by Nalanda Institute

What is Contemplative Psychotherapy?

What is Contemplative Psychotherapy?

Contemplative Psychotherapy is a shared journey of deep learning and transformation that prepares therapists and non-therapists alike for an ongoing practice harnessing the healing wisdom and arts of both Buddhist and Western psychology. Contemplative Psychotherapy teaches us how to show up in the world from a more mindful, compassionate, and fully embodied place. It is an invitation to find your own path to deep personal and psychosocial change, rooted in the cultivation of self-awareness, healing dialogue, heart-opening compassion, and embodied intuition and flow.

What is Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program?

Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program (CPP) explores this space through three separate years focused on mindfulness-based individual psychology, compassion-based social psychology, and embodiment-based transformational psychology. Rather than needing to be chronological, the years can be taken independently, in any order, at any time, providing students with the spaciousness to complete modules of the full program when it best suits their personal needs and timeframe. Students are also welcome to join for only one year of the program, no commitment to the full three years is required (although we do recommend that students have some contemplative experience before joining the embodiment year). The program combines a safe and brave learning community, engagement with eminent Buddhist teachers, social justice scholar-activists, leading contemplative psychotherapists, and distinguished neuroscientists. Past faculty have included Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams, and Lama Rod Owens. Our Contemplative Psychotherapy Program is also offered in Spanish and Portuguese.

Who is the program for?

While the Contemplative Psychotherapy Program is appropriate for clinicians of all disciplines looking to infuse Buddhist psychology, ethics, and meditation into their life and work, it is also intended for people from all walks of life seeking a new way of being, living and working informed by the confluence of contemplative science and practice with contemporary psychotherapy, neuropsychology and the pursuit of psychosocial change.

In short, the program is for anyone who aspires to go deeper and further into the transformational work of contemplative learning, who wants to belong to a thriving community of change, and who seeks a path to personal growth, professional development, and compassionate leadership. Past students within the program have included personal coaches, professionals, therapists, educators, yoga teachers, caregivers, and many others.

How does CPP support individuals?

The Contemplative Psychotherapy Program supports individuals in developing an open mind, warm heart, embodied intuition, and an altruistic way of being in the world. Delving into the ongoing confluence between Buddhist and Western Psychology allows participants to get a solid grounding in the power of mindful attention, wise compassion, and embodied flow, and to practice harnessing them to transform the isolating, fear-based way of being plaguing  our world today into the connective, compassionate way of being we need to thrive together with all life on planet earth.

How does CPP support our communities?

Beyond its many benefits for individual students, the hybrid approach to healing and transformation that lies at the heart of Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program offers students vital new perspectives and capacities on how we can collectively transform the compound crises challenging the future of our society, human community, and planet today. The compound public crisis we face—of racial and gender oppression, extreme health and economic inequity, rampant hate crimes and violence, loneliness, and polarization, not to mention the imminent threat of climate change, all stem from the destructive mindset and culture of hyperindividualism, greed, and hate which we must transform together as concerned and engaged communities. Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program helps ground students in the self-transcendent wisdom, compassion, and embodiment we need to be partners in the global transformation humanity needs now.

In conclusion

As individuals and as a global community, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment, facing myriad personal and collective challenges whose primal root is an unsustainable, survival-based way of being. Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program weaves together the key change disciplines from the Nalanda tradition and from the contemporary West that offer the transformation of mind, heart, and body into the connective way of being, we need to flourish In today’s increasingly complex, interdependent and fast-changing world.

Editor’s note: Join us for Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program Open House to learn more about this transformative program on Friday, June 30 from 12:00–1:30pm ET.