Nalanda Institute’s Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT) is a complete, evidence-based method of training the resilience of mind, heart, and body we need to sustain lives of well-being, engagement and purpose in our interdependent world. It was developed and tested at the university hospitals of Columbia and Cornell, where it has been offered continuously since 1998. Find out more
Our Certified Instructors
The instructors below have been certified by Nalanda Institute and its Board of Directors to teach Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT). Find CBRT offerings given by our instructors on the CBRT calendar.
Moustafa Abdelrahman, MBA, RP, is a meditation teacher and Contemplative Therapist. He is certified by the University of Toronto as an Applied Mindfulness Meditation Specialist and holds a Certificate in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Nalanda Institute/Diploma from the Institute of Traditional Medicine. Abdelrahman teaches a variety of mindfulness certificate courses at the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto and has facilitated mindfulness workshops for a wide range of corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is a Senior Teacher for the Meditation Teacher Training at X-Hale Meditation & Wellness Centre and leads the Mindfulness Meditation program at the 519, a City of Toronto agency supporting the LGBTQ2S communities.
Mar Aige, BFA, MA, RYT, is a painter, art educator, meditation and yoga teacher specializing in therapeutic breathwork and self-massage. She received her BFA from Universitat de Barcelona and her MA from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and is a certified kundalini and Tibetan yoga teacher. At the Nalanda Institute, Mar graduated from the Yoga, Mind & Spirit and CBRT Teacher Training programs, where she teaches yoga and breathwork. Mar co-directs the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program in Spanish and Portuguese, where she also coordinates translations and teaches contemplative practices. Mar started teaching art to children over 20 years ago in museums and schools. Inspired by progressive education approaches like Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and Waldorf, she has taught at the Guggenheim Museum, The Met Cloisters, St. John the Divine, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. She started The Rubin Museum’s Family Programs department, which she managed for 5 years. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Isaac and her pup Tara.
Tracy Blasioli, LCSW, 500-ERYT, is a clinical social worker in private practice that offers an integrative approach to healing and therapeutic intervention for adolescents and women. She infuses a cognitive-behavioral foundation with mindfulness, yoga philosophy, embodiment and breathing practices, and energy work. Tracy received her MSW from Wheelock College and is currently a second year student in Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program. She is a Kripalu-certified yoga instructor, with advanced studies in the therapeutic modalities of yoga and meditation, guiding a diverse population of students in yoga and meditation study and practice for nearly a decade. She is also a Holy Fire III / Usui Reiki Master and weaves energy offerings into both her teaching and clinical work.
Gretchen Blycker, LMHC, LMT, RYT, PhD candidate, is a board-certified sex therapist, licensed massage therapist, registered yoga teacher, and adjunct faculty member at the University of Rhode Island. For the last 25 years she has been integrating a holistic framework in promoting sexual wellbeing, healthy relationships, healing from sexual trauma and treating problematic sexual behaviors. Gretchen integrates embodied contemplative practices in her work with individuals and couples in her mindfulness-based sex therapy practice as well with students as a sexual wellness educator.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Websites: halsosamtherapy.com awakeningaaa.com
Fiona Brandon, MPS, MA, MFT, is the Director of the Nalanda Institute’s Compassion Based Resilience Training (CBRT) and Embodied Psychotherapy programs. As a licensed psychotherapist, she integrates Buddhist psychology, depth psychology, expressive arts therapy, dream imagery, and sensorimotor psychotherapy in her work with adults and couples. Fiona is also a co-editor and contributor of the anthology Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy: Accelerating Healing and Transformation (2nd ed.). As a graduate of the Masters program in Counseling Psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, Fiona’s research focused on the meditative practice of Authentic Movement and the use of symbols and dream imagery in psychotherapy. Learn more at fionabrandon.com.
Dan Donohue, BS, MA, is Nalanda Institute’s Director of Marketing and Operations. He received his BS from Rutgers University and his MA in International Affairs from the New School. He brings with him over 17 years of senior management experience in educational media and technology. At both BrainPOP, a leading K12 educational technology company, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, Dan oversaw the development of programs that have reached millions of children in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to this work, Dan managed relief efforts in South Sudan for the humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger, was a teacher in the Peace Corps, and worked on documentaries, movies and commercials. Grounding his life and work is a meditation practice; the 10 past years of which have been with the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism.
Contact: email@example.com / Website: caringcompassionatecoaching.com/cbrt
Victoria Fontana, MA, is a graduate of Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program in New York. Victoria holds an M.A. in Education from the University of Washington and is currently finishing an M.Sc. in Mindfulness-Based Approaches from Bangor University, Wales, with MBSR certification. Victoria has been an educator for over 20 years, currently an adjunct professor at IE University in Madrid, where she teaches for the Center for Health, Well-Being and Happiness as well as the Languages and Humanities Departments. She teaches Mindfulness and Compassion both privately and in professional organizations and is a practicing Mindfulness and Wellness Coach, ACC. She is based in Madrid, Spain.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Website: mindgazing.com
Adrián Villaseñor Galarza
Adrián Villaseñor Galarza, PhD, is an integral eco-psychologist, and a graduate of Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy and CBRT Programs. He received his doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. Adrián is the founder and director of the Bioalchemy Institute and the Work That Reconnects Latin America, author of a handful of books, and has been engaged in transformative education for the last 17 years. In his work and research, Adrián has focused on the confluence of Eastern liberation teachings, Earth-based traditions, and Ecopsychology, resulting in an integrative framework for self-discovery, healing, and regenerative action. Adrián assists groups and individuals in their healing journeys in both English and Spanish.
Contact: email@example.com / Website: living-flames.com
Rahshaana Green, MBA, PMP, RYT, is the Co-Director the New York City-based Contemplative Psychotherapy Program. She is a coach and business consultant with expertise in Business Development, Marketing, and Strategy in Healthcare and Science. She is also a yoga/meditation teacher specialized in working with injured, aging, and perinatal clients. Green received her BA in Biophysical Chemistry from Dartmouth College, her MBA from University of Texas-Austin, and her foundational yoga training with Ana Forrest. She teaches mindfulness and compassion through meditation and yoga to corporate, group, and private clients and is passionate about empowering others to cultivate well-being and resilience.
Mia Gutfreund, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice working with adults, adolescents, and couples. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Smith College in 2009, and has since worked in private and public clinics including SF State University Psychological Services, and SFUSD High School Wellness Centers. Grounded in strengths-based and relational approaches, her work is influenced by psychodynamic thinking and child development theory. Mia has specialized training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the San Francisco Center from Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalytic Couples Psychotherapy Group. With interests in the mind & body, Mia trained and practiced as a Certified Massage Therapist; volunteered as a birth doula; and conducted thesis research on the uses of conscious breathing in psychotherapy practice.
Erin Heisel, PhD, MM, MCPC, is an artist, writer, educator, and mindfulness and meditation teacher. Her artistic background includes a doctorate in Music Performance and Composition from New York University; she has performed as a singer and movement artist on four continents. Her research sits at the intersection of music performance philosophy, play theory, flow theory, and mindfulness-based improvisation, and she has presented her work at conferences in the U.S. and abroad. She has led practices in mindfulness, movement, and meditation at the Brooklyn Public Library, Adelphi University, and the International Network on Personal Meaning conference in Vancouver. She is also a YTT-200 yoga teacher and a certified coach.
Jennifer Ladonne, MA, is a graduate of the Helix Training Program for Psychotherapy and Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program in New York City. She is a practicing therapist and teaches meditation in Paris. Jennifer is also a seasoned travel writer, journalist and editor and holds a master’s degree from New York University. She is based in Paris, France.
Ajay Manissery Konchery
Ajay Manissery Konchery, MA, MBA, is a business executive and writer currently living in Hong Kong. He is the Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Swire, a London and Hong Kong headquartered conglomerate. He is a published author of three books of poems, the latest published by Poetrywala, one of India’s acclaimed poetry publishers. His poems and short fiction have appeared in several magazines, journals, ezines and anthologies around the world and have been translated into nine languages. Ajay holds an MA (Psych) degree from Annamalai University and a MBA (HR) from XLRI Jamshedpur. He is currently pursuing an online MSc in Applied Neuroscience from King’s College London and a part-time Diploma in Buddhist Studies from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Ajay offers CBRT as a voluntary service during his free time. He integrates contemplative practices in coaching and leadership development, and for fostering a culture of well-being, inclusion and resilience at his workplace.
Tyler Miller, BS, is trained in the biomedical sciences and evolutionary psychology. At 20, an endocrine disorder set him off on a path of self-healing and a search for a deeper understanding of the embodied mind. He is a graduate of the 2-year Contemplative Psychotherapy Program at Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science and in Hatha Yoga studies from Yoga House in Pasadena, CA. He currently is teaching and coaching while pursuing a post-graduate certificate in clinical lab sciences. He is a student of the contemporary “meaning crisis,” and seeks to support others through his experience studying and training with teachers from some of the world’s rich spiritual lineages and their recent convergence with the modern scientific and humanistic systems ways of understanding.
Alexa Owen, C-IAYT, is a meditation faculty member at Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, as well as a graduate of the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program and teacher training in Compassion-Based Resilience Training (CBRT). She has delivered workshops on wellness and contemplative science at libraries, high schools, and universities; created mindfulness training content for values-driven organizations; and guided meditation through her work with the Anti-Racism Planning Group at Smith College School for Social Work, where she is currently working toward her Master of Social Work degree. A certified yoga therapist and inspired student of social science, she is passionate about supporting people in fully embodying their lives through self-awareness, compassion, and flourishing in their intra- and interpersonal relationships.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Website: alexaowen.com
Chris Panzica, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice. He received his MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. He is a graduate of Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program, a Certified Gestalt Therapist, and he completed the Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy program at the Center for Somatic Studies. He works with adults and couples and is also a clinical supervisor at Identity House. The benefits he experienced from his own meditation practice led to his interest in studying Buddhist Psychology and learning to teach others contemplative practices.
Renu Pariyadath, Ph.D., is a student of Indian and Tibetan non-dual philosophies and contemplative traditions. She is exploring the potential for using contemplative practices to overcome othering, transform conflict, promote resilience within organizations, and build community. Renu is also a teacher-scholar, active within the areas of environmental health, sustainability and justice, inclusion in higher education, organizational ethics, and transnational migration. She is an associate professor of communication and an affiliate faculty member in women’s and gender studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate.
Contact: email@example.com / Website: renupariyadath.com
Maria Perez, MPH, CCM, is founder and CEO of Case Management Network, Inc., which provides care coordination and management of traumatic injuries within occupational and liability insurance frameworks. She received her MPH from Columbia University and has completed multiple programs from the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science including the Sustainable Happiness Program, Contemplative Psychotherapy Program, Meditation Teacher Training, and Yoga, Mind & Spirit. In addition to her own meditation practice, Perez has integrated teaching mindfulness meditation to her employees and patients for stress reduction and pain control.
Eleanor G. Rosenzweig, LCSW, MTS is a clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of PTSD and complex grief. Her eclectic and psychodynamic background allows her to combine elements of EMDR, Brainspotting, IFS and Buddhist psychology to the unique needs of each client. Eleanor has a Masters degree in Social Work from Sir Wilfred Laurier University in Canada and a post Maters certificate in Couple and Family therapy from Smith College, Mass. She is a certified CBRT teacher currently running groups and is a graduate of the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program. In addition to her online private practice, Eleanor is an adjunct lecturer at Queens University in Kingston, Canada in the School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Website: renewingpotential.com
Zemeira Singer, LMFT, is a psychotherapist in private practice who is influenced by Narrative Therapy, Interpersonal Neurobiology and Buddhist Psychology in her work with individuals, couples and families. Singer received her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Los Angeles in 2007, with a specialization in Applied Community Psychology. She completed Nalanda’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Certification in 2018. She has spent the past 13 years working with individuals with chronic pain and life threatening illness, providing attachment informed couples therapy, providing child and family therapy and psychoeducation to parents and assisting those in the helping professions reduce burn-out. She contributed to and helped edit the recent book Neuro-narrative Therapy by Jeff Zimmerman. She has been a dedicated meditation practitioner for the past 15 years and has studied Theravadin, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist Practice. She is currently teaching CBRT in partnership with Mitchell Family Acupuncture in Berkeley, California.
Contact: email@example.com Website: new-narratives.com
Lucia Tanassi, PhD, MSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist, anthropologist, bioethicist, and meditation teacher specializing in the therapeutic use of meditation to heal from traumas and life’s rejections. She received a PHD in Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Masters of Social Work from San Jose State University. She has taught college level anthropology, ethics and social work, and has worked in medical settings since 2004. She provides Psychotherapy as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California, and meditation instruction and coaching worldwide. She completed Nalanda Institute’s Certificate in Contemplative Psychotherapy and CBRT. She helps people with complex medical issues, and life limiting illness; She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and works with people who have experienced stressful events, trauma and loss.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Website: limberhabit.com
Maria Thorin, PhD (cand), is a humanitarian, aspiring compassion scholar and a meditation and yoga teacher. She has worked for twenty years with international humanitarian aid, currently with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and before that for the United Nations. She is a PHD student at Åbo Academy University exploring Humanitarian Humanity from a perspective of Compassion Science and Ethics. She is also a certified facilitator of Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) with Life University supporting secular ethics and values of common humanity, kindness and reciprocity. Maria teaches yoga and mindfulness through a national health network based on volunteers. She was awarded the Nalanda Institute Fellows Program 2019–2020 for bringing CBRT to aid workers. She is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Contact: email@example.com / Website: annamariathorin.com
Allison White, ACSW, LCSW, CCDP-D, is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice, with over 30 years in the field. Specializations include trauma (certified in EMDR), depression, anxiety and workplace burnout. Allison worked in leadership at a large healthcare organization for over 25 years as a Clinical Supervisor, Behavioral Health Program Manager and Healthcare Home Director while focusing on whole-person care and integrating mind-body wellness. She was a Compassion Fatigue facilitator and staff Wellness Coach. Allison wrote articles for St. Louis Health and Wellness magazine and was a regular guest on the Health and Wellness radio show. Allison completed the Veterinary Social Work certificate program at the University of Tennessee and gives presentations and workshops on Compassion Fatigue, mindfulness, compassion and resilience for veterinary professionals, animal shelter and rescue groups. Allison’s podcast, Animal Academy Podcast includes interviews with people who share their own journey into well-being.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / Website: wellnessalley.com
Anna Winkler, BA Psych, E-RTY500, LMT has been practicing and teaching yoga since 1989. She was originally certified through the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers, where she served as a volunteer staff member for over 6 years. Anna is the Director of Shakti Yoga & living arts in Maplewood, NJ. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a certified Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultant from Kripalu School of Ayurveda’s first graduating class of 2006. Anna is honored to serve on the Board of Directors, and as a teacher, at the Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, a retreat center in Cragsmoor, NY founded by her teacher, Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche.
Contact: email@example.com / Website: shaktinj.com