Penn State Hershey University Fitness Center

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

An 8-week wellness program at Penn State Health and College of Medicine.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an evidence-based intervention with many studies demonstrating effectiveness for multiple chronic conditions, including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.  It also improves quality of life for healthy adults.  

The program consists of:

  • Eight 2.5 to 3-hour weekly group classes
  • Orientation session
  • One Saturday silent retreat (7.5 hours) between classes 6 and 7

The optional orientation sessions are recommended if you’re registered or thinking about registering.  Come meet the instructors, hear an overview of the course and participation requirements, benefits and risks, as well as a question and answer session with the instructors.

Orientation Session:

  • Monday April 1: 6:00 PM

Session Dates:

  • April 15 – June 10 (Mondays – No Class Monday May 27)
  • 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Saturday Silent Retreat: May 18
  • Location: UFC Studio 311
  • Instructors: Tim Riley & Holly Socolow
  • Fee: Benefactors: $600 (includes help to support others), Full Tuition: $500*, Employees: $250**, Penn State Students & Residents: $200
  • For more information or interested in participating?  Please contact Tim and Holly.

*A limited number of scholarships are available upon request.

**For Penn State Health & College of Medicine Employees:

This class is an employer-sponsored wellness program.  Employees only pay $250 at registration.  The remainder is supported by the Benefits for Wellness Program when you attend six out of the eight classes PLUS the Saturday silent retreat.  Part of the registration process is that you agree to a payroll deduction of $250 if you do not meet the attendance requirement.

About the Instructors:

Holly Socolow, MHS, has been offering mindfulness programs in the Lancaster/Hershey/Harrisburg area for 12 years in healthcare, community and business settings.  She was the MBSR facilitator for the Women’s Health Research study for overweight women completed at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and published in August 2017.  Holly has participated in professional training under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and is a CFM Qualified MBSR Teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts.

Timothy D. Riley, MD has been a practicing family physician for more than 10 years, and has been in the Penn State Department of Family & Community Medicine since 2012.  After learning how mindfulness can impact provider well-being and quality of care at the University of Rochester, he became a Qualified MBSR Teacher through the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness.  He currently serves as the Department of Family & Community Medicine’s Associate Vice Chair for Wellness, and as the Office of Faculty & Professional Development’s Co-Director for Well-Being and Burnout Mitigation.