Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT™)
An 8-week course to build strength and resilience through compassion and self-compassion training.
What is Compassion Cultivation Training©?
Compassion Cultivation Training© – CCT™ is an eight-week course developed at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine. The program is designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and for others. CCT™ integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. The CCT protocol was developed at Stanford University by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers.
All of us have a natural capacity for compassion. However, everyday stress, social pressures, and strong emotions can make it difficult for us to fully express our compassion. Compassion Cultivation Training© (CCT™) and other programs can increase self-compassion and self-care; reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; and enhance our connection with others. In CCT™ you will cultivate new ways to be with stress and to show up in difficult or distressing circumstances. You can cultivate strength and resilience through this training and the practices we will do together.
Why Cultivate Compassion?
Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more empathy and concern for others. It develops the strength to be with suffering, the courage to take compassionate action, and the resilience to recover from, or prevent burn-out.
These qualities support a wide range of goals, from improving personal relationships to making a positive difference in the world. Compassion cultivation can also support one’s own health, happiness, and well-being. Preliminary research suggests that CCT™ and similar programs can increase self-compassion and self-care; reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; and enhance connection with others.
Scientific studies suggest that a kind and compassionate attitude can greatly reduce the distress we feel in difficult situations and become a profound personal resource in times of stress. Through instruction and the interactive nature of the processes incorporated in this course, you will have opportunities to cultivate new ways in which to access, recognize, and strengthen compassion and empathy − as a default response to the ever-present challenges that characterize our human experience.
In this course, individuals will learn how to:
- Increase kindness and compassion for yourself and others
- Decrease symptoms of burn-out and distress in response to suffering
- Develop skills that build personal resilience in response to stress
- Develop increased ability to focus and sustain attention
- Do something to help even when you feel like you can’t do anything
- Build closer connections with others to build and repair relationships
In CCT™, the training process includes:
- Daily meditation practices to develop loving kindness, empathy, and compassion.
- A two-hour weekly class that includes lecture, discussion, meditation, and in-class exercises.
- Real-world “homework” assignments to practice compassionate thoughts and actions.
Who Participates in Compassion Cultivation Training©?
CCT™ is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and others. This includes parents, caregivers, health and mental health practitioners, educators, students, executives, police officers, public servants, attorneys and more.
Registration for the Fall 2020 online CCT course is now closed. Stay tuned and sign up to the newsletter for updates on when future courses will be offered!
About Your CCT™ Teacher
Sara Owens Woodard, Ph.D., is a psychologist, consultant, teacher, and certified CCT™ instructor. Her areas of focus are teaching people how to work with strong emotions and how to build healthy and collaborative relationships. CCT™ has changed her life for the better! Read her story here. Learn more about Sara at her YouTube channel here.