Bowing in a circle

Contemplative Psychotherapy and
Buddhist Psychology

Give your psychotherapy clients the greatest gift of all: your full presence.

Naropa University’s concentration in Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology—part of our Clinical Mental Health Counseling master's degree—is a counseling program that grounds itself in the Buddhist contemplative wisdom tradition and includes current humanistic psychological approaches to give you the insight and skills to show up fully for yourself and others.

Develop insight, connections and skill in your large and small group process classes. Cultivate self awareness through meditation classes and retreats. Discover your inherent compassion to guide others with humility and grace.

Equipped with outstanding mindfulness skills and awareness, Naropa’s Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology alumni go on to become counselors in agency and private practice settings, case managers, and mental health center directors. Alumni earn doctorate degrees, establish new treatment programs, or go on to teach nationally and internationally.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship

Complete a 9-month, 700-hour supervised clinical internship

As part of Naropa's graduate Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology program, your third year experience also includes weekly meditation with classmates and small group tutorials. 

Many students intern in the community while others complete their internship at the Naropa Community Counseling Center.

Learn More


Maitri Retreats

Develop compassion for yourself and others. Deepen your meditation practice through the 9 weeks you’ll spend throughout your program in intensive retreat practice: a blend of mindfulness awareness meditation, individual meditation instruction, lectures, walking meditation, and community work practice.

Three Years

Through meditation classes, retreats, and individual instruction, the three-year Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology concentration in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s degree program will help you recognize the inherent wisdom or "brilliant sanity" we are born with. This provides the foundation for your study of Buddhist and humanistic approaches to counseling and to begin your clinical work.




Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology Courses

  • Community, Interdependence, and Multicultural Foundations
  • Lineages of Understanding: Buddhist and Western Perspectives on Well-Being and Disorder
  • The Art of Practicing Contemplative Psychotherapy


Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students demonstrate knowledge of core counseling curriculum.
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in clinical counseling skills.
  • Students demonstrate professional competence in counseling.
  • Students recognize and point to moments of brilliant sanity in themselves and others.
  • Students articulate core Buddhist teachings.
  • Students integrate their understanding of Buddhist teachings with other counseling and psychology approaches and apply them in their clinical work.
  • Students know how to practice the meditation methods drawn from the Buddhist Meditation tradition and use them as a foundation for their work with themselves and others. 
  • Students articulate their theoretical and experiential understanding of dynamics that arise in relationships including but not limited to transference, countertransference and exchange.
Karen Kissel Wegela, PhD

Faculty Spotlight

“Brilliant sanity is understood to be our very nature. It is understood to be who we already are in that, when we relax, that’s what we experience. When we stop trying to be somebody else, it’s already there, we don’t have to go and find it. In fact from a Buddhist point of view it’s constantly coming through, it’s constantly showing up anyway. It’s more a question of uncovering than developing.”

— Karen Kissel Wegela, PhD

Professor of Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology
Core Faculty
Long-time faculty member and former department director of Naropa University’s Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology program