Event Speakers

Kristin Neff, PhD

Kristin Neff, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion nearly twenty years ago, and is the author of the best-selling book Self-Compassion. She has been recognized as one of the most influential researchers in psychology worldwide. Along with her colleague Chris Germer, she developed the Mindful Self-Compassion program, taught internationally, and co-wrote The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. Her newest book is Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive

Christopher Germer, PhD

Chris Germer, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He co-developed the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program with Kristin Neff in 2010 and they wrote two books, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program. MSC has been taught to over 200,000 people worldwide. Dr. Germer is also the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion; he co-edited two influential volumes on therapy, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy; and he maintains a small psychotherapy practice in Massachusetts, USA.

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, is a healer, longtime therapist, and a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in the healing of racialized trauma. He is also the founder of the Cultural Somatics Institute, a cultural trauma navigator, and a communal provocateur and coach. Resmaa is best known as the author of the New York Times best-seller My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, and as the originator and key advocate of Somatic Abolitionism, an embodied antiracist practice of living and culture building. Resmaa coaches leaders and people to rise through suffering’s edge. His work focuses on making the invisible embodied and visible. His new book, The Quaking of America will be released April, 2022.

Tara Brach, PhD

Tara Brach, PhD, is a meditation teacher, psychologist, and author of several books including international best-selling Radical Acceptance and Trusting the Gold. Her popular weekly podcast is downloaded three million times a month. Tara is founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and has been active in bringing meditation into schools, prisons, and underserved populations. Along with Jack Kornfield, Tara leads the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP), serving participants from 70 countries around the world.

Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist whose work integrates mind, brain, body, and social connections to understand and treat trauma. His research ranges from the impact of trauma on development and brain imaging, to the use of yoga, neurofeedback, EMDR, and theater for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. An internationally recognized leader in the field of psychological trauma, he is author of more than 150 peer reviewed scientific articles and several books, including Psychological Trauma, the first integrative text on the subject; Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society; and The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

Licia Sky

Licia Sky is a co-founder and the CEO of the Trauma Research Foundation. She is a somatic educator, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation in movement, theater exercises, writing, and voice as tools for attunement, healing, and connection. She is a regular instructor in trauma healing workshops across the country. For the past decade, she has been teaching expanded awareness in workshops to clinicians and laypeople around the world.

Galia Tyano Ronen

Galia Tyano Ronen loves life on earth with all it brings into her soul and the diversity of connections with people, nature, arts, body, music, and spirit. Galia is a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teacher and serves as the Program Director for the Self-Compassion In Psychotherapy (SCIP) Certificate Program. She is a focusing oriented therapist, artist, and clinical psychologist walking a path, accompanying people over a section of their lives and incorporating mind body spirit work in her encounters. Galia is pioneering Mindful Self-Compassion in Israel, mentoring Hebrew speaking MSC teachers and creating a bilingual Arab Jews MSC course. With her local community, she creates culture festivals based on the generosity, togetherness, free will, spirit, and the talent of citizens.

Learn more at www.shiluv-bodymind.co.il and https://www.themagicalchildrenoflight.com

Dan Siegel, MD

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families, and communities. Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both professional and lay audiences. His five New York Times bestsellers are: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.: The Whole-Brain Child, and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, and The Mindful Therapist. He has also written The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. Dr. Siegel also serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which currently contains over seventy textbooks.

Eduardo Duran, PhD

Eduardo Duran, PhD, is a Vietnam Veteran who started his academic training after being discharged from the US Navy. He has worked in Indigenous communities most of his professional life. Clinical work in communities has informed his theoretical formations which have resulted in several papers and books. His work is informed by traditional teachings from Native elders as he creates a hybrid model in his clinical practice to address the deeper issues resulting from soul wounding. Eduardo lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Richard J. Davidson, PhD

Richard J. Davidson, PhD, received his doctorate from Harvard University. Dr. Davidson’s research focuses on the neural bases of emotion and methods to promote human flourishing. He is co-author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and Altered Traits. He was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine, elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and appointed to the Governing Board of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. Dr. Davidson founded Healthy Minds Innovations.

Deb Dana, LCSW

Deb Dana, LCSW, is a clinician, consultant, author, and speaker specializing in complex trauma. Her work shows how we can use an understanding of the organizing principles of Polyvagal Theory to change the ways we navigate our daily lives. She is well known for translating Polyvagal Theory into a language and application that is both understandable and accessible — for clinicians and curious people alike.

Pamela Ayo Yetunde, JD, ThD

Pamela Ayo Yetunde, ThD, is a pastoral counselor, Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP) instructor, co-founder of Center of the Heart, and the author of books and articles on pastoral care and chaplaincy. She is the author of Object Relations, Buddhism, and Relationality in Womanist Practical Theology; Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, U.S. Law, and Womanist Theology for Transgender Spiritual Care; and co-editor of Black and Buddhist. Her new book, Casting Indra’s Net: Wisdom for Fostering Spiritual Kinship, Respecting Difference, and Moving toward Wholeness Together will be released by Shambhala Publications in 2023.

Shari Geller, PhD

Shari Geller, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teacher. With over thirty years’ experience weaving psychology and mindfulness, Shari co-authored the book Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy with Dr. Leslie S. Greenberg, and recently published A Practical Guide to Cultivating Therapeutic Presence, which offers practical guidance for cultivating and strengthening therapeutic presence as a foundational approach. Shari is a core faculty member of the Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy (SCIP) Certificate Program, and offers training, supervision, and therapy in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and Mindfulness and Self-Compassion modalities for individuals and couples.

Chris Willard, PsyD

Christopher Willard, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist, author, and consultant based in Massachusetts. He has been invited to more than two dozen countries to speak, and has presented at two TEDx events. He is the author of 20 books, including Alphabreaths; Growing Up Mindful; and How we Grow Through What We Go Through. His thoughts on mental health have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, cnn.com, and elsewhere. He teaches at Harvard Medical School. Find him on Instagram and facebook @drchriswillard

Richard Schwartz, PhD

Richard Schwartz, PhD, began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. From his explorations of the internal lives of his clients, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s. IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms. In 2013, Dr. Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where he is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Deran Young, LCSW

Deran Young, LCSW, is a therapist, co-author of the New York Times best-seller You Are Your Best Thing, a retired military officer, and the founder of Black Therapists Rock — a nonprofit organization of over 30,000 mental health professionals committed to reducing the psychological impact of systemic oppression and intergenerational trauma. During her graduate program, she studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa exploring the link between historical trauma and collective mental health. Deran describes herself as someone who loves to learn from various cultures and she has visited over 37 countries. Her clinical experience spans across four different continents.

Find her book, Black Therapists Rock, here.

Dr. g (Claudelle R. Glasgow), PsyD

Dr. g (Claudelle R. Glasgow), PsyD, SEP, serves as healer, author, and educator. As a non-binary, queer, first-generation Being from Afro-Caribbean (West Africa/Trinidad/Haiti/American) roots, liberatory views and dismantling constructs naturally flows throughout doc’s lineage as well as the work. Dr. g’s nearly 20 years in healing is emergent and grounded in a radical existential-somatic approach, which works with the power of the here & now, somatics, creativity, and liberation. doc enjoys conversations & collaborations that bring difference across diverse streams of thought/ways of being into mutual understanding.

Laura Silberstein-Tirch, Psy.D

Laura Silberstein-Tirch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and Director of The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy. Dr. Silberstein-Tirch is committed to evidence-based psychotherapy grounded in compassion, mindfulness, and psychological flexibility. She is the author of the book How to Be Nice to Yourself and co-author of the books, Buddhist Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, A Clinicians Guide; The ACT Practitioners Guide to the Science of Compassion; and Experiencing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy from The Inside Out.

Dennis Tirch, PhD

Dr. Tirch is the Founder of The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), and an internationally acknowledged expert psychotherapist and trainer. Dr. Tirch is an author of 6 books, and many chapters and articles on mindfulness and compassion. Dr. Tirch is an Associate Clinical Professor at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Past President of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), President of The Compassionate Mind Foundation, USA, and a Zen Buddhist Dharma Holder (hoshi).

Ron Siegel, PsyD

Dr. Ronald D. Siegel is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, part time, at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 35 years. He is a long-time student of mindfulness meditation, is author of many books, including The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary: Finding Happiness Right Where You Are, The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems, and is professor for The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being produced by The Great Courses.

Rhonda V. Magee, MA, JD

Rhonda V. Magee, MA, JD, is Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and is an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law, and social change work. Rhonda’s award-winning book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness was named one of the top ten books released for the year by the Greater Good Science Center. She draws on law and legal history to weave storytelling, poetry, analysis, and practices into inspiration for changing how we think, act, and live better together in a rapidly changing world.

Clarissa Cigrand, PhD

Clarissa Cigrand, PhD, LPC, is an Assistant Professor at Naropa University in the Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling program. She specializes in counselor development and pedagogy. Her research interests include contemplative pedagogy, teaching presence, contemplative epistemology, and using contemplative methods to develop greater levels of liberatory consciousness. She is passionate about expanding upon conventional ways of knowing; for her, this includes drumming, dancing, meditation, ritual, dialogue, interbeing, scholastic study, and finding stillness in nature.

Les Greenberg, PhD

Leslie Greenberg, PhD, is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at York University and the developer of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). His recent books include Emotion-Focused Therapy of Forgiveness and Changing Emotion with Emotion. He has received the Distinguished Research Career award of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research and both the Carl Rogers and the Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research of the American Psychology Association. He is a past President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research.

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, has led group mindfulness-awareness meditation retreats since 1976. He has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Stanford and has taught Religious Studies for 15 years at Naropa University. He is the author of Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With and Natural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as Path to Awakening, and contributed the foreword to Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom.

Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE

Paul Gilbert, FBPsS, PhD, OBE, is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Queensland. He was consultant clinical psychologist for over 40 years, and has researched evolutionary approaches to psychopathology with a special focus on mood, shame, and self-criticism in various mental health difficulties for which Compassion Focused Therapy was developed. In 2006 Paul established the Compassionate Mind Foundation as an international charity with the mission to “promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion.” He has written/edited 23 books and over 300 papers and book chapters. His latest book, a major edited book with Dr. Gregoris Simos, Compassion Focused Therapy: Clinical Practice and Applications, is now available. He was awarded an OBE by the Queen in March 2011 for services to mental health.

Lisa Shetler

Lisa Shetler is a registered clinical psychologist, accredited psychology supervisor, and the Director of FLOW Psychology. Having worked extensively across both the private and public health sectors, Lisa works with children, adolescents, and families with complex difficulties. She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Adelaide in the field of child psychology, and a teacher of mindfulness and self-compassion for teens. Her goal as a therapist is to ease people’s suffering and improve quality of life.

Netanel Goldberg

Netanel Goldberg is an international voice artist and a mentor of soul singing ceremonies around the world. A place that allows deep and honest connection with what lives within us and give it expression with our voice, heart, body & soul. Netanel sings in his mother tongue in Hebrew and English with each language expressing a unique quality to it. Over the years, Netanel has created alternative spaces for prayer. In it for all faith and religion, women, and men from all over the world can connect – and bring powerful healing for themselves and for the world. In addition to ceremonies and concerts, Netanel leads workshops & retreats, including men’s circles. Netanel also directs life rituals (weddings, birth, and death). He is currently living in Israel with his wife & beloved – Anva.


Norma Day-Vines, PhD

Norma L. Day-Vines, PhD, serves as Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University and maintains a faculty appointment as Professor of Counseling and Educational Studies. Her research agenda addresses multiculturalism as an indispensable tool in the delivery of culturally competent counseling and educational services for individuals from marginalized groups. Dr. Day-Vines specializes in measuring counselors’ attitudes about discussing race, ethnicity, and culture with ethnic minority clients.

Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D., is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, author, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has taught on the subject of death and dying at many academic and medical institutions around the world. Much of her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on Engaged Buddhism where she’s founded and directed many projects including the Project on Being with Dying, the Upaya Prison Project, the Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, and the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

Lorraine Hobbs, MA

Lorraine M. Hobbs, MA, is Director of Family Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. She is a pioneer in self-compassion training for teens and is co-author of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens & Young Adults. Her book, Teaching Self-Compassion to Teens, is scheduled for release in April of 2022. She is Director of Project Huruma, a Mindful Self-Compassion program for at-risk families and caregivers around the world. She is a family therapist, a former clinical director of adolescent treatment programs, and is a certified MBSR teacher and Mindful Self-Compassion teacher.

Michelle Becker, MA, LMFT

Michelle is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, developer of the Compassion for Couples program, and founder of Wise Compassion. She is a mentor and co-founder of the Mindful Self- Compassion Teacher Training, as well as a senior teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training, a certified Daring Way Facilitator and a Senior Trainer at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She specializes in teaching and speaking on compassion in various relational contexts. 

Here are some additional resources from Michelle:
Join the Well Connected Community at https://wisecompassion.com/join/
Look for the WELL CONNECTED RELATIONSHIPS podcast wherever you like to listen to podcasts or at https://wisecompassion.com/podcast/
Find Compassion for Couples courses at https://wisecompassion.com/courses-events/

Michelle’s book, Compassion for Couples is due out late 2022/early 2023 from Guilford Press.

Sue Johnson, PhD

Sue Johnson, PhD, is a leading innovator in the fields of couples therapy and adult attachment and is the primary developer of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which has demonstrated its effectiveness in over 30 years of peer-reviewed clinical research. Her best-selling book Hold Me Tight has sold over one million copies and been developed into a relationship education and enhancement program. Both the book and program have been translated into numerous languages, with the program also being adapted for specific groups such as families with teens and couples facing cardiac disease. As the Founding Director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), Sue trains counselors in EFT worldwide.

Ravi Chandra, MD

Ravi Chandra, M.D. is a psychiatrist, writer, and compassion educator in San Francisco, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He writes for Psychology Today and East Wind eZine, where his longform essays are written “at the intersection of Black and Asian lives.” His debut documentary, The Bandaged Place: From AIDS to COVID and Racial Justice won Best Film at the 2021 Cannes Independent Film Festival, and is available to stream on Vimeo on-demand. (Use code “Awake” at checkout for a 20% discount.) Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks is his full-length nonfiction debut, and is the winner of the 2017 Nautilus Silver Book Award for Religion/Spirituality of Eastern Thought. He also teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion Cultivation Training Workshops through his non-profit organization SF Love Dojo. 

Rick Hanson, PhD

Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist, Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His books have been published in 30 languages and have sold over a million copies in English alone. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on CBS, NPR, the BBC, and other major media.

Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD

Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD, is the Center Director of the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), Director of Research and Director of the Mindful Mental Health Service at CHA. He is Director of Addiction Research at CHA and previously served for five years as Medical Director for Addiction Services and Director of Addiction Residency Education. Dr. Schuman-Olivier is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. As a board-certified addiction psychiatrist, he has been involved with research and clinical care of patients with addiction, mental illness, and chronic pain both in mental health and primary care settings.

Russell Razzaque, MD

Russell Razzaque, PhD, is a psychiatrist based in London, UK. He is a mindfulness teacher and Open Dialogue trainer, and recently published a key book in this area, Dialogical Psychiatry. He is also an academic, Visiting Professor at London South Bank University, and has published extensively on relational ways of working. He is currently leading the world’s largest Open Dialogue trial, ODDESSI, with University College London.