This interactive course is led by health experts from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, including mind body medicine pioneer Dr. Herbert Benson.

The course provides an evidence-based overview of the basic principles of mind-body medicine. It provides the foundation you need to help your patients understand the science of how stress impacts health.

Research shows that stress is a contributing factor in many common conditions and diseases. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension, pain, mood disorders and more. This course gives you a deeper understanding of how mind-body therapies decrease stress and enhance well-being. It strengthens your knowledge and skills for recognizing early warning signs and weighing the relative risks of various conditions.

Ultimately, this course lets you help your patients alleviate stress and either prevent or relieve medical conditions. That makes this course ideal for clinicians across practice settings in mental health, primary care, social work, psychology and more.

The course includes an array of resources, videos and other materials to guide you through your learning experience. All content and assignments can be completed whenever your schedule allows. Weekly call-in times allow faculty to hear and respond to your questions directly, and an interactive discussion board lets you post your own questions and interact with peers from across the United States and around the world. Plus, the course is accessible via desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Course materials are available beginning January 6, 2020 and all course work must be completed by February 10, 2020.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this program, participants should be able to:

- Recognize that allostasis and allostatic load cause and/or contribute to the pathogenesis of many common diseases and symptomatology.

- Describe mind body interactions associated with specific psychosocial influences and lifestyle behaviors, such as the relaxation response, that work to reduce allostatic load and enhance resilience.

- Identify concepts of allostasis and allostatic load into clinical practice to improve patient assessment and treatment.

- Explain research related to meditation, and changes that occur with relaxation response practice, such as the regulation of gene expression and neuroplastic change.


Participants must complete each week sequentially and while completing all components of each week to receive credit, including:

  • Activity Overview
  • Video Lecture
  • Reading and Resources
  • Q&A with Faculty
  • Discussion Board
  • Case Assessment

Week 1

Key Characteristics of Stress
Herbert Benson, MD

Participants should be able to understand the following key elements:

  • Define the relaxation response (RR).
  • Identify three landmark studies of the relaxation response.
  • Illustrate the potential influence of the RR on the individual, healthcare, and society.

Week 2

The Science of Resiliency
Gregory Fricchione, MD

Participants should be able to understand the following key elements:

  • Define resiliency, allostasis and allostatic loading.
  • Describe four perturbations within the stress system that lead to allostatic load.
  • Identify the key components of human resiliency and how to enhance them.

Week 3

Overview of Current Research
John W. Denninger, MD, PhD

Participants should be able to understand the following key elements:

  • List four areas of RR research.
  • List four potential epigenetic mechanisms whereby elicitation of the relaxation response regulates gene expression.
  • Describe salutogenic outcomes of RR.

Week 4

Benefits of Meditation
Sara Lazar, PhD

Participants should be able to understand the following key elements:

  • Define neuroplasticity and its significance to health and wellbeing.
  • List five areas of neuroplastic change associated with meditation.
  • Describe four neural mechanisms associated with meditation.


  • Director Emeritus, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Director of Research, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Associate Director of the MGH-McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency, Training Program
    Instructor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Director
    Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine
    Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Associate Research Scientist, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Instructor in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Target Audience

This program is intended for:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Primary care physicians
  • Family practice physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Nursing professionals
  • Mental health counselors
  • Social workers


Physicians and Doctoral-level Professionals: $395.00
Other Professionals: $295.00

Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be issued for cancellation requests made during the first week of the course, but an administrative fee of $25.00 will be deducted from your refund. Cancellation requests made during the second week will receive a credit toward a future offering of the same course. No refunds or credits will be granted after January 20, 2020.

Q&A with Faculty

Week Start Date




Week 1: 01/06/2020


11:30 am

Greg Fricchione, MD

Week 2: 01/13/2020


2 pm

Darshan Mehta, MD, MPH

Week 3: 01/20/2020



John Denninger, MD, PhD

Week 4: 01/27/2020


2 pm

Greg Fricchione, MD

Additional Online Courses

We offer several online courses on mind body medicine that complement the course you are currently viewing.

View our online mind body medicine course offerings

CME Information

Release Date: January 6, 2020
Expiration Date: February 10, 2020






AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. McLean Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

McLean Hospital designates thisenduring material for a maximum of 14.00AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Psychologists CE Credit

The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This offering meets the criteria for 14.00 continuing education credits for psychologists.


Nursing Contact Hours

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 13, sections 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 15D and Chapter 112, sections 74 through 81C authorize the Board of Registration in Nursing to regulate nursing practice and education.

This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing at (244 CMR 5.00) for 14.00 contact hours of nursing continuing education credit.Advance practice nurses, please note: Educational activities which meet the requirements of the ACCME (such as this activity) count towards 50% of the nursing requirement for ANCC accreditation.


Social Work CE Credit Hours

The Collaborative of NASW, Boston College, and Simmons College Schools of Social Work authorizes social work continuing education credits for courses, workshops, and educational programs that meet the criteria outlined in 258 CMR of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Workers.

This program has been approved for 14.00 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. Collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons Schools of Social Work Authorization Number D 60250.



Other Professions

Other Providers can claim a Participation Certificate upon successful completion of this course.

Participation Certificates will specify the title, location, type of activity, date of activity, and number ofAMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTMassociated with the activity. Providers should check with their regulatory agencies to determine ways in whichAMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTMmay or may not fulfill continuing education requirements. Providers should also consider saving copies of brochures, agenda, and other supporting documents.


Peg Baim, MS, NP
Herbert Benson, MD
David H. Rubin,reviewer
Jane Pimental, MPH
Susan E. Sprich, PhD,psychologist reviewer

Disclosure Information

In accord with the disclosure policy of McLean Hospital as well as guidelines set forth by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education, all people in control of educational content, including speakers, course directors, planners, and reviewers, have been asked to disclose all relevant financial relationships with commercial interests of both themselves and their spouses/partners over the past 12 months, as defined below:

Commercial Interest

The ACCME defines a "commercial interest" as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. For more information, visit

Financial relationships

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Relevant financial relationships

ACCME focuses on financial relationships with commercial interests in the 12-month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the CME activity. ACCME has not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship. The ACCME defines "'relevant' financial relationships" as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.

The following planners, speakers, and content reviewers, on behalf of themselves and their spouse or partner, have reported financial relationships with an entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services (relevant to the content of this activity) consumed by, or used on, patients:

Susan E. Sprich, PhD,Psychologist Reviewer
Royalties:Oxford University Press (for co-authoring treatment manual and client workbook), Springer (for editing book)

John W. Denninger, MD, PhD
Research Support (Principal Investigator):Onyx/Amgen, Basis/Intel

Gregory L. Fricchione, MD
Royalties (book and editor authorship): Johns Hopkins University Press, Belvoir Press, University of Chicago Press/Ivy Press
Honoraria (lecturer): Institute for Living, Sheppard Pratt, Harvard CME, Boston University Medical Center

All other individuals including course directors, planners, reviewers, faculty, staff, etc., who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity have, on behalf of themselves and their spouse or partner, reported no financial relationships related to the content of this activity.

Hardware/Software Specifications

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+
Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+
Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

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