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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Mindfulness in Psychotherapy: Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion

Apr 28, 2012 8:45 am -
Apr 28, 2012 4:30 pm

Event Description

Master Series in Clinical Practice

Jointly sponsored by The Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Major Teaching Hospital of Harvard Medical School; Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute; and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

The Master Series affords the chance to spend a complete day with leaders in our field to consider the unique perspective each speaker brings to the challenging dilemmas in both theory and practice. We hope that you will consider joining us for the entire series at a reduced tuition or choose the programs most relevant to your own practice.

Christopher K. Germer, PhD, instructor

What personal attributes and qualifications do we look for in a psychotherapist? When we’re suffering, the answer doesn’t necessarily depend upon academic knowledge, training in particular approaches or techniques, or even life experience. Instead, we’re likely to seek out someone who is compassionate (able to relate empathically to suffering) and wise (having a deep understanding of how to live life well). Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine benefiting from a therapist who is unwise or uncompassionate. While mental health professionals don’t typically discuss matters of compassion and wisdom or try to explicitly cultivate those qualities in themselves or their patients, we nonetheless tend to assume that they are important elements of all good treatment. But what exactly are compassion and wisdom? Can we become wiser and more compassionate therapists? And if so, how?

A groundbreaking conference took place at Harvard Medical School in May 2009—Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in Psychotherapy—with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Many interesting questions were raised:

  • Are compassion and wisdom indeed valuable attributes of a psychotherapist?
  • Can wisdom and compassion actually be cultivated? If so, how?
  • Do ancient traditions that purport to develop compassion and wisdom have anything to offer modern clinicians?
  • Are compassion and wisdom important to psychological well-being? If so, should they be integrated into treatment planning and goal-setting?
  • Is it possible for patients to learn wisdom and compassion in the course of psychotherapy?
  • What is the state of the research on wisdom and compassion, and what can clinicians learn from it?
  • Is there a distinctive neurobiology of wisdom, or of compassion?
  • Are there objective ways of measuring compassion and wisdom, or of recognizing these qualities in the consultation room?
  • Are compassion and wisdom mediators of therapeutic change? If so, how do they work?
  • What gets in the way of clinicians being compassionate and wise in their work? What gets in the way for patients in their lives?
  • How are compassion and wisdom related to particular clinical conditions—depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, or relationship conflict?

This workshop will explore the importance of compassion and wisdom in psychotherapy. Scientific research on wisdom and compassion has until recently been fairly limited, especially in the clinical arena. However, as mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments go mainstream, curiosity about compassion and wisdom in Buddhist psychology and other wisdom traditions is growing. Researchers and clinicians alike are investigating meditative practices that have developed over the past 2500 years to cultivate these qualities.

Upon completion of the program the student will be able to:

  1. Define wisdom and compassion in psychotherapy.
  2. Practice techniques for cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion during therapy.
  3. Describe how wisdom may emerge from mindfulness and compassion practice.

Program Code: MS51
6 CE/CME Credits
Location: at MSPP, West Roxbury/Boston

Christopher K. Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in mindfulness- and acceptance-based treatment. He is a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He lectures internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion, is a co-editor of the professionally acclaimed textbook, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, and co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Compassion and Wisdom in Psychotherapy.

Register for multiple programs at the same time and save!

Use the appropriate discount code (below) during checkout to receive proper discount.

Note: We suggest that you write down the appropriate discount code noted in red so that you have it available during the registration checkout process.

Cost per program 1 program 2 programs* 3 programs*
Doctoral Level Professionals
$195 each
$175 each
$165 each
Master’s Level Professionals
$170 each
$155 each
$145 each
Fellows, Interns, Students,
Unemployed & Retired Professionals
$115 each
$100 each
$85 each

*Only for Master Series attendees who register for multiple dates at the same time.

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Master Series (Clinical)
Early registration ends on Aug 15, 2011.
Regular registration starts on Aug 16, 2011 and ends on Apr 17, 2012.
Late registration starts on Apr 18, 2012.



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