CSPH 5541 - Emotional Healing and Happiness: Eastern and Western Approaches to Transforming the Mind

This course is traditionally offered in person. Check the class search for in person meeting dates and times. 

Course Description:

This course will introduce and provide in-depth, experiential training in the cultivation of happiness, emotional health and healing for multi-disciplinary professions. Students will learn ancient and contemporary highly effective methods for the transformation of afflictive emotions, unhealthy patterns, and behaviors. Students will learn how to increase positive emotions and mind states including: compassion, joy and equanimity. They will explore meditation and other integrative approaches that bring balance and well being to the mind. Students will practice and explore the applications of these modalities.
Students will learn how to creatively apply and integrate them into their lives,
relationships and work with a wide range of patient /client populations and settings.

The class content draws on eastern and western approaches to emotional health and healing in a mindfulness-based, integrative model including: Buddhist and Transpersonal Psychology, meditation practices, spirituality, expressive, creative & ritual arts. Case examples and neuroscience research on emotions will also be included in the course.

This interdicilinary course is open to graduate students at the University of Minnesota, undergraduate juniors and seniors, staff, and interested professionals from the community and other community members with instructor permission.

Course Objectives:

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the skills of compassionate presence and mindful listening and speaking.
  • Learn about the integration of eastern and western approaches to emotional health and healing and its application to work with different client/patient populations. Begin to identify and transform their own negative emotions, and difficult patterns and learn antidotes for common obstacles to emotional well being and prevention of compassion fatigue .
  • Develop competency in helping empower patients/clients by reframing obstacles and difficulties and to access their inner resources including spirituality, creativity and their innate capacity for happiness in a mindful, integrative model. 
  • Learn how to develop body awareness and listen to their own bodies for cues in working with other people. They will also assist their clients/patients to develop these skills for themselves.
  • Understand the ethical issues and discuss healthy boundaries and professional relationships within an eastern and western integrative model. Discuss the role of conscious relationships, healthy intimacy and healing relationships.
  • Learn about the of use ritual, drawing, journaling, guided imagery, movement and other creative methods with patients/clients including benefits and precautions.
  • Learn non-sectarian approaches to introduce general Buddhist principles and practices. Learn to face and embrace their own and their patient/clients’ suffering with compassion and equanimity and a spiritual perspective.
  • Gain an overview and understand the significance of neuroscience research on destructive/afflictive emotions and happiness and other positive emotions and the mind.


Course Details

Course ID: 
CSPH 5541
Graduate Students, Undergraduate students with junior status or above, or instructor consent.
Semesters Course Offered: 
Course Flyer: 
PDF icon Course Flyer (1.82 MB)