Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week program developed originally at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. CCT is designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for others and for oneself. CCT integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. The program was developed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers.
There is a growing body of research which asserts the value of cultivating compassion. As a wholesome state of mind, compassion is essential to individual wellbeing. As an ethical orientation, compassion is also essential for sustaining rich and nourishing relationships. As a social force, it is crucial for addressing global dilemmas.
Not only has cultivating compassion been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of destructive emotions (such as anger and hatred), it is also a sustainable response to the suffering of others, and actually alleviates empathic distress and burnout. Consequently, Compassion Cultivation Training will be particularly relevant to those in health and human services roles who regularly witness suffering in their lives and work. More broadly, the program is of value to anyone challenged by suffering in themselves or in our world.
CCT will be facilitated by Dr Petrina Barson, a certified and senior CCT teacher. Petrina has presented CCT to medical students, health professionals, and to the wider community since 2014. She is currently involved in research into outcomes of this program amongst medical students and is an Honorary Fellow in the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne. She is a long-term member of a progressive Christian community, which inspires and supports her understanding of compassion.
The Centre for a Compassionate Society is presenting this course in collaboration with the Contemplary.