2012, University of Arizona, Trained in CBCT

In 2012, Standish Foundation president Andrea Standish was trained in Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) through the University of Arizona, John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Cognitively Based Compassion Training (CBCT) is a secular program for enhancing compassion, empathy, emotional intelligence, and social competence. The program was originally developed by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, at Emory University to help undergraduates deal with depression. Since then, the program has been adapted for use with several other groups including healthy adults, elementary school children, adolescents in foster care, and survivors of trauma. CBCT enhances personal welfare by promoting pro-social skills, resiliency, health, and well-being. CBCT assists individuals in developing altruistic thoughts and a focus on others, while overcoming maladaptive, self-focused thoughts and behaviors which may contribute to the suffering of oneself and others.

CBCT seeks to promote positive emotions and compassion through feelings of social connectedness. Compassion exists in all of us to one degree or other, but through CBCT practices, compassion and social connectedness can be significantly enhanced in ways the promote health and well-being. CBCT does this by teaching individuals to develop feelings of emotional connection and caring not just for people they like, but also for strangers and for people with whom they have conflicts. To generate compassion one reflects on the kindness of others and the ways in which one relies on others in countless ways to survive. In addition, the training also encourages reflection on the ways in which all people are alike in their wish to experience happiness and avoid suffering. One reflects upon one’s own desire for happiness and carefully examines the habits of the mind that lead to happiness and those that lead to further suffering.