About the Program

What is Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology?

Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology may be said to have two parents: the 2,500-year-old wisdom tradition of Buddhism and the clinical traditions of Psychology, especially the Humanistic school. Like all offspring it has much in common with both of its parents and yet is uniquely itself at the same time. From Buddhism comes the practice of mindfulness/ awareness meditation, together with a highly sophisticated understanding of the functioning of the mind in sanity and in confusion. From the clinical traditions come the investigation of the stages of human development, a precise language for discussing mental disturbance and the intimate method of working with others known as "psychotherapy."

The root teaching of the Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology program is the notion of "brilliant sanity." This means that we all have within us a natural dignity and wisdom. Our basic nature is characterized by clarity, openness and compassion. This wisdom may be temporarily covered over, but nonetheless, it is there and may be cultivated. Practitioners of Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology become experts at recognizing sanity within even the most confused and distorted states of mind and are trained to nurture this sanity in themselves and in their clients.

Clinical Training Program

The MA Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology program prepares students to meet the demands of the clinical world. Students are thoroughly trained in clinical skills and theoretical understanding, and in both individual and group psychotherapy techniques.

The nine-month internship in the third year of study provides the opportunity for students to work in specialized areas and is vital to a student’s preparation. During the internship year, students participate in weekly tutorial groups made up of three students and two clinical faculty members.

Using a uniquely designed contemplative practice called “Body, Speech and Mind,” students foster the ability to fearlessly and gently touch another’s pain. When combined with ongoing meditation practice, these groups cultivate compassion and the ability to be present with others in genuine relationship.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are trained to be able to foster health in themselves and in their clients. They have developed confidence in themselves and in their clinical abilities and are ready to make a meaningful contribution to the well-being of others.

Community

Going through the program together with classmates provides students the opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills, helps them identify their own relational patterns and gives them the opportunity to offer and receive support as well as encouragement. Being a member of the community requires one to relate on an ongoing basis with the same support group of people for nearly three years.

This can be delightful: Students find that they can relax and be accepted for who they truly are. It can also be very irritating: Those same people are there again and again and they know all about us.

The program places great emphasis on each student coming to find their own unique resources and style. Paradoxically, this is achieved by having everyone follow the same course of study.

Within the context of community and meditation practice, students discover who they most fundamentally are and are encouraged to develop “maitri” or unconditional friendliness toward themselves. Over the years, our graduates have been recognized for their self-confidence and their ability to be with clients without demanding that the clients change to meet the therapists’ private needs and agendas.

YOU ARE READY

This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and unlock your potential.

Faculty Interviews

Reading List
Meditation & Maitri
Group Process
Internship
FAQ
Alumni Stories
Learning Outcomes