiety and defensive.” Marvin Willis, Chemical Dependency Professional                   

“I value what this class has given me. I feel very lucky that this was made available to me. I would like to make it available to others who have difficult lives and less resources available to them. I think this was one of the best decisions I have made to invest this time and resources. My coping with work has improved. My mood and creativity have improved. I accept myself and beat myself up much, much less. I am less pulled into negative, angry thoughts of mine or other people.” Katheleen Perez-Hureaux  Chronic Care Manager, Adults Educator

“The stress reduction program gave me the ability to cope with stressful situations in all aspects of my life. I “react”less than before the class and am able to sees a stressful situation happening and am prepared to deal with it better. Deborah makes the learning fun and gives great practical tools for dealing with stress in daily life. ” Shelly Sazama, Interventional Radiology Coordinator

“MBSR was and is the strongest factor in helping me maintain daily structure and support to others during a living nightmare period of my life.” Mary Oemcke, who took the class for a second time

“The stress reduction program has been very beneficial for me. It has helped give me the beginning tools for dealing with many daily life situations. This simplicity of the awareness breathing is so huge for me and I feel I have been given a gift.I truly  love this simplicity of the breath awareness. It works!”
Nancy Wright Elementary Teacher, First Grade.

” The course was very helpful and very useful and we need to be more mindful. This is only the tip of something much larger. Commitment and personal responsibility, time, are so necessary to implement the resources we have received. I got greater awareness and control. A good start for what I hope will be an integral part of things to come. I have carved out time for myself! ” Mary Oemcke

“Deborah brings a great amount of knowledge and passion to her class. She gives instruction perfect for newcomers to meditation as well as those with previous experience. The class is very helpful in dealing with life’s daily stressors and pain. The silent retreat is the perfect end to the class. I can now take some of my “pain”, and just realize it is there. It is a sensation to be noticed.”  Shannon Radoll

” I feel it has made me more mindful of how I handle stressors emotionally and with reactions on initial contact. I am trying to apply this to my subconscious as well.” Name withheld.

“The class has given me a way to release my building stress. The breathing allows that for me.I am more aware of when this is happening.” Jamie Park 

“The class has allowed me to learn to meet and accept me. I has provided the framework for me to take baby steps into a new type of inner growth. I believe I am having the beginnings of compassion for myself.” K.M. 

“Tuning in more and better at what I eat. Overall. a lot of stress or my reaction to, and the pain has diminished, thereby the quality of rest and etc. is better. The calmness  and more restfulness has helped. My back pain is more controllable.” Wayne Zehm 2004

“Helped me find some stillness and gotten back into more practice. It helped me be a better teacher. And I noticed a difference in my dancing.” Helen Thorsen 2004

” I took the class because I was getting ready to take the GMAT test. I’ve been working on my math for 5 months in order to take the test ( I was never a good student at math in school). I was so hooked on the test. I couldn’t get my mind away from it. I was looking for a meditation class to get some peace of mind to counter balance my test preparation. I finally took the test March 12. I passed successfully. I applied to the SU business school yesterday.” Elena Kamaeva 2004

“I enjoyed the class very much. I think it will definitely be helpful to me in reducing the stress in my very busy, stressful life. I think reducing stress helps prevent illness and our society does not emphasize this enough.”
Margie Svrjcek, Seattle

“Very calming experience! I feel more peaceful after practicing your technologies and would like to do some meditating every day to see what happens long term. Thanks!”
Jennifer Bush Luce, Seattle

“The meditation cleared my head and I became calmer. The guided instruction really helped me concentrate on the meditation.”
Katie Moore, Seattle

“It was helpful to receive some hints on how to start, do and come out of meditation. It was nice that you can adapt the meditation to fit your own lifestyle and needs.”
Name withheld

“Knowing that I could just “be” in the moment, whether that be yin or yang, happy or sad, was very freeing.”
Bev MacKenzie, Seattle

“The guided instruction was very pleasant. I wonder if my attention to your voice distracted me from my experience. I feel very peaceful and aware after the class.”
Anita Boser, Seattle

“Deborah’s passion to help you find that truth within you and stay in that place is so authentically sincere. Don’t miss it.”
Dr. Mark P. Rolsa, Victoria B.C.