Graduate School of Social Sciences

A Peaceful Mind: Mindfulness and Compassion-based Interventions

As our world becomes busier and more interconnected, people's lives take different trajectories towards new futures. This socio-cultural shift also affects our well being. But has our way of understanding individual health and wellness also shifted to adapt to the changes we see in ourselves and others?

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 30 June - 18 July 2019*
Housing dates: 28 June - 19 July 2019*
Academic fee: € 1575
Housing fee: € 500 for private room with shared facilities or 550 for private room with private facilities and € 75 deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for? For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in mindfulness, psychology, and/or pedagogy. For working professionals with a desire to continue their education in this field.
Academic director: Maja Wrzesien
Early application deadline: 10 January 2019
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2019


* These dates are tentative and subject to minor change: final changes will be anounced by 1 December.

Programme description

This summer programme explores Emotion Regulation and contemplative practices such as mindfulness and compassion-based interventions across education, clinical, and organizational structures to develop new strategies and approaches to health and wellness. Mental health conditions in youth and adults are an expanding and global concern. Numerous mental health conditions are significantly related to poor capacity of Emotion Regulation. Thus, learning adaptive Emotion Regulation strategies has strong potential in promoting psychological well-being, providing tools for youths to live healthy adult lives.

In the last years, interventions inspired by contemplative practices such as mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions have shown promising results as effective emotion regulation techniques. They are also effective prevention and treatment tools that have been applied in various areas such as education (for children, parents, teachers), clinical interventions (for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder and many more), and organizations (providing new leadership styles and preventive tools against burn-outs).

This course is divided into three blocks.

  1. Theoretical introduction to emotion regulation processes, and contemplative practice. This block allows students to become familiar with definitions and theoretical models related to concepts of mindfulness and compassion as well as experience the practice themselves.
  2. Neuropsychology of contemplative practice. This block allows students to understand how the contemplative practice influences the brain and its functions.
  3. Application of contemplative practices. In this block, students will learn about mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions in education, clinical interventions, and organizations.

The first edition of this summer programme was organized in collaboration with Dr. Maja Wrzesien, who received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 656333.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture(s) and excursions (approximately 3 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; lunch is provided by the University) 
  • Afternoon excursions with applied workshops, tutorials, movie screening, and fieldwork (4 hours)

By the end of the summer programme students will (1) become familiar with state of the art interdisciplinary research related to contemplative practice; (2) gain in-depth knowledge and experience of mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions in multiple settings and across various populations; (3) become familiar with mindfulness and compassion questionnaires, and (4) develop personal experience of mindfulness and compassion meditation and consider practical tools to help incorporating these practices into everyday life.

Credit Transfer

As a Summer Institute student you receive a participation certificate with an official seal from the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university. If you have questions about credit transfer, or need more information on the programme for your home university's administration, please email us at

To watch this video you'll need to accept all cookies. Cookie settings.

6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction
Starts in

Published by  GSSS Summer Programmes Office