This course forms the didactic core for the Advanced Fellowship in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy at the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion affiliated with the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry– the first such professional advanced clinical fellowship for training of mental health professionals associated with a major medical school.
Please note that all applications must be accompanied by a $500 application fee, credited to tuition on acceptance, or refunded if you are not accepted.
Applications are now open for 2022-23. Spaces are limited, apply now.
ENGAGE Immerse yourself in an intensive program of personal and intellectual study • 9 months, 120+ hours with distinguished faculty interaction • Weekly live group interactions for conversation with faculty, clinical consultation & ongoing meditation support • Two retreats (totaling 9 days) for scholarly and meditation instruction, and community building • Continuing Education credits for most professionals
CONNECT • Enjoy intimate engagement with distinguished faculty each week • Enhance your personal meditation practice through 1:1 and small group instruction • Discover a community of mutual support, investigation and connection with like-minded professionals
TRANSFORM • Change your life through a deep experiential understanding of meditation practice and Buddhist psychology. • Establish the foundation to teach or apply mindfulness personally and professionally.
COURSE DESCRIPTION A groundbreaking and comprehensive training in mindfulness and psychotherapy
The course consists of weekly ‘live’ online events including: • Interactive live discussions with faculty • Small group moderated live discussions, case consultation, and practice teaching by students • Web-based lectures and readings by international experts, viewed at your convenience, from any time zone • Active online discussion forum on course material • Active online meditation discussion forum • Ongoing meditation instruction and support from seasoned meditation teachers • Two retreats for didactic instruction, community building, and meditation instruction/practice
Admission is by application. Psychologists, psychiatrists, palliative care professionals, social workers, nurses, licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and other professional caregivers are invited to apply. Other professionals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students should have some experience with mindfulness or other forms of Buddhist meditation practice.
Admission is limited to approximately 45 students. Because of the intimate and interactive nature of this program, admission will be granted to professionals motivated to actively engage with the curriculum and with fellow students, on and off the cushion.
• How to speak, teach, and apply mindfulness and compassion with patients • Adverse effects of mindfulness • The lived experience as the gateway to freedom • Neurobhavana: Mindful cultivation and positive neuroplasticity • Essentials of Buddhist & Western psychology • Models of illness, models of cure • Neuroscientific and clinical research in mindfulness • Clinical applications across psychotherapeutic modalities & populations: • Depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, psychophysiological disorders, children, death & dying • Mindfulness as training for the psychotherapist • Self-compassion • The practice of ethical conduct in clinical practice; the role of ethical conduct in patient well-being • Teaching mindfulness to clients • Risks and adverse effects of mindfulness practice • Psychotherapy as relational mindfulness practice • The “self” and “ego” in Buddhist and Western psychology • Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and contemplative practice • Other topics to be announced
Participants are expected to commit themselves to daily meditation practice for the duration of the course. This is essential to understanding how mindfulness works and to its application in psychotherapy and care giving. This commitment will be supported by ongoing instruction and through regular consultation with experienced meditation teachers
DATE/TIME: The online “live” program will meet Wednesday evenings from 8:00-9:30 PM EST, beginning September 8. (some weeks, some sections may meet at an alternative time).
The opening retreat begins the evening of September 8 and continues through the 13 in the morning and the evening. These sessions are recorded for those who are unable to attend in real time. Periodic small-group section meetings will be offered at a variety of times to accommodate those in remote time zones.
SCHOLARSHIP RATE: $3,600 (by application)
We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Limited additional scholarship funds may be available to applicants who identify as BIPOC.
Rod Owens Rick Hanson Zenju Earthlyn Manuel Willoughby Britton Joseph Goldstein Bill Morgan Shelly Harrell Zev Schuman-Olivier John Briere Stephanie Morgan Zindel Segal Chris Germer Susan Morgan Ron Siegel Robert Chodo-Campbell Kristin Neff Dennis Tirch Paul Fulton Koshin Paley-Ellison Susan Kaiser-Greenland Jack Engler Andrew Olendzki Chris Willard Susie Fairchild Alice Rosen Janet Surrey John Makransky Lizabeth Roemer Jorge Armesto Gita Vaid
Q: “I’m not a [psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, etc.]. Can I still apply? What if I’m not a psychotherapist?” A: The course has special focus on the application of mindfulness to psychotherapy, though much of what is taught is pertinent to other helping professionals. In the past we have had ministers & rabbis, physicians, early childhood educators, coaches, yoga teachers, retirees, nurses, and other professionals as appropriate.
Q: “Who is admitted?” A: The ideal candidate has professional experience in mental health, and personal experience of the practice of meditation in a Buddhist tradition, though we have admitted those who were relatively new to one or the other. Those new to meditation are encouraged to become established in their own meditation prior to applying. In reviewing applications, we look for a good fit between what we offer and what the applicant is seeking. Questions on application itself help us judge if this course is suited to your purposes.
Q: “When do applications close?” A: Once we are full. We keep a wait list.
Q: “What is included in the tuition?” A: Everything except travel to the retreats.
Q: “What if I can’t attend the opening or closing retreat?” A: We feel these retreats are integral to the best possible experience, and encourage all students accepted into the program to attend.
Q: “What are the retreat accommodations?” A: [Please note: due to COVID-19, all retreats are virtual for the foreseeable future.] Copper Beech provides private rooms, though bathrooms are shared (segregated by gender). Meals are well balanced, offering vegetarian options. Facilities are wheelchair accessible.
Q: “How can I get to the retreats?” A: [Please note: due to COVID-19, all retreats are virtual for the foreseeable future.] While we don’t provide transportation, prior to the opening of the course, we assist students with ride sharing. The retreat center is about 25 minutes from Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
Q: “What are the requirements for CEs? For the Certificate?” A: Requirements for CEs will vary by profession and state, and students are encouraged to understand the rules that apply to them. Award of the Certificate is at the discretion of program faculty, who are looking for attendance and active engagement; ‘lurkers’ or those who enroll but do not attend will not be eligible for a Certificate.
Q: “What if I miss an online class?” A: It is rare a student can attend every weekly session. Therefore, all online events – “office hours” with faculty and small group section meetings – are recorded and posted for the benefit of those who missed the class, to be viewed on your own time.
Q: “What do I need to attend on-line events? What orientation is available?” A: You will need a computer, tablet, or phone with a microphone and camera, and a fast Internet connection. We recommend using a headset. We will provide orientation to students on navigating the technology, which is generally very user-friendly.
Q: “I want to learn to be a psychotherapist. Will this course provide that training?” A: This is not a substitute for training as a psychotherapist, nor will it enable someone not otherwise qualified to become licensed. It is intended for those with some training and experience.
Q: “When are decisions made? When will I be informed of action on my application?” A: We try to make decisions within 2-4 weeks of receiving applications. On rare occasions we may ask for more information, and applicants will be notified of that at once.
Q: “What will a Certificate enable me to do?” A: At present, there is no universally accepted standard certification for mindfulness-informed psychotherapy, or for those qualified to teach mindfulness. The Certificate is evidence of completion of an in-depth program from the Institute of Meditation & Psychotherapy, the oldest organization of its type. A Certificate is not a substitute for licensure in your respective disciplines, and should be regarded as advanced training.
“I know I am just opening the door, but this is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and everybody around me.” – Tai Katzenstein, Ph.D.
“Our learning through IMP has opened up the rest of my life to me. I’m finding my way little by little into the next spaces, both in work and in spiritual life. I’ll be doing so for the rest of life.” – Jen Snider, MSW
“The lessons that I learned from the program were truly life altering and I am forever grateful… Every person in the program left an indelible mark on my spirit.” – Catharine Larkin
“My life is richer because of my participation in this group and the people I have met. I am grateful.” – Cecilia Fernandez-Hall, Ph.D.
“It is hard to verbalize the surprisingly profound impact this experience (so much more than a course) has had on me. It has been so complete—spiritually, emotionally, professionally and intellectually.” – Amanda Peacock, LCSW
“This was a great place to be. It seemed OK to be really present. I felt myself reach.” – Suzanne Vick, RN
“I just want to tell you how much I am enjoying this course…the information is so rich and meaningful to me and the others are so interesting and interested that I feel at home with my new Sangha.” – Kate Beers, MSW
“The experience in the Mindfulness & Psychotherapy course has been absolutely transformative for me. Not only has it been personally enriching, but it has also sparked new professional developments and interests.” – Jennifer Earls, MA
“Every wish I had for developing a sangha, a community of therapists of “like mind” and an increased knowledge of applying mindfulness to my work in multiple ways has been fulfilled … I feel it is invaluable in many ways.” – Barbara Van Zoeren, LICSW
“I have gotten so much out of the class/program so far this year. It has been transformative for me, both personally and professionally. I use what I am learning in this class every day, both in my work with clients as well as in the rest of my life. You have created an emotionally safe, intellectually stimulating and interpersonally rich context in which to learn and grow. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” – Paula Fuchs, Psy.D.
“[This] has been transformative for me personally and professionally—what a fabulous sangha it’s been and a tantalizing intellectual journey as well.” – Laura Warren, MD
“When I signed up for the class, it was done to help me bring mindfulness into my work. As it turns out, something that I had not expected has happened—I have brought meditation and mindfulness into my own life in a way that has become so important and valuable to me, and has had a deep impact on my life.” – Jeanne Mahoney, MSW
“How fortunate to have been part of the Institute, and I hope to carry the work and teachings forward to others in the generous spirit with which it was imparted to us. I have deeply taken in the experience and what I have learned about being in the present moment is also shaping my forward plans. Honestly, it is a challenge to put the gratitude into words that come close to what I feel about IMP. Thank you.” – Dora Ives, MSW
“I just wanted to say again how thrilled I am to be part of this program. Each week I’m more & more amazed at the line-up of incredible teachers we’ve had. When I talk to colleagues about it they are so impressed. Thanks again for this opportunity.” – Ann Biasetti, LICSW
“I know my staff is utilizing these trainings for their own well-being. I have spoken to several staff members in our division who have also shared how they are working differently with self-compassion. So, thank you for knowledge, training and care you share, and the rippling out it allows for your students to bring into our worlds. I know my breath has never left me, but somehow I feel like I have found it and connected to the source…What hope and life! Thank you.” – Molly Payne, MA
“This has been such an important experience for me…. The combination of the course material, the commitment to – and support of – meditation and the wonderful connections in the group has had an enormously positive impact on both my life and my work. Introducing aspects of mindfulness into my clinical work has begun to add a new energy and another dimension to the therapy.” – Barbara Furstenberg, Psy.D.
“Almost a year has passed, an incredibly self-fulfilling year. Before arriving to Boston…I found this amazing and unique program, a program I was looking for without even knowing so. There is a saying: “The path is wiser than the one taking it,” and this is exactly how I feel. Without even knowing, I found precisely what I needed. The incredible classes, exciting speakers, relaxing retreats, new friends and of course you, all made this year simply unforgettable. I sincerely want to thank you for this opportunity.” – Hila Brukman, art therapist