While science has made great strides in treating pathologies of the human mind, far less research exists to date on positive qualities of the human mind including compassion, altruism and empathy. Yet these prosocial traits are innate to us and lie at the very centerpiece of our common humanity. Our capacity to feel compassion has ensured the survival and thriving of our species over millennia. For this reason, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine was founded in 2008 with the explicit goal of promoting, supporting, and conducting rigorous scientific studies of compassion and altruistic behavior.
Founded and directed by Dr. James Doty, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, CCARE is established within the Department of Neurosurgery. To date, CCARE has collaborated with a number of prominent neuroscientists, behavioral scientists, geneticists and biomedical researchers to closely examine the physiological and psychological correlates of compassion and altruism.
CCARE investigates methods for developing compassion and promoting altruism within individuals and society through rigorous research, scientific collaborations, and academic conferences. In addition, CCARE provides compassion training programs and teacher training as well as educational public events and programs.
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education
> Applied Compassion Training™ | ACT
The Applied Compassion Training Program™ (ACT) is an 11-month deep dive into the embodied experience of becoming a compassion change agent.
ACT 2023 registration begins June 21, 2022
The ultimate aim of Applied Compassion Training is to prepare people who feel an urgency to bring forth and integrate compassionate action into their occupations, professions, communities and institutions, as well as into their personal development.
Unlike other teacher training programs, ACT offers participants a chance to apply compassion in practice during the program and use the dialogue, skill-building, and tools in real-time. Participants who successfully complete ACT will be in a variety of fields. ACT creates AMBASSADORS of compassion in many fields, including educators, facilitators, consultants, physicians, nurses, coaches, and leaders of all kinds. Ambassadors of Applied Compassion will be representatives, advocates, and stewards of compassion. ACT helps bring forth people who will embody a high level of mastery and expertise in facilitating a compassionate response in real-world settings. Graduates will leave this training with the mindset, heart set, and skillset they need to effectively work for and sustain transformative change within a multiplicity of community and organizational settings.
Over the course of this 11-month training, we will meet via Zoom for three immersion retreats: at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the training. Due to the experiential and highly-interactive nature of these retreats, live online participation is required.
In the intervening months, between the immersion retreats, trainees will participate in two monthly Zoom sessions and 1:1 Zoom meetings with an assigned program adviser. The first monthly online session is a didactic/practice session. It combines teaching and experiential processes associated with that month’s specific module. The second online session will give trainees an opportunity to bring questions, challenges, and real-world issues into a smaller group and receive direct coaching from the core faculty and other guest subject-matter experts.
A key component of ACT will include a capstone project that each trainee will design, execute, and present with the support of their ACT teams, along with support and guidance from core faculty and other guest subject-matter experts.
Organizational Funding for Professional Development
ACT participants successfully request funding from their organizations, companies, or institutions to pay for their participation. To support you in making this request, we developed a packet designed for decision makers. It includes a sample letter that has been used successfully to request funding from organizations.
- Three Online Immersion Retreats
1 | Becoming an Ambassador of Applied Compassion
2 | Compassionate Coaching, Communication and Facilitation Skills
3 | Applied Compassion in Action, Capstone Presentations, and Graduation
- Monthly Online Sessions with Subject-Matter Experts | Examples include: Mindfulness in the Service of Compassion™, Resiliency, A Skillful Recognition and Response to Triggers, Unconscious Bias and Compassion, Compassionate Leadership, Designing Systems for Compassion, and Applied Compassion: Bringing It into the World.
- Applied Compassion Capstone Project | Designed, executed, and delivered with support from other ACT team members and guidance from core faculty and guest subject-matter experts.
- Collaborative Learning Community | Ongoing engagement with a creative and dynamic group of colleagues committed to bringing compassion into real-world settings as a core motivating intention and goal. Graduates of ACT will be certified as Educators, Facilitators, Consultants, and Ambassadors of Applied Compassion.