Personal Development


FALL 2017

PSYCH 711.54 – Empathy Training: How to Strengthen Personal and Professional Relationships

Which communication skill is most essential for improving personal and professional relationships? Research reveals, and psychotherapists and relationship experts agree, the answer is empathy. And yet, few people realize that empathy can easily be learned in just one day using a scientifically proven approach that emphasizes background information, experiential exercises, and group discussion.Topics presented in this workshop include: the personal and societal benefits of empathy; the biology of empathy; verbal and nonverbal empathy; how to measure empathy; empathy failure; and empathy for the self that lives within. Conducted in a safe yet stimulating setting, this workshop can significantly improve personal and professional development. Empathy deepens trust, increases relationship connection and attachment, soothes hurt feelings, reduces anger, clarifies misunderstandings, and strengthens teamwork. This program is designed for people from all walks of life, and is of special interest to human service professionals, business owners, creative artists, singles, couples, families, and young and mid-life adults.

Instructor: James Gottfurcht, PhD



PSYCH 788.01 – Mindfulness, Metta, and Self-Compassion Training: Getting Yourself Out of the Self-Esteem Trap

In many ways, the self-esteem movement has led to unrealistic expectations and fears of failure and intimacy. New research shows that high self-esteem can actually be connected with increased vulnerability to disappointments and change, which can lead to mood swings, anger and depression. This course integrates Eastern and Western insights and mindfulness-training techniques with new research on self-compassion, offering a method to get out of the self-esteem trap and strengthen key skills for self-support and intimacy with others. Learn why — and how — to give yourself the same caring support you would a best friend. Self-compassion training is inspired by the classic Buddhist practice of Metta. This fosters ‘friendliness,’ unconditional and constructive support for your own experience — whatever it might be — as well as gratitude and compassion toward yourself and others.

Instructor: Jeffrey Hutter, PhD