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Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions

Mindfulness and compassion–based interventions are used as prevention and/or treatment tools in education, (mental) health, and organizational settings. This three-week summer programme provides an in-depth interdisciplinary overview of mindfulness and compassion, demonstrating both their differing and interconnected elements. Participants will delve into the science of mindfulness and compassion, including theoretical models of contemplative practices and neuropsychology, as well as investigate its spiritual roots and a variety of current secular practices.

  • Programme at a glance
    Mode of instruction: On-campus (3 weeks) 
    Academic dates: Sunday 21 July - Thursday 9 August 2024 (tentative) 
    Housing dates: Friday 19 July - 9 August 2024 (tentative) 
    Academic fees:

    €1750 (tentative) read more about what is included in the fees.

    Professional fee:

    €2000 (tentative) read more about what is included in the fees.

    Housing fees:  €785 (tentative). Housing is optional. Read more about university-organised accomodation
    Credits: 6 European Credits. Read more about credits and credit transfer.  
    Early admissions deadline: Thursday 1 February 2024. Admissions are processed throughout the year on a rolling basis. 
    Regular admissions deadline: Friday 15 March 2024  
    Who is this programme for?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Students should be in good academic standing to participate in the summer school. For current university students (3rd and 4th year Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in mindfulness, psychology, and/or pedagogy. For working professionals with a desire to continue their education/update their skills in this field.
  • Programme description

    This three-week summer programme explores emotion regulation and contemplative practices such as mindfulness and compassion-based interventions from both first-person and third-person perspectives. In this combined approach, participants will explore the science behind contemplative practices while experiencing contemplative practices and applying them in their daily lives to come to an integrated understanding of comtemplative practices as evidence-based health and wellbeing practices. 

    Mindfulness and compassion–based interventions are used as prevention and/or treatment tools in various areas such as education, (mental) health, and organizations. In particular, this summer programme provides an introduction to interdisciplinary perspectives on mindfulness and compassion interventions that go beyond the science and evidence-based appraoch to investigate current (secular) practices, as well as tracing their (often spritual) origins. 

    The course will address the following topics, how they interact, and what these different approaches make possible.   

    1. Theoretical introduction to emotion regulation processes, and contemplative practice, allowing students to become familiar with definitions and theoretical models related to emotion regulation, mindfulness, and compassion.
    2. Exploring the (spiritual) roots of the secular interventions and the intersection between psychological science and contemplative practice. 
    3. The neuropsychology of contemplative practice, allowing students to understand how the contemplative practice influences the brain and its functions. 
    4. Practical introduction to a variety of contemplative practice through exercises and reflections throughout the duration of the programme.   

    Course materials: The students will be provided with many opportunities to explore the topic from various sources (e.g., scientific and press articles, podcasts, documentaries) as well as visit relevant organisations and institutions throughout Amsterdam. Participants are encouraged to actively reflect, discuss, and transfer the knowledge to their own personal context and their field of expertise. 

    By the end of the summer programme students will become familiar with the state of the art of the interdisciplinary research related to contemplative practice, develop personal experience of mindfulness and compassion practice, and consider practical tools to help incorporating these practices into their everyday personal and professional life. 

  • Additional clarification

    This programme introduces the students to the science and applications of contemplative practice in different fields, however, it is not a substitute to mindfulness and/or compassion teacher training. Therefore, students and professionals that are seeking to apply contemplative practices directly to their work are strongly encouraged to take a specific teacher training course that targets their population of interest. Similarly, while this summer school allows students to explore emotional regulation, mindfulness and compassion through their personal practice (which as a consequence may have therapeutic benefits), it should not be considered as a psychotherapy or a substitute for psychotherapy.

    Further, this summer school provides an opportunity for personal practice, and some exercises might be emotionally activating. If you are currently or have recently experienced emotional instability or life trauma that might require individual support such as psychotherapy, this summer school may not be a good match for you at this time. Should you have any questions about the above-mentioned information, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at

    The first edition of this summer programme was organized in collaboration with Dr. Maja Wrzesien, who received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 656333.

  • Academic director

    Dr. Maja Wrzesien is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Valencia (Spain) and a former postdoctoral researcher (Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow) within the Psychopathology and Development group at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Her research is largely interdisciplinary, focusing on emotion regulation in youth with special emphasis on mindfulness, self-compassion, and new technologies. She is also a certified mindfulness and compassion trainer. She has performed different training in both the public and private sectors for youth, parents, clinicians and educators. Want to know more about Maja? Visit her personal website

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying in Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our summer community. Get a feel for our summer school vibe and our academic and social community, and learn about studying with us through the eyes of past summer school students. 

    Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

    Want to get a taste of this summer programme? Join Academic Director Dr. Maja Wrzesien in this guided compassionate breathing protocol, a special episode on our podcast, Mokum. 

    Looking for a student perspective? Listen to alumna Tsamara Fahrana Putrityas' podcast and interview with Maja Wrzesien. 

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Facts & Figures
6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction
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