Upcoming Courses

Mindfulness, Compassion, and Psychodynamics Psychotherapy: Converging Paths

Christopher Germer, PhD, Delia Kostner, PhD, Lisa S. Rubinstein, MD, Robert Waldinger, MD

May 31, 2014 | 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 | Sherman Auditorium, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

This conference is co-sponsored by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and Boston  Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. It is a unique conference insofar as it will focus more on clinical practice (i.e., the experience of the clinician, decision points, clinical moves, key considerations) rather than theoretical issues.  This conference is also designed as a collegial conversation between the presenters and with the audience, and will include short periods of meditation. Attendees will come away with a deeper sense of what mindfulness means to psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Hope you can join us!

Freud wrote that the analyst should have “evenly hovering attention” during the therapy hour, meaning that the analyst should “give equal notice to everything” and “withhold all conscious influences from his capacity to attend.” However, Freud did not provide a method to achieve this elusive goal beyond a personal analysis. More recently, mindfulness and compassion practices offer the promise of empirically-supported techniques for inhabiting the interpersonal space of relational therapy in a way that supports the healing process.

As mindfulness becomes an important part of our culture, psychodynamic psychotherapists, psychoanalysts and their patients are integrating these practices into their personal lives. Can mindfulness and compassion training also enhance treatment? Is mindfulness best employed as an implicit therapeutic stance or can the principles of mindfulness inform clinical decision-making? Is there a skillful way to integrate explicit mindfulness training into therapy? Is something essential lost in psychodynamic treatment by integrating mindfulness? Can mindfulness or compassion training have adverse effects on some patients? How much experience does the clinician need in his or her own mindfulness practice before bringing it into their clinical work? What should clinicians know about mindfulness when this topic arises in therapy? Through formal presentations, meditation practice, and a case discussion, this workshop will focus on the practical implications of integrating mindfulness and compassion training with psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Download the Brochure (pdf)


This course is designed so that participants will be able to:
  • Describe the modern, scientific of mindfulness and compassion, and how they relate to one another;
  • Integrate the principles of mindfulness and compassion into psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis;
  • Identify practical, clinical issues in the interface of mindfulness and clinical work;
  • Apply mindfulness and compassion to resolve clinical impasses in clinical work;
  • Practice mindfulness and compassion in and outside the office.

Additional Information


8:45 am Registration

9:15 am Welcome and 15 minute guided meditation – Lisa S. Rubinstein, MD

9:45 am Overview about Meditation, Mindfulness, and Compassion – Christopher Germer, PhD and Robert Waldinger, MD

10:00 am A Personal Journey – Christopher Germer, PhD

10:10 am A Personal Journey – Robert Waldinger, MD

10:20 am Integrating Mindfulness and Compassion with Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Christopher Germer, PhD

10:50 am Compassion Exercise for Therapists During Therapy – Christopher Germer, PhD

11:05 am Discussion – Faculty and Participants

11:20-11:40 am Coffee Break

11:40 am Integrating Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Meditation – Robert Waldinger, MD

12:10 pm Mindfulness Exercise for Working with Psychological Distress – Robert Waldinger, MD

12:25 pm Discussion – Faculty and Participants

12:50-2:00 pm Lunch (on your own)

2:00 pm Meditation

2:15 pm Case Presentation – Delia Kostner, PhD

2:45 pm Case Discussion – Christopher Germer, PhD, Robert Waldinger, MD and Delia Kostner, PhD

3:30 pm Questions and Answers – Faculty and Participants

3:45 pm Coffee Break

4:00 pm Converging Paths – Integrating into clinical practice; Overcoming clinical impasses; What mindfulness and psychotherapy have to gain from each other; Adverse effects and complications; Meditation as an adjunct to therapy; Working with transference and countertransference. – Faculty and Participants

4:30 pm Closing Meditation

4:45 pm Adjourn

Beth Israel Deaconess Department of Psychiatry Foundation, Inc./Contact Hours: 5.5


Psychologists: The Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. The Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships
to disclose.

Counselors: The Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School continuing education is an NBCC Approved Continuing Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC approved 5.5 clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

Social Workers: For information on the status of the application to the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, please call 617-754-1265 or email: sjruiz@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Nurses: The Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School meets the specifications of the Board of Registration in Nursing in Massachusetts, (244CMR).


Christopher Germer, PhD is a Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He has been integrating the principles and practices of meditation into psychotherapy since 1978. Dr. Germer lectures nationally and internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion. He is co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice. Dr. Germer is also author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.

Delia Kostner, PhD is on the faculty at the Pine Psychoanalytic Center and is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MSBR) teacher and leads mindfulness based therapy groups. She is the author of chapters entitled Suffering and the End of Suffering: Conundrum and Cure in Psychoanalysis and Buddhism and It’s Not Just About the Mindfulness: Foundations of Buddhist Thought and Why it Matters for Psychoanalysts.

Lawrence E. Lifson, MD is a Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts Medical School. He is the Director of the Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Chair of Continuing Education at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and is on the faculty at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Lifson is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the 2012 Recipient of Massachusetts Psychiatric Society’s, “Outstanding Psychiatrist in Education Award.” He is editor of Understanding Therapeutic Action: Current Concepts of Cure and The Mental Health Practitioner and the Law and Psychology of Investing.

Lisa S. Rubinstein, MD is on the faculty at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and co-founded and directs the Psychoanalytic and Meditation Practioners’ Group in Boston. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She is a past instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, including at Harvard Medical School.

Robert Waldinger, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (part-time) and Director of the Study of Adult Development and the Center for Psychodynamic Therapy and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a Senior Dharma Teacher at Boundless Way Zen Community and a faculty member at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the author of Psychiatry for Medical Students and Effective Psychotherapy with Borderline Patients: Case Studies.