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A Peaceful Mind: Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions

A Peaceful Mind: Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions

As our world becomes busier and more interconnected, people's lives take different trajectories towards new futures. This socio-cultural shift also affects our well being. But has our way of understanding individual health and wellness also shifted to adapt to the changes we see in ourselves and others?

How to apply

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 5 July - 23 July 2020*
Housing dates: 4 July  - 27 July 2020*
Academic fee: € 1600* read more about what’s included
Housing fee:

€ 500 - 650* and € 75 refundable deposit. Housing prices will vary per programme depending on location. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.

Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for? For current university students (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 in this field.
Academic director: Maja Wrzesien
Early application deadline: 1 February 2020
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2020

*Dates and prices are tentative and subject to change. All information for summer 2020 will be finalized by 1 December 2019. Check back regularly for updates. For more information, email

Programme description

This summer programme explores Emotion Regulation and contemplative practices such as mindfulness and compassion-based interventions across education, clinical, and organizational structures to develop new strategies and approaches to health and wellness.

In the last years, protocols inspired by contemplative practices such as mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions have shown promising results. Mindfulness and compassion–based interventions are used as prevention and/or treatment tools that can be applied in various areas such as education (for children, parents, teachers), clinical interventions (for (mental)health professionals, and targeting (mental)health disorders such as chronic pain, diabetes, depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and many more), and organizations (providing new leadership styles and preventive tools against burn-outs).

This three-week course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary perspectives on mindfulness and compassion interventions and their current applications, demonstrating different, but interconnected elements including research on medicine, education, organizations, and developmental, clinical and neuropsychology.

The course is divided in five topic blocks

  1. Theoretical introduction to emotion regulation processes, and contemplative practice. This block allows students to become familiar with definitions and theoretical models related to emotion regulation, concepts of mindfulness and compassion, as well as experience the practice themselves.
  2. Buddhist psychology. This block allows the students to explore Buddhist psychology and the way mind works in comparison to western psychological concepts.
  3. Neuropsychology of contemplative practice. This block allows students to understand how the contemplative practice influences the brain and its functions.
  4. Practical introduction to the contemplative practice during one silent day, and workshops during the whole summer school.
  5. Application of contemplative practices. In this block, students will learn about mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions in education, mental and physical health, and within organizations.

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.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture(s) and excursions (approximately 3 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; lunch is provided by the University) 
  • Afternoon excursions with applied workshops, tutorials, movie screening, and fieldwork (4 hours)

By the end of the summer programme students will (1) become familiar with state of the art interdisciplinary research related to contemplative practice; (2) gain in-depth knowledge and experience of mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions in multiple settings and across various populations; (3) become familiar with mindfulness and compassion questionnaires, and (4) develop personal experience of mindfulness and compassion meditation and consider practical tools to help incorporating these practices into everyday life.

Additional clarification

This program 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

Credit Transfer

As a summer programme student you receive a participation certificate with an official seal from the University of Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university. If you have questions about credit transfer, or need more information on the programme for your home university's administration, please email us at

Get in touch with us at or call +31 (0)20 525 3776.

A Peaceful Mind: Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions
Mode Short-term
Credits 6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction English
Starts in July