Testimonials

Valerie York-Zimmerman MBSR Testimonials

“Valerie York-Zimmerman brings many years of working in the field of mindfulness-based approaches.  She has a passion and commitment for this work and has been instrumental in bringing mindfulness-based interventions to Miami, primarily in the field of education.  In 2011 along with her husband, Leonard A. Zimmerman, MD, Valerie launched Mindful Kids Miami, a non-profit organization to bring mindfulness to children in grades Pre-K through 12.  In this capacity she has made an important contribution to offering quality trainings. Valerie has always believed in developing best practice skills for future Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teachers.  In 2014 and 2015, I was pleased she was able to join me and the teaching team facilitating the MBSR Teacher Training Intensive sponsored by the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI), UC San Diego.  Valerie is also one of the MBSR mentors for the MBPTI.  Thank you Valerie for what you bring to this field of mindfulness-based approaches.”

~ Susan Woods, MSW., LICSW
Senior MBSR/MBCT teacher trainer and mentor
Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute
Center for Mindfulness, UC San Diego
www.slwoods.com


“Valerie York-Zimmerman is a truly inspired teacher of Insight or Mindfulness Meditation. I have known Valerie and studied with her for nearly 15 years, and I have found her to be a tireless, wise and sensitive instructor. She gives of herself, preparing assiduously for each class with new readings and insights to share with her students. She has studied with and has personal relationships with leaders in the field, such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, and she continues her studies to constantly learn and improve. I would recommend Valerie’s classes to anyone interested in learning or enhancing their meditation practice.”

~ Jo Beth Speyer, MSW
Former Director, NCI’s Cancer Information Service
University of Miami


“I have referred many patients over the past several years, all of whom have attested to her highly professional and competent approach to their problems. These have included patients with anxiety, chronic pain, and cancer, among others. She has many years of experience and works in the most professional manner.”

~ Barry Halpern, M.D.
American Board of Cardiovascular Disease & Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Medicine Associates, Retired


“As a licensed psychologist, I originally took Valerie's MBSR class as a pre-requisite for teaching mindfulness to patients in my clinical practice.  However, by the second class, I began to experience the benefits of MBSR in my own personal life.  I was not fully aware of my own thoughts, feelings, and body sensations until I started to slow down, be present, and live less in the past or future.  Her years of experience in mindfulness practices is easily observed in her classes, as she navigates the often unpredictable waters with aplomb. As instructor, mindfulness activist, and role model, Valerie has played a prominent role in bringing mindfulness practices to our South Florida community.  She has had, and continues to have, a most significant and wide reaching impact on those who have taken her classes, the causes she has championed, and, as the founder of Mindful Kids Miami, the children whose young lives will forever be most favorably altered.”

~ Sharon M. Theroux, PhD, ABPP
Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Neuropsychologist
Founder, So. Florida Center for Mindfulness


“Before I took Valerie’s class, I had done a bit of meditation on my own, but it just didn’t feel like I was doing anything. I am someone who needs to understand what I’m doing and why (that’s probably why I needed meditation so much!) As soon as I started with Valerie, things began to fall into place for me. She is a fabulous teacher, and she walks her talk. Thanks to Valerie’s program and my own commitment, I now have a practice I do daily to keep me balanced. It helps me deal with issues of all kinds – relationships, body stuff, professional and personal upsets. I know this is a lifelong journey, and thankfully, I found a wise and committed teacher. Valerie’s dedication to and belief in this work makes her a perfect teacher for me.”

~ Maggie Smith Roedema
Art Gallery Director
Former Marketing Executive


“Valerie is a wonderful, highly dedicated, inspiring mindfulness teacher. I attended her classes during a 2 month break from Ireland in Miami. I found Valerie's classes to be empowering and nurturing and they brought a tremendous sense of calm to my weeks. I have practised mindfulness now for many years and taught it to kids in Belfast as part of my role as a teacher. My experience with Valerie and having witnessed the tremendously positive impact of her work with teachers and children inspired me to set up Mindful Kids Belfast which now teaches mindfulness to kids across Belfast. I could not recommend Valerie's classes highly enough. She truly stands out in this field.”

~ Niamh Houghton
School Teacher
Founder of Mindful Kids Belfast, Belfast, Ireland


“I have had the good fortune to have studied MBSR with Valerie for 7 years now. I so value the quality of the research, presentation, wisdom and empathy that she weaves into her classes and the comfort, peace and insight I gain from every encounter. I am convinced that the practice Valerie teaches so skillfully can make a huge difference in the lives of those suffering from anxiety, stress, trauma –both emotional and physical- and conditions that present special challenges – like ADHD. As an advocate for children in foster care, I wish that we could offer this training to all of our youth who have been emotionally wounded, abused, abandoned or neglected by their families, caregivers and society as a whole. While it requires commitment and practice, MBSR is a fabulous tool for helping and healing almost any kind of wound or difficult experience, and Valerie is an inspiring and masterful teacher!”

~ Kathy Ezell
Partner, Podhurst Orseck, P.A., Retired
Past President and Board Member, Foster Care Review
Volunteer Attorney for Lawyers for Children America


“Kindness, Patience and Wisdom are three words I frequently use to describe Valerie York-Zimmerman. In the last six years of taking her Mindfulness Meditation classes I can truly say she has changed my life. How? Through her kindness, we learned to forgive ourselves. Through her patience, we were encouraged to face our challenges, no matter how daunting. Through her wisdom, we learned to become co-creators of our world.

Sitting with Valerie opened up my world in ways I never imagined. Her teachings changed me from the inside and, as a result, my outside world changed. Thank you, Valerie.”

~ Peter Ariz, Esq.
Ariz, Mendez & Gonzalez


“After having embraced the Silva Mind Control method for 37 years, I began a course in mindfulness meditation with Valerie York-Zimmerman in the fall of 2009. I went to Valerie in support of a friend who was recovering from a troubling divorce, trying to get her into meditation. The benefit to me was immeasurable. After one month of Valerie’s course, I began to experience a resurgence of creative energies that had been suppressed for years. Mindfulness meditation under Valerie’s direction led to a healing equanimity and helped me to tap a creative spirit that had been locked away for a very long time.”

~ Lori Ventura, M.D.
Former Clinician and Researcher, Professor of Clinical Opthalmology, University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute


“Valerie is a remarkably gifted teacher, whose kindness, skills and commitment play a primary role in her ability to convey her teachings in a very effective way. Her lessons are very professional, refreshing and deeply penetrating at the same time, thanks to her profound knowledge of the subject-matter and the natural empathy she establishes with her students. I cannot list the many benefits and achievements I have obtained since I undertook this life-changing path. Last year I retired back to Rome, Italy, and I am currently volunteering at elderly centres and libraries in Rome to introduce elements of Mindfulness. I am happy to say that my meetings are quite appreciated. Thank you Valerie: what you do is priceless!”

~ Virginia Valore
Former Consular Agent, Italian Consulate General Miami