Meet Our Teachers

Council Members

We offer mindfulness-based classes, drop-in meditations, workshops, retreats, presentations, and workplace training; provide resources; and support each other’s teaching and personal practice.

Claire Weiner
Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team and Founding Member

Claire Weiner, LMSW, RYT-200

Claire teaches: Mindfulness Meditation to cancer patients and their supporters.

Claire is a licensed clinical social worker with decades of experience in academic settings, where she taught and supervised graduate students. She recently retired from a mindfulness-based private psychotherapy practice in Ann Arbor. Claire received advanced training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and taught the first MBCT groups at UM Department of Psychiatry. She was a founding member of the PsychOncology Clinic at the Rogel Cancer Center. She has been involved in two research projects providing mindfulness-based intervention to patients with cancer diagnoses. She volunteers at the Cancer Support Community in Ann Arbor, where she regularly teaches meditation and occasionally yoga. Claire is a RYT200 (Registered Yoga Teacher), a practice that furthers her understanding and appreciation of mind-body connection.

Claire is a published poet and author.

Libby Robinson
Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team and Founding Member

Libby Robinson, PhD, MSW, MPH

Libby teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

A Certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Libby also leads drop-in mindfulness meditation sessions and retreats, and offers presentations to groups and organizations. She has practiced mindfulness since 1979 and has attended over 25 one-week silent mindfulness retreats. Her mindfulness teacher training includes trainings at U. Mass. Center for Mindfulness, the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, and UC-SD Center for Mindfulness. I began teaching MBSR in 2007 and have taught over 50 classes to a wide range of groups, predominantly to members of the community in Ann Arbor, but also to individuals in recovery, psychotherapists, UM medical school faculty, nurses, and other health professionals.

Laura Rice-Oeschger
Mindfulness Teacher; AACFM Leadership Team and Founding Member

Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW

Laura teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC)

Laura has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1997 with advanced certifications in aging, dementia, and contemplative clinical care. As a long-time meditator, she began teaching mindfulness meditation in 2010. Laura has extensive professional training in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) from the UMass Center for Mindfulness as well as Mindfulness-based Dementia Care (MBDC) through the Presence Care Project.  Laura leads the Wellness Initiative at the University of Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center where she creates virtual wellbeing and mindfulness programs for caregivers. She also serves as an officer of the Presence Care Project, which brings mindfulness to family care partners and training for dementia experts, internationally.  Laura is committed to sharing contemplative programs to assist caregivers of all kinds in their desire to live meaningful and healthy lives.

Brenda Lindsay
Mindfulness Teacher, AACFM Leadership Team

Brenda Lindsay, CPC, PRP, CYT-200

Brenda teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Introductory Mindfulness classes.

Brenda is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor trained at Brown University. Brenda is also a Certified Meditation Instructor with AIHCP, a Personal Resilience Practitioner (PRP), and received a graduate certificate in Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness from Western Michigan University. 

Brenda founded Mind Transformations LLC and quickly discovered that teaching mindfulness and resilience to individuals, organizations, and the business community, including guiding online or in-person drop-in sessions and retreats, has been one of the most gratifying experiences in her career. Annual silent retreats and daily mindfulness practices are a priority in Brenda’s life. 

Prior to transitioning to the wellness field, Brenda served in several leadership roles at the Michigan Department of Treasury including Assistant Deputy Treasurer and the Administrator of Privacy and Security.

Paulette Grotrian
Mindfulness Teacher, AACFM Leadership Team and Founding Member

Paulette Grotrian, MA

Paulette teaches: Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Paulette is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and a Minfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher, trained by Krisitn Neff, Christopher Germer, and Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues.  She is a founding member of AACFM and Open Mindfulness Meditation, an experienced mindfulness teacher, has a daily meditation practice, and attends mindfulness retreats annually. 

She is also Professor Emeritus at Washtenaw Community College, teaching Family Communication Online.  She is a grandmother, has a fun-loving Havanese, and raises orchids.  Living from the heart and helping others cultivate inner peace, awaken joy, and gain insights into daily life is her passion!

Mariko Foulk
Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher, AACFM Founding Member

Mariko Foulk, LMSW, ACSW

Mariko teaches: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT); Mindfulness-based Chronic Pain Care; Mindfulness-based Forgiveness, all group therapies with 8 weekly sessions, for those age 60 plus.

Mariko Foulk is a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, who has been practicing at the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center working with those over age 60, for the last 30 years. She received both basic (2008) and advanced (2011) training in MBCT from Zindel Segal and Susan Woods.
She has been teaching Mindfulness-Based and Mindfulness-Informed therapies since 2010.  Currently she is working on designing a course on Mindfulness-based Aging with Compassion and Wisdom.

Anne Asker
Immigration Attorney and Mindfulness Teacher

Anne Asker, JD, MSc

Anne teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Anne has been practicing yoga and meditation since 2001. She believes her steady mindfulness practice has helped her be present, accepting, and resilient—especially during challenging moments in her work as a lawyer, a wife and mother of three boys, a daughter of aging and dying parents, and as a sister of terminally ill siblings.

Her passion for the practice led her to the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in Medicine where she received her training to become a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher.

In addition to teaching the MBSR course, Anne offers mindfulness presentations and workshops to law firms and businesses as well as private instruction. She regularly co-leads retreats and is a lead teacher for Ann Arbor Open Meditation and Mindful City.

Anique Pegeron
Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga Teacher; Mindfulness and Emotional Wellness Coach

Anique Pegeron, MA, RYT

Anique teaches: mindfulness for kids, teens, and adultsmindful self-compassionsomatic meditation, and mindful yoga.

Anique is a certified mindfulness, meditation, and yoga teacher who works to spread the benefits of mindful practices in the Ann Arbor area community. A mindfulness teacher since 2014, she is passionate about sharing its myriad benefits for mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Her community offerings include group mindfulness classes, professional workshops, after-school programs, summer camps, and individual/group/family mindfulness sessions for all ages. She currently works at Grove Emotional Health Collaborative in downtown Ann Arbor, offering one-on-one coaching sessions in which she combines mindfulness, meditation, yoga, counseling, breathwork, and other integrative healing techniques to help guide her clients along their unique paths toward healing and emotional wellness. Anique is very grateful that she gets to do the work that she loves most in the Ann Arbor community where she grew up.

Barbara Rigney
Licensed Psychologist

Barbara Rigney, PhD

Barbara is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Ann Arbor. Her clinical work has been informed by mindfulness and mindful self compassion since 2012. She has completed eight-week courses in both Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self Compassion  (MSC) as well as numerous continuing education courses in mindfulness, including  Mindfulness in Psychotherapy with Ron Siegel, PhD, Use of the 3 Minute Breathing Space in Clinical Practice with Zindel Segal, PhD, Mindful Self Compassion with Kristen Neff, PhD and Christopher Germer, PhD, Transforming Emotional Pain using RAIN with Tara Brach, PhD, Mindfulness and Resilience with Elisha Goldstein, PhD, Using Mindfulness in a Trauma-Informed Manner with Trish Magyan, MS, LCPC and others.

Nicole LaBrie
Clinical Social Worker and Mindfulness Teacher

Nicole LaBrie, LMSW

Nicole LaBrie is a clinical social worker and certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). She has been leading mindfulness classes and integrating mindfulness into her psychotherapy practice for the past decade. She has collaborated with both the University of Michigan and Ohio State University Departments of Psychiatry in researching the effectiveness of mindfulness-based approaches in treating trauma, mood disorders, and chronic pain. In addition to MBCT, Nicole has taught yoga and is a level-1 qualified teacher of iRest Yoga Nidra, a non-sleep deep rest practice. She considers it her privilege to hold space for others as they learn to be more present for themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Bharti Thakkar
MBSR Teacher

Bharti Thakkar, MBA, Certified YT

Bharti teaches: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She is a qualified MBSR Instructor trained at Brown University. Bharti is also a Certified Yoga teacher and Yoga therapist trained with the Minded Institute in London and offers one-on-one coaching sessions working at the interface between yoga therapy, mindfulness, neurophysiology, psychotherapeutic principles, and evidence-based practice.
Another unique offering embedded in the Yoga Therapy training has enabled Bharti to deliver an 8-week evidence-based program designed specifically for those looking to reduce stress, anxiety, and/or depression. The 8-week course combines specific yoga therapy techniques with research from the fields of psychotherapy and neuroscience.
Her community offerings include virtual and in-person group mindfulness classes and Mindful Yoga classes for seniors.

Barbara Newell, JD is currently on leave of absence.

Deepest gratitude to founding members Lynn Sipher, Denise Kozikowski, Julie Woodward, Rita Benn, Sharon Mudd, Laurel Hicks, and Pam Schweitzer.

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