Frequently Asked Questions

The ultimate aim of the Applied Compassion Training is to prepare people who feel an urgency to bring compassionate action into their occupations, professions, communities, institutions, and personal development. 


What is the Applied Compassion Training?

ACT is a 10-month training and certificate program offered in collaboration with ACA (The Applied Compassion Academy) and CCARE (The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), at Stanford University.


Is this training offered as an online program?

Not at this time.  This training will be a combination of 3 in-person retreats to be held in the SF Bay Area, as well as twice monthly sessions online via Zoom. Attendance at the three live retreats is a requirement for completion.

What is the schedule for the Training? 

ACT is comprised of three in-person non-residential retreats in the San Francisco Bay area, an ongoing Capstone Project, and two online Zoom sessions/monthly, in the intervening months between the onsite retreats.  The two online sessions will be a teaching/didactic session and a small group mentoring session.


What are the dates and hours for the three in-person non-residential retreats? 


The dates for the ACT 2020 live training sessions in the SF Bay area are:

January 10-12

June 5-7

November 13-15

The hours for the three live training sessions are: 

Friday: 6:00pm-9:00pm; 

Saturday: 9:30am-6:30pm (with a break for lunch);

Sunday: 9:30am-5pm (with a break for lunch).

What is the location for the three non-residential retreats? 

The three on-site non-residential retreats will be held on the SF Peninsula on or near the Stanford University Campus.


These are non-residential retreats and participants will be responsible for arranging their own food and accommodations. If attending from out of town, please arrange lodging close to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

What are the dates and hours for the monthly Zoom teaching modules?

Teaching calls will take place on Thursdays via Zoom from 5-6:30PST 

February 6th: Mindfulness in the Service of Applied Compassion © 

March 5th: Triggers: A Skillful Recognition and Response © 

April 2nd: Resiliency: Compassion/Empathy © 

May 14th: Diversity and Unconscious Bias © 

July 9th: Compassionate Leadership © 

August 6th: Designing Systems that are Compassionate © 

September 10th: Compassionate Forgiveness and Reconciliation © 

October 1st: Applied Compassion: Bringing it into the World! © 

What is the cost?

ACT 2020 tuition is set at the pilot price of $4295.

Fees for ACT 2021 and beyond will increase.

Are there scholarships available?

At this time, we've been inundated with applications and our limited scholarship funds have already been allocated for the 2020 program. We hope to have scholarship funds available for future ACT programs.

Am I required to attend the three in-person retreats in the SF Bay Area?


What if I cannot be on the monthly Zoom teaching sessions, will they be recorded?

Yes, the two monthly Zoom sessions will be recorded for people to access later.


When is the deadline to apply for this year's program?

December 15th, 2019.

Who is eligible? 

ACT is designed for people who want to integrate experiential access to compassion into their professional and personal lives and to develop compassion-based solutions, classes, programs, offerings, and workshops, etc.


What is the minimum age requirement to participate?

This training is open to anyone 18 years or older.

What can I do with a Certificate in Applied Compassion? 

Upon successful completion of the Applied Compassion Training, you will receive a certificate of completion from the Applied Compassion Academy, in collaboration with CCARE at Stanford University. As a graduate, you may use any one or all of the following titles: Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.

With the ACT certificate of completion, you will be equipped with the credibility, resources and skillset to:


  • Integrate applied compassion into your occupation, profession, community and  professional or personal life. 


  • Facilitate meetings and team discussions, teach classes and workshops and create experiences that advance the development of applied compassion for groups of people with whom you interface, as appropriate to your interests and background. 


  • Offer educational and awareness-raising programs and give talks about applied compassion for the general public in your area of interest, expertise or advocacy.


  • Consult with organizations on how to better facilitate applied compassion and evidence-based practices to create structures that support compassion within an organization’s culture and leadership development models. 


  • Promote applied compassion within your own organization, helping key leaders to recognize the benefits of evidence-based compassion practices within the workplace. 


  • Design your own applied compassion-based applications for individuals, groups, communities or institutions.


How is the Applied Compassion Training unique? 

Many excellent professional training programs necessarily concentrate on the content and protocol that the student is learning to teach. In the ACT program,

the focus broadens. It includes attention to each participant’s emotional intelligence and experiential access to applied compassion. Becoming an Ambassador of Applied Compassion means ‘walking your talk.’ A core aim of ACT2020 is a focus on how participants cultivate an inner attitude of applied compassion and increased self-awareness.  We believe that in order to truly be an ambassador who can model applied compassion in challenging settings and circumstances, each participant’s own inner development is of the utmost importance.


The Applied Compassion Training is a broad-based approach versus training in a specific protocol. It is designed to equip participants with skills that foster a compassionate response to the endless triggers and challenges we all have to contend with in our day-to-day lives. A primary aim of the ACT program is to foster a dynamic experiential learning environment characterized by creativity and collaboration; an environment in which participants can mature into the role of Ambassadors of Applied Compassion — change agents bringing compassion into the world at large. 


Throughout the course of the training, participants will receive support and mentoring as they create a Capstone Project based on the targeted environment they want to offer, facilitate, or teach compassion-based practices and approaches. In some cases, the environment may be a workplace or professional setting or it may be a community setting in which the participant volunteers. It might be a project that focuses on social or cultural issues (e.g., inclusivity or climate change). It may even be familial.


ACT participants will be trained as facilitators, educators, consultants, and - most importantly - as ambassadors who can bring a unique offering tailored specifically to their particular workplace, community, volunteer association, and/or to the social and cultural environments in which they live and work.  

What type of people participate in the Applied Compassion Training? 

The Applied Compassion Training is suitable for people from all walks of life and is open to participants from  government, medicine, therapy, academia, students, business, technology, non profit organizations, NGOs, end of life/hospice, caretakers, school teachers, lawyers, coaches, consultants, law enforcement and first responders, the criminal justice system, religious institutions, entertainment, film makers, music and art to name a few. ACT participants are people who live and work in environments like these and who want to model and intentionally bring compassion into the multiplicity of worlds in which they find themselves. 

I am not working or retired.  Can I still participate?

Yes! You'll probably want to give some extra thought as to how you can apply this training in a real-world setting.  People that are not working could bring this into a community of which they are a part, a volunteer cause,  a board of directors that they serve on, or could initiate a project within their own neighborhood.

What is the ACT Capstone project

An ACT Capstone project will be designed and delivered by each participant during the training. It will involve a step-by-step process and be supported with ongoing mentoring. Each trainee will design and implement their ACT Capstone project with the goal of bringing compassionate action into the world within the context of their occupations, professions, and/or personal lives. An example of an ACT Capstone project might be to develop a workshop or other offering that integrates compassionate principles and practices to address specific and unique issues around burnout, in the environments in which the individual participant lives and works.


Is the ACT Capstone project a requirement for completion? 


Does the Applied Compassion Training train you to teach CCT, MBSR, MSC, CBT, MBCT, etc? 

No. The Applied Compassion Training (ACT) is not a program to train or certify participants to teach one specific protocol. This certificate program is intended for people who will create and deliver a unique project which features and integrates applied compassionate approaches to general and specific issues associated with their occupations, professions, and/or personal development. The ACT program will equip the individual trainees with the skills and tools necessary to design their own compassion offerings, talks, and programs based on best principles and practices. Certified graduates will function in the role of an Educator, Facilitator, Consultant, and Ambassador of Applied Compassion.


What is the average time commitment for a student undertaking this training?

Participant attendance is required at all three (2.5 day) on-site, non residential retreats in the San Francisco Bay Area scheduled in January, June and November of 2020. In the intervening months, there will be two evening online Zoom sessions (approximately 90 minutes per session). Participants should also expect to spend approximately 8-12 hours each month working on their individual Capstone Project, as well as in discussions with their individual Ambassador team and ACT instructors and facilitators.

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