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Suffering: A User’s Guide

Residential Program
Dates: Feb 02, 2024 - Feb 04, 2024
Days: Friday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 2 nights

Instructor(s): Paul R. Fulton

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Program Description:
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Overcoming suffering, avoiding unpleasant experience, and pursuing happiness are common motivations in our conscious and unconscious lives. While we are all familiar with suffering and can often recognize it in ourselves and others, there are countless ways of understanding its causes and solutions. How we understand suffering shapes what we think is to be done about it. In this program, we will explore a range of different accounts of suffering and how our own understanding is shaped by personal history, culture, science, and personality, with particular attention to the underlying assumptions about suffering found in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. We will then explore the Buddha’s formulation of the origin and cessation of suffering. Through presentation, readings, deep conversation, and practice we will explore these various accounts, opening new possibilities for understanding–and responding to–suffering, both our own and the suffering of others. This program is open to all, though it is particularly relevant for mental health practitioners and other caregivers.


Noble Silence:
Noble silence will be observed following each evening session through breakfast the following morning. Additional silent practice periods will be scheduled throughout the program.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Continuing Education:

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Applications for 8 continuing education credits for psychologists and social workers will be submitted and approved for this program. Accrediting agencies are the National Association for Social Workers (NASW) and the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (IMP). Please confirm with your licensing board whether the CEUs offered are applicable for your licensure before arrival. For more information about CEUs through BCBS, please click here.

    About the Instructor(s):
  • Paul R. Fulton is a clinical psychologist, founding member and former president of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and a former board member of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Dr. Fulton is a Lecturer, Part-Time, in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School at Cambridge Health Alliance and is course director for the Institute’s year-long Certificate Program in Mindfulness & Psychotherapy. He has written and taught internationally on the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy. Paul has been a student of psychology and meditation for over 50 years. He holds a doctorate in comparative developmental psychology from Harvard’s Laboratory for Human Development, is a contributing author to, and co-editor of, Mindfulness & Psychotherapy (Guilford Press), and many articles and book chapters on related topics, including essays for BCBS’s Insight Journal.