Answers to some frequently asked questions:

"What is CCT?"

CCT is an 8 week course designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and others. The course, developed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University, combines traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion.

Disclaimer-Compassion training courses are educational and are not meant to treat psychological disorders. Participation in the course requires regular attendance and adhering to basic classroom policies. Participants who miss more than two classes or otherwise disrupt the learning environment may be asked to withdraw from the course.

"What are the risks and benefits of taking CCT?"

There are no known risks associated with CCT. CCT involves contemplative techniques that likely will not adversely affect the psychological well-being of participants. However, during the course, if you demonstrate psychological problems, immediately bring this to the attention of the instructor, Hooria Jazaieri to address problems and to refer for assessment/treatment. Participants may receive benefits from the compassion training course, which may include developing enhanced compassion, mindfulness, and an overall improvement in well-being. Hooria Jazaieri cannot and does not guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from this course.

"Who is the Compassion Cultivation Training™ program designed for?"

CCT is designed to support anyone who wants to cultivate compassion for themselves and for others. The class is taught from a secular/universal perspective and is appropriate for adults of any age or background. No previous meditation experience is required.

"Why CCT?"

Preliminary research suggests that CCT can improve compassion for oneself, for others, and being the recipient of compassion (Jazaieri et al., 2013). Furthermore, CCT has been shown to improve affect, emotion regulation, and mindfulness (Jazaieri et al., 2014), and reduce some forms of mind wandering while increasing caring behaviors for oneself and others (Jazaieri et al., 2016).

"What is the class format?"

Two-hour weekly classes that include meditation, lecture, discussion, and in-class listening and communication exercises with partners and small groups. This class is experiential in nature and requires your active participation.

"Can I attend the first class and see how I like it before applying/registering?"

Not at this time, as space is only guaranteed to those who have applied and pre-registered for the entire series.

"Is there an attendance policy?"

Yes. Please only apply for the course if you can commit to attending at least 6 of the 8 classes. This is both for your benefit, as each week builds on the previous one, and helps maintain continuity of the learning community.

"Is there a fee for this class?"

The tuition for the CCT class is $395, and includes handouts, guided meditation recordings, all coursework, and classroom instruction.

"What format do the meditation recordings come in?"

Participants will have access to electronic versions of the audio recordings (via MP3's) which can be played directly via the class website, downloaded and played via iTunes or another music player, or downloaded and uploaded directly onto a personal device (e.g., iPod, smartphone, etc.). Enrolled participants must have the ability to listen to MP3 files in order to complete the required daily practices.

"Is the goal of CCT stress-reduction/creating a calm mind/relaxation?"

Unlike other meditation programs (e.g., mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)), the practices in CCT are not designed to induce a calm, relaxing state - CCT is not designed as a tool for stress-reduction. In fact, for some people, recognizing suffering in oneself and others can actually be distressing (at least initially). It is important for potential participants to evaluate whether another program with a stress-reduction, relaxation, and calming focus is more appropriate for them at this time in their lives.

"Does taking CCT mean that I can then teach it afterwards?"

Taking CCT does not qualify participants to teach CCT. Only certified CCT teachers who have completed the year-long teacher training program, have passed subsequent supervision with a Senior CCT teacher, and have been certified through the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) are certified to teach the CCT program. To learn more about CCARE’s Teacher Training Program please click here.

"Is there homework for this class?"

Yes. Homework includes daily meditation, visualization, and breathing practices to develop loving-kindness, empathy, and compassion (approximately 20-30 minutes per day). There will also be occasional journaling exercises and optional readings.

"Is space limited?"

Yes, the class size is limited to maintain an intimate group experience.

"Where can I learn more about CCT?"

For more information about CCT, please visit the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) website here.

"Where do I apply for the course?"

If you would like to register for my upcoming CCT course at Stanford University on Tuesday evenings beginning March 29th, please register here.

"Are there any prerequisites for the course?"

There are no prerequisites for taking the course.

"I want to take this course but I'm not located in the Stanford/Palo Alto area, what should I do?"

Dozens of teachers around the world have been certified to teach CCT. To access the Global Directory of CCT teachers, please visit the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) website here.

"I have a question but it's not answered anywhere on the website, what should I do?"

Please feel free to complete the contact form here or send an email to info@stanfordcct.com.