Contemplative Psychotherapy Program

Contemplative Psychotherapy Program

Two-year training integrating time-tested mindfulness and compassion practices in Buddhist psychology with evidence-based western psychotherapy and neuropsychology.


The Nalanda Institute Contemplative Psychotherapy Program is the leading certification program in the West for integrating mindfulness and compassion-based meditation practices and Buddhist psychology with contemporary psychotherapy, and current neuropsychology. This offering is available globally in 5 locations.

Continue Reading Overview

The most complete team of experts ever assembled on these topics will teach you to weave contemplative psychology, insights, and practices into the daily fabric of your professional practice and personal life.

The faculty is comprised of leading Buddhist scholars, practitioners, world-class meditation teachers, pioneering mindfulness and compassion researchers, and renowned clinicians. The program is led by Dr. Joe Loizzo and Helen Park, and guest faculty includes Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, Mark Epstein, Tara Brach, Dan Siegel, Chris Germer, Roshi Joan Halifax, Richard Davidson, Paul Fulton, Ethan Nichtern, and others.

  • Koncha Pinós-Pey, Director of CPP in Barcelona with meditation master, Sharon Salzberg.

Who is this training for?

This program is for health professionals, therapists, coaches, educators, caregivers and anyone in a helping profession interested in integrating contemplative practice, cutting edge neuroscience, and contemporary psychotherapy into their personal and professional life.

Continue reading Who is this training for?

Part of the richness of program is the remarkably broad range of professions represented—all are oriented toward integrating healing practices into their professional discipline. We have had marriage/family therapists, private-practice psychotherapists, psychiatrists, coaches, educators, graduate students, yoga instructors, acupuncturists, Christian reverends, corporate professionals, and hospital-institutional physicians and psychiatrists.

You will join a community of peers and mentors and become part of a global network for lifelong learning, inspiration, and development.


The curriculum is taught over two years. One year is dedicated to Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy and the other in Compassion-based Psychotherapy. Participants may start the two-year program in either year:

Continue Reading Curriculum

Mindfulness Year

The Mindfulness year provides a comprehensive foundation for integrating contemplative psychology and meditation practice into contemporary psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, object-relational, interpersonal, family-systems therapies and related caregiving fields. Areas of study include:

• foundations of Buddhism and Buddhist psychology
• neuroscience of meditation
• clinical applications of mindfulness: mechanisms of change and effects
• contemplative psychotherapy: integrative nuances
• meditation practicum: instruction with Sharon Salzberg

Compassion Year

The Compassion Year provides a comprehensive foundation for integrating the social psychology and meditation practices of the Nalanda tradition into contemporary transpersonal and self-psychology, narrative, somatic, and gestalt therapies. Areas of study include:

• transforming the mind for social engagement
• self-analysis and giving-and-taking practices
• role-modeling imagery and embodied openness for self-transformation
• visualization and sublimation practices


The Nalanda Institute’s Certificate in Mindfulness-based and Compassion-based Psychotherapy is awarded to those who complete all of the requirements of that year’s curriculum, including the initial retreat, coursework, meditation teach-backs, daily meditation practice, and a capstone project.

View a video about the program with Director Joe Loizzo

View a sample from one of our retreats with Sharon Salzberg and Director Joe Loizzo

Global participation

The program is currently offered through five international sites: New York City, Toronto, Barcelona/Mexico City, and San Francisco. The format varies slightly for each location depending on group size, the availability of faculty, and the needs of our local partners. View details for each:

Contemplative Psychotherapy New York City

Contemplative Psychotherapy Toronto

Contemplative Psychotherapy Spain

Contemplative Psychotherapy San Francisco

Online learning

Online learning availability and specifics vary. Please view each location for details.


Director: Helen H. Park, LMSW, MFA

Core Faculty: Fiona Brandon, MA, MFT (San Francisco); Pilar Jennings, PhD;  Joe Loizzo, MD, PhD; Marco Mascarin, PhD (Toronto); Helen H. Park, LMSW, MFA.

Guest Faculty: Past and present guest lecturers have included Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, Mark Epstein, Tara Brach, Dan Siegel, Chris Germer, Roshi Joan Halifax, Richard Davidson, Paul Fulton, and Ethan Nichtern.

View all Contemplative Psychotherapy faculty


Helen H. Park,

Attending the Nalanda Institute’s Contemplative Psychotherapy Program has been a rich and rewarding experience. Not only did I deepen and concretize my understanding of Buddhist thought as it applies to clinical work, but I also made lasting friendships with other like-minded clinicians. The sense of community they provide feels like a warm embrace.

—Debra Rosenzweig, PhD, Clinical Psychologist

And from one of our distance learning students:

I can’t find words to explain how important this journey has been for me. My spiritual and professional growth has been like a flower growing slowly and steadfastly toward the sun. My experience with the people I work with has completely changed. Now I’m able to receive their struggles like a gift and together we can embark on our specific and enthusiatic path toward the awareness of interdependence.

—Giulia Mellacca