Contemplative Psychotherapy Program

Contemplative Psychotherapy San Francisco

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


The San Fransisco program is an online learning program for those residing both inside and out of the San Fransisco Bay area. This program is a combination of live retreats and online learning and conferences.


The San Francisco program begins each Fall with a 3-day weekend retreat hosted by our local partner, the San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC), where Nalanda Institute Director Joe Loizzo provides intensive instruction. There is also a winter retreat at SFZC lead by Sharon Salzberg, Pilar Jennings, Miles Neale, or another of our core faculty.

Continue reading schedule

Semesters are comprised of watching weekly 3-hour videotaped classes from New York, weekly readings, and daily meditation practices, enhanced by ten 1-hour supervision meetings (via Zoom) with Dr. Loizzo and 10 live 2-hour meetings with our local program supervisor Fiona Brandon spread over the year, including group discussion and guided meditation practice. An annual concluding dinner celebrates classmates’ capstone projects.


Psychotherapists, social workers, mental health counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, physicians, creative arts therapists, educators, entrepreneurs, artists and others in helping professions are encouraged to apply.

Continue reading eligibility

Preference may be given to those who are established in their clinical practice, who have had at least some exposure to meditative practices, and who wish to deepen their awareness of contemplative-based practices and their clinical applications.

According to the Nalanda teaching tradition, this training can be entered in either year. For those wishing to enter the program in the Compassion Year, acceptance is contingent on applicants’ professional experience and on familiarity with Buddhist thought and mindfulness/yoga practice. Accepted applicants will be invited to attend a review course to prepare for the Compassion Year training. New participants who graduate from the Compassion Year are invited to continue in the next cycle of the Mindfulness Year.


Tuition for San Francisco participation is $4,000 per year. Tuition includes San Francisco retreats and all materials. A small number of scholarships and flexible payment options are available based on financial need.

Please note that no refunds or credits will be issued once classes begin in September, 2017.

Continuing education credits

24 Continuing Education Credits (CEs) are available for The Compassion Year 2017–2018.

American Psychological Association: The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continue reading continuing education credits

SCRC maintains responsibility for the program and its content. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

For questions about these CE accreditations, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at

Application information

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2019 Compassion-based Certificate Program in Contemplative Psychotherapy. Deadline for application submission is August 15th, 2019.

Click here to apply


For more information, please contact San Francisco Program Director, Fiona Brandon at

Students gather in San Francisco with SF Director Fiona Brandon.