Building Compassion, Trust, and Happiness is a day-long seminar will offer strategies for cultivating compassion, developing resilience, and strengthening relationships in your personal and professional life.

It will be led by Dacher Keltner, a renowned professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center. Drawing on cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Keltner will reveal the deep roots of human goodness, and he will explain why humans have strong propensities for caring and compassionate behavior. His presentation will highlight the strong connections between happiness, compassion, and altruism, identifying the health and social benefits that come from practicing trust, empathy, gratitude, kindness, and other positive behaviors. For instance, cultivating feelings of gratitude have been shown to boost people’s health, make them happier, and improve their relationships.

Building on this science, Dr. Keltner will present research-based tips for fostering positive emotions and behaviors in yourself, in children, and in colleagues and clients. He will also shed light on those who have trouble forming relationships, such as those who suffer from social disorders like autism.

The seminar will also feature a special guest presentation by John Gottman, the nation’s foremost researcher of marriage and parenting. Dr. Gottman will explain how attendees can develop stronger, more compassionate, and more trusting relationships with their romantic partners and others. He will focus on how to practice constructive, compassionate conflict resolution in relationships, including (but not limited to) marriages. He will also discuss how that approach is complicated after one partner has betrayed the other, and explain how can partners restore trust, compassion, and empathy to their relationship after such a betrayal has occurred. Ultimately, he will identify principles and practices that are vital to any healthy relationship.

(All sections led by Dacher Keltner unless otherwise noted)

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.  Registration and check in
9:00 – 10:30 The evolution and neuroscience of social well-being
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:00 Compassion, empathy, and gratitude as paths to social well-being and the meaningful life
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 2:30 John Gottman, PhD, on fostering empathy and trust in relationships
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:30 Breakdowns in social and emotional well-being: autism, depression, antisocial disorder
3:30 – 3:45 Break
3:45 – 4:45 Practical steps toward cultivating happiness and compassion in yourself and others

Learning Objectives

* Identify the connections between compassion and happiness
* Develop effective ways to handle stress and maintain a more resilient, compassionate approach toward other people
* Diagnose the root causes of anti-social behavior, such as aggression and autism
* Cultivate compassion and trust in relationships with spouses, children, and others
* Use research-based practices to boost happiness in themselves and others

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