AMI offers mindfulness courses, retreats, and counseling to enhance your physical and mental well-being. We have two certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructors on our faculty. Both are mental health professionals who hold PhDs. Whether you’re new to mindfulness or you would like to deepen your practice, we have something for you. We also offer courses designed specifically for healthcare practitioners seeking continuing education credits .

All are welcome at AMI. We serve individuals and families of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, origins, abilities, genders, and orientations.

What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?

Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction emphasizes reflection and relaxation through breathing, light yoga, and meditation. It was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. MBSR has been proven effective through hundreds of peer-reviewed research studies over the last 35 years.

How can mindfulness help you?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a proven treatment for many mental and physical health conditions:

* stress and stress-related illnesses
* depression and other mood disorders
* anxiety and panic disorders
* chronic pain
* insomnia
* coping with cancer
* gastrointestinal issuesv
* type-2 diabetes
* attention deficit disorder
* eating disorders
* heart disease
* addiction
* autoimmune diseases
* and others

Evidence suggests that practicing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction also improves concentration and attention, helps you regulate your emotions, and enhances your relationships. Those who practice mindfulness report feeling increased joy, compassion, and kindness.

The AMI Faculty

What sets AMI apart is our extraordinary faculty and their decades of mindfulness expertise.

Meet Stephanie

Stephanie Swann, PhD, LCSW, is owner of the Atlanta Mindfulness Institute. She, along with Dr. Vantine, is one of only three certified MBSR instructors in Georgia. Her certification is through the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Center for Mindfulness. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as well as advanced meditation courses to groups in the community. As a consultant, Dr. Swann trains mental health professionals in the practice of mindfulness-based psychotherapy. She also maintains a private counseling practice in the Atlanta area. She has over 20 years’ experience teaching in universities as well as the community. Currently Dr. Swann holds an adjunct faculty appointment with the Georgia State University School of Social Work. She attends mindfulness meditation retreats regularly and has a daily meditation practice. For more information on Stephanie visit

Meet Helen

Helen Barnes Vantine, PhD, founded AMI in 2008 with a mission to help others find insight, love, joy, compassion, and acceptance through Mindfulness. She teaches mindfulness skills to individuals, businesses, small groups, health care professionals, and graduate students. In addition to her work at the Atlanta Mindfulness Institute, Dr. Vantine has a private psychotherapy practice in Serenbe, where she offers Mindfulness-Based Therapy to her patients.

Dr. Vantine has spent 50 years practicing meditation and studying Eastern and Western approaches to personal growth. She is a certified Mindfulness Self Compassion instructor trained by Chris Germer and Kristen Neff. She is also a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress reduction instructor trained by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Laura Smallwood portrait

Meet Laura

Laura Smallwood, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), RYT-200 began her formal study of mindfulness in 2016 as part of a collaborative effort to develop a 6-week mindfulness-based training for veterinary workers. Since that time, she has committed herself to the study and practice of mindfulness as a methodology for cultivating stress resilience, emotional intelligence, communication skills, and leadership skills with a particular emphasis on the role that kindness and compassion practices can play in the prevention of empathic fatigue and burnout. Laura has lectured and taught in-person and online MBSR-informed workshops on mindfulness for the Georgia VMA, Alabama VMA, Emerald Coast Veterinary Conference, Royal Canin, Pathway Veterinary Alliance, UGA veterinary students, and veterinary workplaces in the Atlanta area.

Laura is completing her training to be a certified MBSR teacher through East Coast Mindfulness. In addition to her training as an MBSR teacher, Laura draws on her knowledge of embodied awareness as a yoga teacher and as a dancer with training in contemporary dance. For more information on Laura, please visit

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