Mindfulness Course    


Mindfulness is a great tool to reduce stress and suffering and at the same time find more joy and focus.

Read below some typical examples where mindfulness can help.

>> >> Filip (38) has felt pretty low since the social distancing measures were introduced in The Netherlands. He misses seeing friends and feels lonely at times. The low feelings in combination with stress triggered old worries. Is he in the right job? Should he stay in his relationship? What does he really want from life? The worries make him feel even more low.

>> Marleen (24) is a PhD-student. She is used to deal with deadlines and stress. Lately things don’t go so well. The quality of her output is less than what she demands of herself. She tries to compensate by working extra hours. But she almost can’t focus and suffers from insomnia. The fact that her extra effort doesn’t bring much causes extra stress and frustration.

>> Fatima (29) suffers from panic attacks. Lately she experiences them on average twice a week. Her biggest fear is to get one on the street or in a train, so everyone can see it. To prevent this, she is constantly checking whether a panic attack is about to happen.

Like most people, Filip, Marleen and Fatima tend to respond reactively (= automatically) to their circumstances. Our automatic responses are however not always the best answers to a situation. Examples of automatic reactions which can make things rather worse:

– seeking distraction from difficult feelings (e.g. netflix)

– ruminating why we feel low in order to find a solution

– ignoring how we feel by pushing ourselves harder when we are already at our limits

– criticising ourselves (“not again!”)

– checking whether we feel anxious, because we fear being anxious

When you strengthen your own mindfulness (capacity), you will see everything with more clarity. This helps you to more consciously choose your response to a given situation, instead of automatically reacting. Because you will more consciously choose you responses, you will better deal with actual challenges in your life.

Next to that, a stronger mindfulness wil help you finding a workable distance between yourself and difficult feelings/negative thoughts. So the feelings/thoughts will impact you less. This gives more calmness and peace of mind.

*** Benefits
Benefits of more mindfulness include enjoying the present moment better, better self-care, saving yourself extra stress, time and frustration by not trying to change things you can’t change, a better focus, less anxiety, connecting deeper to people around you, responding more adequately to present challenges.

*** Trainer
The course is taught by me, Francisco Beisterveld. I’m a certified mindfulness trainer and therapist. I work also as a POH-GGZ for the student GP’s office de Uithof/Janskerkhof in Utrecht. This course is organised in collaboration with this GP office and GP office UT Campus in Enschede. More information about me you can find here.

*** Format
There are 8 live online group sessions. During the sessions we do meditations and other awareness exercises. Some exercises we do together, some exercises you do in pairs. We use Zoom. In between the sessions there are daily home exercises which take 10-30 minutes a day. Some of these you can do together with a course buddy. It’s also fine to do the exercises alone if you prefer not to work with a course buddy.

The course is a combination of the well-known MBSR and MBCT protocols, developed by David Dewulf. Based on my own experience as mindfulness trainer and therapist, I’ve added specific emotion awareness & body focused exercises.

Starting dates

13 September 2021 (in English) – Online course

Dates: 13, 20, 27 September, 4, 11, 18, 25 October, 1 November

Time: 17.00-18.00

20 euro early bird reduction until August 20th


8 November 2021 (in English) – Online course

Dates: 8, 15, 22, 29 November, 6, 13, 20 December, 3 January

Time: 17.00-18.00

20 euro early bird reduction until October 20th


10 January 2022 (in English) – Online course

Dates: 10, 17, 24, 31, January, 7, 14, 21, 28 February

Time: 17.00-18.00

20 euro early bird reduction until December 1st


For whom is this course?

This course can be done by anyone. It can be especially valuable:

  • if you often feel that you’re stuck in negative thoughts/if you ruminate a lot
  • if you suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • if you experience a lot of stress
  • if you notice difficulties with focusing
  • if you want to enjoy things more
  • if you feel often sad/depressed
  • if you have sleeping problems


  • Language: English
  • Price: 115 euro standard price, 95 euro if you’re part-time employed, 65 euro if you’re a student or unemployed. The rest is paid by your insurance company. If you have a Dutch health insurance, then this is always covered by your “basispakket” and won’t be taken from your deductible. This is because I work under supervision of a GP’s office. So the costs are billed like regular GP visits.
  • Location: online through zoom
  • Number of sessions: 8 + 1 optional follow-up session

I never experienced this type of learning about personal development. It was a great experience.

– Sabine van der Horst (34)

Francisco’s way of explaining, giving feedback and interacting is very clear & pleasant.

– Behzad Sanati (35)

Structure of the course

  • Session 1: Automatic pilot
  • Session 2: Being in our head
  • Session 3: Bringing our mind to one point
  • Session 4: Recognising adversity
  • Session 5: Allowing
  • Session 6: Thoughts are not facts
  • Session 7: Optimal self-care
  • Session 8: Retaining what you learned in this course

What we will do

During the sessions there will be some theory, we will practice new meditations and there’s the opportunity to reflect on your experiences with the home exercises.

In between the sessions, there are daily home exercises. You need at least 15 minutes a day for those.