Contemplative Psychotherapy Program

Contemplative Psychotherapy Program / Switzerland

Two-year training integrating time-tested mindfulness and compassion practices, Buddhist psychology and ethics with current neuropsychology, contemporary psychotherapy and the ethics of social justice. This program is offered in partnership with Landguet Ried, a center for mindful living in Konez, Switzerland.


The Nalanda Institute Contemplative Psychotherapy Program is the leading certification program in the West for integrating mindfulness and compassion-based meditation practices, Buddhist psychology and ethics with current neuropsychology, contemporary psychotherapy, and the ethics of social justice.

The most complete team of experts ever assembled in this rapidly expanding field will teach you to weave contemplative psychology, meditation practice and socially engaged contemplative ethics into the daily fabric of your professional practice and personal life.


The faculty is comprised of leading contemplative psychotherapists, eminent Buddhist scholar-practitioners, contemplative scholar-activists, groundbreaking neuroscientists, pioneering mindfulness and compassion researchers, and exemplary contemplative clinicians.

The program is led by Dr. Joe Loizzo, Dr. Pilar Jennings, and Program Directors Rahshaana Green and Dr. Diego Hangartner, as well as Buddhist scholar-practitioners Dr. Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg, and Dr. Nida Chenagstang, and scholar-activists Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah. Past and present guest lecturers include Rev angel Kyodo williams, Mark Epstein, Tara Brach, Roshi Joan Halifax, Dan Siegel, Emma Seppälä, Chris Germer, Lobsang Rabgyay, Sebene Salassie, Stephen Porges, Paul Fulton, Richard Davidson, Ethan Nichtern and others.

View all Contemplative Psychotherapy faculty

Who is this program for?

This program is for psychotherapists, social workers, nurses, psychiatrists, providers of traditional Asian healthcare and integrative medicine, yoga therapists, coaches, educators and anyone in a helping profession interested in integrating contemplative practice, cutting edge neuroscience, contemporary psychotherapy, and socially engaged ethics into their personal and professional life.

Part of the richness of the program is the remarkably broad range of professions represented—all are oriented toward integrating healing practices into their professional discipline. Our community has included psychoanalysts, analytic trainees, graduate students, art therapists, ministers, chaplains, pastoral counselors, palliative care workers, lawyers, human resource professionals, corporate consultants, entrepreneurs, first responders, hospital-based physicians and psychiatrists, people in career transitions and more.

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:

Mindfulness Year

The Mindfulness year provides a comprehensive foundation for integrating contemplative psychology,meditation practice and socially engaged ethics into contemporary cognitive, dynamic, relational, interpersonal, intersubjective and embodied therapies, coaching, education and related caregiving fields. Areas of study include:

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

Compassion Year

The Compassion Year provides a comprehensive foundation for integrating the social psychology,compassion practice and socially transformative ethics of the Nalanda tradition into contemporary self-psychology, narrative, somatic, gestalt and transformational therapies, coaching, education and related fields. Areas of study include:

  • transforming the mind for social engagement and healing
  • self-analysis, self-compassionand giving-and-taking practices
  • embodied practice of role-modeling imagery for self-transformation
  • embodied breath-work and open awareness practices
  • meditation practicum: instruction with Robert Thurman and core faculty

Format and schedule

The program begins each Fall with an opening weekend retreat held at Landguet Reid Center for Mindful Living* with Drs. Joe Loizzo and Diego Hangartner and also includes a Spring weekend retreat* with Drs. Loizzo, Hangartner, Jennings or other guest faculty.

The Switzerland program is a hybrid learning experience. For each of the 30 weeks throughout the year, students independently watch video lectures online by our core faculty and guest speakers, maintain a daily meditation practice, and read required texts.

Every two weeks students gather for a live interactive video conference that includes discussion, meditation, and case consultation. These conferences are facilitated by Joe Loizzo, Diego Hangartner and Rahshaana Green.

Students work on a capstone project throughout the year.


Tuition is 3,100 CHF / $3,400 USD per year and includes retreats and materials. Tuition does not include accommodations or meals for the retreats.


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, class participation, coursework, meditation teach-backs, daily meditation practice, and a capstone project.


Read the Frequently Asked Questions about the Mindfulness Year, 2021–2022.

Application information

Applications for the Mindfulness Year are closed.


For more information, contact program co-director Rahshaana Green.


* Due to Covid-19 retreats may be held online. Check current offerings for details.


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 enthusiastic path toward the awareness of interdependence.

—Giulia Mellacca