The curriculum includes a variety of internal mindfulness and compassion practices; the application of mindfulness to psychodynamic psychotherapy, to emotional regulation, to specific populations such as clients with depression or anxiety, or stress-related problems; the application of mindfulness to eating disorders, as well as attachment and trauma; and working with families and couples. The historical and neuroscientific aspects are explored as well. Representatives of the major theoretical orientations using mindfulness present their knowledge and skills. Specific topics and faculty are subject to change.

Structure of the Program

The Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy Certificate program can be taken as a complete, 150-hour certification program, or in four individual tracks. Completion of all four tracks entitles the student to certification. However, it is also possible to take each track individually. The classes include the following:

1. The Use of Mindfulness in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

2. The Clinical and Personal Practice of Compassion

3. Essential Elements of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

4. Applications of Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy

1) The Use of Mindfulness in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Mindfulness can be used as a powerful tool; as a way of exploring the models of the world, the self, and others that people use to structure and predict their lives; as well as to determine the kinds of experiences that they have. In this course we will explore how mindfulness can be turned outwards to enhance secure attachment and deep connection in the therapeutic relationship, and how it can be turned inwards to help clients discover and explore the implicit beliefs and structures in their psyches in order to have more choice, authenticity, and psychological freedom.

2) The Clinical and Personal Practice of Compassion

Compassion practices are highly effective in creating the emotional container of psychotherapy and in developing a securely attached relationship between therapist and client. This course, focusing on compassion for others as well as compassion for oneself, will be relevant for both personal development and clinical application.

3) Essential Elements of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been extensively researched as a powerful and effective resource for a large variety of psychological and physical issues and is the vehicle through which hundreds of applications of mindfulness have entered into Western medicine, psychotherapy, and society. In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn the salient features of MBSR through didactic instruction and intensive experiential practices that can enable them to tap into their own deepest, inner resources for learning, growing, and transformation, as well as application to clinical practice.

4) Applications of Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy

Mindfulness can be used for a variety of clinical issues and diverse populations. In this course, we will explore its use and underlying neurological elements with couples, families, dreams, addictions, diversity issues, depression and anxiety, trauma, attachment, and emotional regulation. This course combines daylong workshops and evening classes to apply mindfulness approaches to a variety of therapeutic issues through the use of didactic presentation, demonstration, and live practice with instructors who are leaders in the field.


The Mindfulness and Compassion in Psychotherapy Certificate program offers a combination of weekday evening and weekend intensives throughout the academic year, making it especially appealing to working professionals and adult learners. Students must be willing to commit to the program's time requirement, which includes 150 class hours and special projects over the course of ten months.
The program includes twenty-one weekly meetings on Thursday evenings from 6:15PM to 9:15PM, and thirteen day-long Saturday and/or Sunday workshops with prominent national experts and leaders in the field. Please check the schedule for each segment.

Weekly Class Components

Weekly classes contain the following components:

  • Mindfulness or compassion practice.

  • Check-in time to discuss how you are applying these elements in your practice.

  • Didactic presentation on the application of mindfulness and compassion to psychotherapy to specific populations and from a variety of mindfulness orientations.

  • Skills development

In order to create and support a community of growth and learning, the program's curriculum is structured around a cohort model, where a small group of students attend the same classes together throughout the year. Several academic programs at CIIS follow this model, and it has proven to enrich students' learning experience, to create a vibrant learning community, and to inspire original ideas. Participants will have the opportunity to present cases and review current scientific research on the topic.

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