CBCT® Directory

CBCT® Certified Teacher Directory

Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, Developer of CBCT®, Atlanta, GA
Lobsang Tenzin Negi is a Professor of Practice in Emory University’s Department of Religion and the co-founder and director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership, a unique multi-dimensional initiative founded at Emory University in 1998.  He developed CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) and oversees all aspects of the CBCT program including teacher certification and research involving the use of CBCT as a protocol.  Additionally, he regularly teaches CBCT Foundation courses to the public, and CBCT courses for faculty and staff at the Emory School of Medicine.
A former monk, he began his monastic training at The Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamasala, India and continued his education at Drepung Loseling Monastery in south India, where in 1994 he received his Geshe Lharampa degree—the highest academic degree granted in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  Dr. Negi completed his Ph.D. at Emory University in 1999; his interdisciplinary dissertation centered on traditional Buddhist and contemporary Western approaches to emotions and their impact on wellness.  His current research focuses on the complementarity of modern science and contemplative practice.
Timothy Harrison, Senior CBCT® Teacher, Atlanta, GA
Tim joined the staff of the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics (formerly Emory-Tibet Partnership) in 2013 and is the Associate Director for CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training).  In this capacity, he coordinates the expanding CBCT® Teacher Certification program as well as the provision of CBCT for research studies. Tim teaches CBCT courses to students at the Emory School of Medicine and to residents in the Emory Healthcare Spiritual Health education program.  Additionally he teaches CBCT to undergraduate students through Emory’s Counseling and Psychological Services,  and he works with several community outreach and research programs, offering CBCT to public school teachers, vulnerable children and adolescents, and to participants in numerous research studies.  Tim was a long-term practitioner of both lo jong and Zen meditation before expanding his outreach to those of various backgrounds through CBCT.
Contact: timothy.harrison@emory.edu
Brendan Ozawa-deSilva, PhD, Senior CBCT® Teacher, Atlanta, GA
Brendan Ozawa-deSilva is the Associate Director for SEE Learning (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning, a K-12 initiative) at the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Eory University.  Formerly he was Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Positive Human Development and Social Change and Associate Director for the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at Life University.  His research focuses on the psychological, social and ethical dimensions of prosocial emotions and their cultivation, with a focus on compassion and forgiveness. He has worked to bring compassion training into elementary schools in the Atlanta area, to children in Georgia’s foster care program, to women in domestic violence situations, and to incarcerated persons in state correctional facilities in Georgia.
Contact: brendan.ozawa@gmail.com
Marcia Ash, Atlanta, GA
Marcia's first experience with CBCT® was in 2010, when she volunteered as a research assistant for a study at Emory University evaluating the effects of CBCT® on foster children. She participated in the Emory Tibetan Mind-Body Sciences Summer Study Abroad program in Dharamsala, India and in 2013, Marcia returned to Dharamsala to participate in Emory's Tibetan Studies semester-abroad program, during which she conducted research examining Tibetan life satisfaction. Marcia  joined the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics (formerly Emory Tibet Partnership) as  Program Coordinator in 2014 after completing her BA in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology from Washington University.   She completed her teacher certification in CBCT in 2016, and has taught to Emory students in addition to working with CBCT on an administrative level. She is currently working on her MPH degree at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory.
contact: mjash@emory.edu
Margo Barnard LPC, BSN Carrollton, GA
Margo Barnard is a certified CBCT® teacher, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Registered Professional Nurse. As a Maternal-Child Health Nurse, Margo assisted Certified Nurse Midwives in birthing and welcoming hundreds of newborns into their families. As a psychiatric nurse, she offered kind and caring regard to minors and adults in inpatient and outpatient settings. Since 1992, Margo has enjoyed the honor of attending to yet more children, adults, and families as a psychotherapist in an independent setting. Margo is a grateful practitioner and teacher of CBCT. She finds that offering CBCT to others deepens her felt sense of embodying the gifts of the training.
Contact: mbarnard1774@gmail.com
Carol Beck, Atlanta, GA
Carol is the Associate Director of Operations and Communications for the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics.  In this role she supports research initiatives, facilitates partner programs, and spearheads outreach, marketing and communications for CBCT® and other center programs. With an MFA in filmmaking, Carol has had a diverse career as both an assistant professor and a self-employed media professional working on five continents.  Carol has studied and practiced various types of meditation, especially within the Tibetan tradition, and has faciliated meditation practice for the last 18 years. She has taught CBCT to parents of autistic children through the Marcus Institute, to students at Emory Univesity, to nurses, and to the public. In early 2018 she will be offering CBCT® to doctors and nurse practitioners at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Children's Hospital of Atlanta.
Contact: carol.beck@emory.edu
Stephen Blount, M.D., M.P.H., Atlanta, GA
Stephen Blount is the Director of Special Health Projects at The Carter Center. Before joining The Carter Center, Dr. Blount spent 25 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a succession of leadership positions, the last of which was as Associate Director for Global Health Development.  He has worked dilligently to reduce disease and suffering around the globe, and now leads the Carter Center's efforts to expand public health training in low resource countries.  Dr. Blount teaches CBCT® to students at the Emory School of Medicine, and ito veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder in an ongoing research study employing CBCT as an intervention.
contact: stephenbblount@gmail.com
Emma Brooks, Atlanta, GA
Emma is a doctoral candidate in Walden’ University's Health Psychology PhD program. She has dedicated her graduate career to studying complimentary and alternative medicine, mind-body modalities, and traditional healing practices in relationship to well-being, health, and healing.  Emma has also completed a 3-year Marriage and Family Therapy residency program at the Link Counseling Center working with a multicultural population from all lifestyles. Her prior career in Technology prompted her 15-year journey studying and practicing various types of meditation to gain insight into the interconnectedness of all things. She has taught CBCT to parents of autistic children through the Marcus Institute, to individuals in recovery, and to schoolteachers and HIV+ individuals participating in research studies.  
Contact: emmabrooks227@gmail.com
Amanda P. Brown, PhD, Atlanta, GA
Amanda is a CBCT® teacher and a post-doctoral associate in Emory’s Clinical Psychology department. She has dedicated her graduate career to studying the role of contemplative practices in promoting well-being and alleviating psychological distress, with a focus on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT). Currently, she teaches CBCT to combat veterans who struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder. Amanda has previously offered CBCT to female prisoners, adolescents in the Atlanta foster care system, and undergraduate students. Amanda also co-founded the Emory Graduate Student Meditation Club, leading weekly meditation sessions and day-long retreats. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career as a psychologist integrating contemplative research and practice for underserved groups.
Contact: apbrow6@emory.edu
Polly Casmar, PhD, San Diego, CA
Pollyanna V. Casmar is a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor for the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego. She enjoys teaching and supervising psychiatry and psychology trainees in ways to incorporate meditation, mind-body, cognitive behavioral, and interpersonal therapy methods into practice. Recently she has happily been given the opportunity to assist her colleagues at the VA in wellness through retreats and process oriented approaches to work/life balance. Her clinical work is with veterans in evidence-based, integrative approaches to therapy for disorders of mood, anxiety, and trauma. Together with Ariel Lang, Tim Harrison and Geshe Lobsang Negi she developed a 100-page manual and 10-week intervention for testing the feasibility of CBCT® for veterans with PTSD and comorbid disorders.  
Contact: pollyanna.casmar@gmail.com
Penny Clements, Atlanta, GA
Penny Clements is a CBCT® practitioner and certified instructor.  Her work consistently reflects her passions and includes 20 years working in the public broadcasting industry and volunteer work on several non-for-profit boards and committees.  Penny finds the reflective practices of CBCT to be instrumental in strengthening compassion and promoting a greater sense of well-being for herself, and she is delighted and honored to share this training with others.  She has lead CBCT courses for various populations including students at Emory University, psychologists, and educators.
Contact: pennyfclements@gmail.com
Thomas W. Comstock, M.D., Atlanta, GA
Semi-retired physician, Tom Comstock, has practiced medicine in the Atlanta area since 1975. He has studied meditation for more than 20 years mostly within the Tibetan tradition. In addition to his primary teacher, Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, he has studied with several other Tibetan meditation masters as well as B. Alan Wallace and Sharon Salzberg. Tom has been involved with CBCT since its inception and attended Geshe Lobsang’s  very first CBCT® class.  He participated in the initial 5-year NIH study on the effects of CBCT. Most recently he has taught to incarcerated persons in Central America and at Emory University’s School of Medicine. Tom enjoys bringing the concepts of CBCT to anyone who may benefit from learning ways to minimize empathic fatigue, to be more compassionate towards oneself and others, and to be more resilient in the face of life’s many challenges.
Contact: tomcombv@gmail.com
Debra Disney LCPC, Peoria, IL
Debra Disney is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Her passion includes offering tools that can help people to peacefully navigate the ups and downs of life. She has worked with hospice patients, cancer patients, and now, primarily with nursing students at Methodist College in Peoria, Illinois. She and her husband of 29 years enjoy hiking and spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Contact: ddisney59@gmail.com
Sally Dodds, PhD, Tucson, AZ
Sally Dodds, Ph.D. is a CBCT® Teacher and 20-year meditator. She emphasizes meditation for health and well-being, and to promote compassion for the environment.  For 30 years, she was a professor of psychiatry at two universities. In a recent study, she taught CBCT to breast cancer survivors and authored the article on its effectiveness. Now retired, she is a docent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and emphasizes compassion and mindfulness in nature conservation. With an ability to connect with people from all walks of life, Sally is an engaging teacher. A clinical social worker, she is also an experienced psychotherapist.
Contact: sdodds1@email.arizona.edu
Samuel Fernandez-Carriba, PhD, Atlanta, GA
Samuel Fernandez-Carriba is Senior Psychologist at the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Assistant Professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University. He obtained his PhD in Clinical and Health Psychology from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Emory Autism Center. At the Marcus Center, he conducts diagnostic evaluations on children and teenagers with ASD and related disorders, as well as research on two related topics: (1) sociocultural factors in autism and cultural competence in providers, and (2) the impact of mindfulness and compassion training with parents and providers on their well-being, social competence, and the children’s intervention outcomes.
contact: samuel.fernandez-carriba@emory.edu
Edgar Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain
Edgar Gonzalez is a Licensed Psychologist from the University of Valencia where he specializes in Advances in Research and Treatment in Psychopathology and Health and Sports Psychology. In 2011-2013 he participated in a Multicenter and Multidisciplinary Research Project entitled “Benefits of a Support program for Family Care-Givers of Patients at the End of Life”. During that period he was a member of partnerships between the University of Valencia and different clinical institutions in Spain. Currently, his work is focused on analyzing the psychological benefits of CBCT® for breast cancer survivors as part of his Doctoral work. He is also founding partner of Ment i Vida, where he combines clinical and research work.
Contact:  info@mentivida.com
Michelle Heker, Atlanta, GA
Michelle was first introduced to CBCT® in 2016 when she participated in the Emory Tibetan Mind-Body Sciences Summer Study Abroad Program in Dharamsala and Mundgod, India.  Michelle joined the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics as Administrative Assistant in 2017 after completing her BA in Human Health with a minot in Religion from Emory University.  Her role is to provide administrative support to the Center and its' programs. She is also responsible for the coordination of the Emory Tibetan Mind-Body Sciences Summer Study Abroad Program, for which she is a program assistant.  Michelle completed her CBCT® teacher certification in 2017 and cuurently teaches CBCT® to Emory students  each semester.
Contact: michelle.heker@emory.edu
Rebecca H. F. Ivester, Charleston, SC
As a certified CBCT® instructor, Rebecca endeavors to increase compassion for self and others in the workplace and the world. “Approaching life’s difficulties with healthy, realistic responses and increasing understanding of and connection with others are useful skills to be learned in the CBCT course.”  She sees applications for CBCT to address “burnout” syndrome in high stress professions such as teaching and healthcare, and as a countermeasure for social, political, racial and economic polarization in society. With a background in science, she is also interested in assisting research on contemplative techniques.
Contact: rebecca.h.f.ivester@gmail.com
Deanna Kaplan MA, Tucson, AZ
In addition to being a certified CBCT® teacher, Deanna is a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in the Department of Psychology, and President of the Arizona Meditation Research Interest Group (AMRIG). Deanna’s work for the Center for Compassion Studies aims to support the scientific understanding and public accessibility of programming that cultivates mindfulness, compassion and kindness. Her research currently focuses on the mechanisms of change in health, cognition and social behavior that are associated with meditation and other intentional practices.  She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona and practiced vipassana meditation for six years prior to studying CBCT.
contact: deannamkaplan@email.arizona.edu
Jennifer Knox, Atlanta, GA
Jennifer Knox is an educator with over 15 years experience in a variety of educational settings both nationally and abroad.  For the past decade, she has taught visual art in the Upper School at Woodward Academy.  As a CBCT® instructor, Jennifer has worked to incorporate CBCT® into educational settings including formal research studies with elementary teachers in an Atlanta area International Baccalaureate charter school and with parents of small children at the School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She has also taught CBCT to students at Emory University and to elementary and middle school faculty as a part of a federal innovation grant in Atlanta Public Schools.  
contact: jennifer.knox@woodward.edu
Leslie Langbert MSW, LCSW Tucson, Arizona
Leslie has been teaching CBCT® since 2014 and has led more than 100 students through the CBCT® program, including adolescents in foster care, Native American youth, transgender youth, behavioral health professionals, early childhood professionals and parents of preschoolers. In addition to her role as Executive Director of the Center for Compassion Studies, at the University of Arizona, Leslie is an instructor in the Care, Health & Society program of the Department of Sociology. She also shares wellness and mindfulness practices with students, faculty and staff through various campus programs. A licensed clinical social worker, Leslie is also a certified yoga instructor with additional training in yoga therapy, and a mindfulness meditation facilitator. 
contact: langbert@email.arizona.edu
Bobbie Patterson, PhD Atlanta, GA
Bobbi Patterson works with the CBCT® program within the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, including weekly co-leading a CBCT group for suicide attempters in the NIA Unit at Grady Hospital, Atlanta. Coordinating the Religion and Ecology Collaborative of Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion, she shares scholarly interest in how and when nature, ethics, and urban communities interact and generate resilience. Her current scholarship focuses on questions of place and space in relation to cultural, social, and life systems. Her interests in lived religion in communities also draws on theories and practices of Christian and Buddhist contemplative studies.  She lives with her husband in Decatur, Georgia, and enjoys kayaking, swimming and hiking.
contact: bpatter@emory.edu
Kelly Richards, Atlanta, Georgia / Maine
Kelly Richards was an elementary classroom teacher for 40+ years, the last 30 at Paideia School in Atlanta, where she taught meditation daily for four years to a class of seven and eight year olds, much of it based on CBCT®. Currently she leads Finding Center and Mindful Kindness workshops in Atlanta and mid-coast Maine. She thinks of FC as introductory - a briefer, more active version of CBCT, while MK is an intensive, active and very practical course for teachers ready to bring compassion training into the classroom.
Contact: richards.kelly@paideiaschool.org
Wendy D. Saunders, Los Angeles, CA
Wendy Saunders is a CBCT® teacher and Senior Manager of Leadership Development for YMCA of the USA.  Wendy began her career with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles in 1996 and served as an Executive Director leading multiple branches before transitioning to the national organization.  In 2012, Wendy produced a white paper, “Beyond Civility: Growing Compassionate Love in Communities” which was published in YMCA of the USA’s Journal of Community Strengthening™.  Wendy has led CBCT with leadership team members and staff, adult community members, teens and older youth.  She also leads national Mindfulness & Compassion Workshops (including online webinars) for executives and Love & Compassion Workshops for community members at local Ys in Los Angeles.
Contact: cbctlosangeles@gmail.com or visit www.compassionatelove.net
Maureen J. Shelton MDiv, ACPE Supervisor (Chaplain Educator), Atlanta, GA
Maureen attended Candler School of Theology of Emory University and trained as a chaplain through Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Emory Healthcare’s Chaplaincy program. She then completed additional training to become a certified chaplain educator.  In 2001 she became the Director of Education at Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare’s CPE  program.  Maureen has ben engaged with CBCT® since 2014 and has been instrumental in integrating CBCT into the Emory Spiritual Health Chaplain curriculum to help prepare their students to work in settings that are increasingly multicultural, and with individuals of diverse beliefs.  She is also working to bring the practice of CBCT to the bedsides of patients and their families and is interested in teaching CBCT in a variety of settings.  
Contact: mshel03@emory.edu
Teri Sivilli, MPH, Atlanta, GA
Teri works at the intersection of trauma, resilience and contemplative practices. A member of the original clinical research team that demonstrated the physiological and psychological effects of CBCT®, she also has experience in mental health and psychosocial epidemiology, and in integrating contemplative practices into psychosocial interventions, and has worked extensively in international settings. Teri is especially interested in implementing CBCT for incarcerated populations and those who have experienced psychological trauma. She holds an MPH in global health from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health and is currently earning a degree in clinical social work.
Contact: teri.sivilli@gmail.com
Nichole Sloan LCSW, Atlanta, GA
Nichole is a certified CBCT® teacher and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over fifteen years of experience. The focus of her practice is on trauma and PTSD, substance use and addiction, the Veteran population and military families, homelessness, severe mental illness and incorporating the use of complementary alternative medicine in the medical setting. She has taught CBCT to students of Emory and will be teaching  CBCT through the Integrative Health and Wellness program at the Atlanta VAMC in 2017. 
Contact: nickiesloan76@gmail.com
Marcelo Bento Soares PhD, Peoria, IL
Bento is a cancer research investigator and an educator at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP), where he serves as Head of the Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology and Senior Associate Dean for Research.  Along with colleagues from UICOMP and the Methodist College of Nursing, he pursued his CBCT® teacher certification program with the goal of offering CBCT® at UICOMP, its affiliated hospitals, and the Peoria community at large. This team is also working towards the development of a Center for Contemplative Science and Cognitively-Based Compassion Training in partnership with Emory University and the “Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center,” ranked among the top healthcare simulation centers in the world.
Contact: mbsoares@uic.edu
Cheri Tiernan, M.A., Atlanta, GA
Cheri Tiernan, a CBCT® teacher and Buddhist chaplain, is currently completing her clinical rotation at Emory University Midtown Hospital. She is pursuing board certification and would like to specialize as a palliative-care chaplain, helping families and patients navigate the maze of chronic and end-of-life care. Cheri has also taught CBCT at Emory's School of Medicine and is interested in the intersection of physical, psychological and spiritual health. As a longtime meditator, she was drawn to CBCT's secular curriculum with its twin emphasis on both theoryand practice. As a founding board member of Compassionate Atlanta, a worldwide movement inspired by British theologian and former Catholic nun Karen Armstrong's "Charter for Compassion," she is interested in methodologies that advance compassion in the public sphere.
Bruno Vichi, São Paulo, Brazil
Bruno Vichi is a certified CBCT® teacher from São Paulo, Brazil, and graduated in both law and psychoanalysis. During the last 20 years, he has worked as a lawyer, mediator and therapist. Previously a student of Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, India, he is one of the first Brazilians to complete a traditional three-year long retreat held at Kagyu Pende Gyamtso (KPG) in Brasilia, Brazil.  
Contact: brunovichi@gmail.com
Joni Winston, Atlanta, GA
Joni first learned of CBCT® when she attended a panel discussion in 2007 during the visit of the Dalai Lama to Emory University.  Prior to this she had spent five years dabbling in meditation, but it wasn’t until hearing a presentation on one of the CBCT® research studies that outlined the benefits of CBCT® practice on stress reduction that she was inspired to learn CBCT® — and to practice daily.  She now looks forward to sharing CBCT® with others as a certified teacher.  In addition to CBCT®, Joni enjoys studying many other mindfulness/wellness practices, and is also certified to teach Breathwalk (a type of walking meditation taught in the Kundalini School).  She is also an avid student of A Course In Miracles.
Contact: joniwinston7@gmail.com
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