Maitripa College is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Maitripa College maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continuing Education Credits

CE programs for psychologists, when attended in their entirety, are available for continuing education credits. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants. Maitripa College is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Maitripa College maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

We are currently not an approved site for CE credits by other licensing boards, such as those for social work, acupuncture, or education. However, if an event is attended in full, we can issue a certificate of attendance with which some individuals have successfully petitioned other agencies to honor as CE.

Ethical Principles

Maitripa College is committed to accessibility and nondiscrimination in its continuing education activities and will conduct its activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Leigh Miller, PhD, Director of Programs, at [email protected],  or 503-235-2477, ext.7002.

Fees and Refund Policy for CE Workshops

Registration fees include all handouts and tea breaks. Meals are not included.
Refunds will be honored with written notice up to 48 hours prior to the educational program. Contact Director of Programs, Leigh Miller, PhD, to cancel registration and request refund.

Intersections of Psychology and Buddhism at Maitripa College

In conjunction with the broader mission statement of Maitripa College, the goals of our continuing education for psychologists program are to offer a range of educational programs that help disseminate the theory and methods of Buddhist psychology to the community of professional mental health specialists and the interested public. The rich dialogues between psychological disciplines, including psychotherapy, cognitive and contemplative sciences, and neuroscience have figured prominently in Maitripa College’s courses and conferences in recent years as well.

The faculty and instructors at Maitripa College represent a wealth of experience in teaching and research of Buddhist psychology and modern western clinical psychology. It is our aim to develop a program of workshops and seminars that will provide training to mental health specialists in the clinical application of these techniques in a competent manner.

Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in America, particularly in Portland and the Pacific Northwest where Maitripa College is located. There has been a rise in the number of Buddhist clinicians, Buddhist-inspired therapies employed by non-Buddhist clinicians, and Buddhist clients seeking therapeutic support within a spiritual framework. Maitripa College serves these sectors through the content we currently offer, and curricula we are developing in compassion, mindfulness, self-compassion (a form of self-care), grief counseling, and interpersonal relations for clinical contexts and personal development.

Buddhist psychology has been an influence on modern western psychology since its inception, as evidenced through the writings of such pioneers as William James, and Carl Jung. In the past two decades, an emerging body of literature reflects the application of Buddhist psychology in the development of evidence-based psychological interventions. Mindfulness meditation was introduced to the West in a secular and standardized clinical format about 30 years ago (Kabat-Zinn, 1982) and growing evidence of positive outcomes has amassed for its diverse clinical and research applications in various physical and mental/emotional conditions (Allen, Chambers, & Knight, 2006Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004Keng, Smoski, & Robins, 2011).

[1]Mindfulness is incorporated into many standardized clinical programs, such as the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program (Kabat-Zinn, 1982Kabat-Zinn et al., 1992), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT; Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002), Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (Kristeller & Wolever, 2011), Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (Bowen et al., 2009), and Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (Duncan & Bardacke, 2010).[i]

The application of Buddhist principles in mental health settings is occurring at a fast pace and given the current funding missions of federal agencies such as the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction, National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine we believe the overlap between Buddhist psychology and the field of mental health will continue to grow. Both Buddhists and psychologists aim to understand the inner workings of the mind and use that knowledge to reduce human suffering and improve overall wellbeing. Every year, increasing numbers of people report use of meditation as a form of mind-body medicine.

Over the past decade, there has also been cutting edge research on the neuropsychology of positive emotions evoked during meditation.  For example, Richard Davidson, Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin has used functional MRI studies to show neurological links between meditation on compassion and the evocation of happiness. Another example is the work of Dr. Herbert Benson from Harvard University on the Relaxation Response, an exploration on the positive effects of meditation and stress. Numerous other researchers in major universities are studying the application of Buddhist meditations for evoking positive emotions to neurological changes and to the broader, emerging field of research in positive psychology. Research also continues to emerge exploring the heath-related effects of meditation upon conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, and management of chronic disorders and diseases. Meditation has also been shown to effect neuroplasticity, emotional regulation, and other physical, psychological, and spiritual outcomes.

Many psychology graduate programs now include curricula about these secular evidence-based practices, but very few programs address the intersection between Buddhism and Psychology. Maitripa College CE program content has therefore been relevant for psychologists interested in applying techniques of mindfulness to their own work as therapists and sharing these techniques with their clients.

Maitripa College’s continuing education program may present this and other research while also teaching clinicians and researchers a range of practical methods. The program also addresses skills for use in the therapeutic context, as well as the self-care of the therapist. The program will also look at links between traditional Buddhist psychology and positive psychology research and theory, and considers itself uniquely positioned to help disseminate relevant evidence-based programs as they emerge.
Most recently, our Death and Dying program has been attended annually by psychologists and clinician working with clients with terminal illness, caregivers of the terminally ill, and grief counseling. The program offers a clear distillation of the dying process and how it is experienced in spiritual, physical, and psychological dimensions by the one dying, loved ones, and care givers including medical personnel. Education about the Buddhist approach to death and various practices for caretakers (including therapists) and for the dying offer new tools for psychological practice centered on presence, mindfulness, overcoming resistance to mortality, empathy, and compassion. These can be powerfully transformative of the suffering and confusion that characterizes death and grief for many.

Mindfulness and other concepts derived from Buddhist philosophy and meditative techniques in various secular formations have become increasingly common both in popular cultural and clinical or therapeutic contexts, but the development and accessibility of training standards have been more limited. Maitripa delivers the traditional Buddhist analyses of mind and emotional states and techniques to modify negative states through cultivating forms of attention and insight which are novel in the West. Additionally, Maitripa College as an institution is oriented towards western contemporary cultural contexts, and places such traditional Tibetan knowledge in dialogue with western scholarly approaches to the study of religion, contemplative sciences, and psychology. For those with a foundation in Western doctoral programs in psychology, Maitripa offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary, comparative study, and for exposure to sources from religious and cultural traditions which may not have been offered in-depth in other educational programs, despite the popularity, cultural relevance, and promise of Buddhist or secularized concepts such as mindfulness, compassion, self-compassion, altruism, and so forth. This enhances diversity training for any psychologist.

For Buddhist clinicians, our content supports enhancing their clinical and professional practices through their personal spiritual practice and growth. Mindfulness cannot be mastered all at once, but requires continual practice, and is enriched and deepened as one continues to practice over time, ideally with a more experienced instructor or guide, which Maitripa CE instructors may offer. Instruction for bringing mindfulness techniques into the spiritual and personal growth of the clinicians can directly and indirectly be shared with their clients. Compassion practices include self-care which can assist the clinician in maintaining personal boundaries and counteracting burnout. These techniques and issues are addressed by CE instructors such that self-compassion becomes the grounds for continual source of compassion for the deep suffering of the clients.  Professional ethics become deepened and more internalized through development of personal theologies and beliefs; upholding ethical standards aligns with deeper values.

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[1] Kabat-Zinn J. An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: theoretical considerations and preliminary results. General Hospital Psychiatry. 1982;4:33–47. doi: 0.1016/0163-8343(82)90026-3.

Allen NB, Chambers R, Knight W. Mindfulness-based psychotherapies: a review of conceptual foundations, empirical evidence and practical considerations. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2006;40:285–294. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1614.2006.01894.x.

Grossman P, Niemann L, Schmidt S, Walach H. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits. A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2004;57:35–43.

Keng SL, Smoski MJ, Robins CJ. Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: a review of empirical studies. Clinical Psychology Review. 2011;31:1041–1056. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006.

[i] Kabat-Zinn J, Massion AO, Kristeller J, Peterson LG, Fletcher KE, Pbert L, Santorelli SF. Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders.American Journal of Psychiatry. 1992;149:936–943.

Segal ZV, Williams MG, Teasdale JD. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: A New Approach to Preventing Relapse. New York: Guilford Press; 2002.