Course Outline

The Compassionate Inquiry Professional Online Training consists of eight modules. The Compassionate Inquiry Self-Study Short Course contains brief overviews of these modules as well. An outline and the learning objectives of each of the modules is provided below, followed by a description of the three Levels of the training for the Professional Program.

Course Content

Module 1: Presence, Safety, Attunement


  • Origin of Compassionate Inquiry
  • The Simplistic View
  • The Purpose of Therapy
  • Our Minds Create the World
  • Three Levels of Knowledge
  • Safety, Social Engagement and Learning
  • Interpersonal Neuro-Biology
  • The Power of the Group
  • Who Are You as a Therapist?
  • Cultivate Presence
  • Attunement Is the Key
  • The Approach of Compassionate Inquiry
  • Compassionate Inquiry Stepping Stones

Learning Objectives:

  1. Reflect on the purpose of therapy and maintain a clear intention when working with clients.
  2. Notice how your mind and the minds of your clients create their world.
  3. Utilize all three levels of knowledge in the way you relate to your clients.
  4. Increase your capacity to create safety and openness in the therapeutic setting.
  5. Develop greater presence within yourself and within the therapeutic relationship.
  6. Refine your ability to attune to the client.
  7. Understand the Compassionate Inquiry approach, and begin to practice, using the skills and Stepping Stones.
  8. Become skilled at bringing yourself and the client into the present moment, and bringing attention to what is going on in the body.

Module 2: Triggers, Pain, Shame


  • Triggers and Emotional Pain
  • Acceptance of Anger and Pain
  • How to Handle Emotions
  • Feelings vs Perceptions
  • Be In Relationship to Feelings
  • Understand Shame
  • Create Space to Feel
  • Find the Original Event
  • Who Did You Talk To?
  • Enhance Self-Awareness

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the nature of a trigger.
  2. Recognize your own triggers and use Compassionate Inquiry to process them.
  3. Acknowledge the pain that lies beneath anger.
  4. Create space to experience your emotions, investigate their origin, and express what needs expression.
  5. Differentiate a perception or interpretation, from a feeling or emotion.
  6. Understand shame and its origin.
  7. Develop self-awareness through a daily practice of your choice.
  8. In the therapeutic setting, offer space and attentiveness for the client to experience authentic grief, and to experience what’s happening for them in the moment.

Module 3: Trauma, Disconnection, Constriction


  • Ego and Essence
  • What is Trauma?
  • Trauma as Disconnection
  • From States to Traits
  • Sensitivity and Trauma
  • Teaching About Trauma
  • How to Ask About Trauma
  • The Patriarchal Culture
  • Trauma and Eating Disorders
  • Socio-Cultural Trauma
  • Trauma and Psychosis
  • Epigenetics and Trauma
  • PTSD
  • False Memory Syndrome
  • Perpetrators Know Who Is Vulnerable
  • Set, Setting and Substances
  • Trust Your Gut Feelings
  • Voice, Verbal Language and Speech Patterns
  • Reading Body Language and Breathing Patterns
  • Recognize Defence Mechanisms
  • The Power of Validation

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the difference between ego and essence.
  2. Understand the primary cause of trauma.
  3. Know and accept what happened to you as a child.
  4. Understand the relationship between trauma, coping strategies and the formation of the personality.
  5. Learn how to ask about trauma.
  6. Recognize the prevalence of socio-cultural trauma.
  7. Become more aware of your gut feelings.
  8. Increase your sensitivity to body language, and the speech and breathing patterns of yourself and clients.

Module 4: Attachment, Adaptation, Addiction


  • The Happy Childhood Challenge
  • The Many Parts of Us
  • Recognize Who Is Speaking
  • The Roots of Addiction
  • Parental Guilt
  • The Genetic Link to Addiction
  • Attachment vs Authenticity
  • The Adaptive Purpose of a Behaviour
  • Coping Mechanisms as Wounds to the Self
  • Helping from the Wound vs. Helping Authentically
  • The Importance of Curiosity
  • The Therapist as a Mirror

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn to identify when the inner child, mature adult or another part is showing up.
  2. Bring compassion to the inner child or other part as you relax judgement and understand it’s function.
  3. Understand the source of all addiction as arising from disconnection.
  4. Understand the survival needs of attachment and authenticity.
  5. Recognize the persistent coping mechanisms that you and others use to maintain attachment.
  6. Recognize mental-emotional and physical ailments as adaptations.
  7. Understand coping mechanisms as being wounds to the self.
  8. Know the difference between helping from an authentic place vs helping from a coping strategy.
  9. Become skilled at clarifying and mirroring your clients’ responses.

Module 5: Children, Family, Responsibility


  • Working with Children
  • Involve the Family
  • Put the Child’s Needs First
  • Adopted Children
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Childhood Play
  • See Your Children for Who they Are
  • ADHD as a Coping Mechanism
  • Healing is Within Everybody
  • The Limitations of Diagnoses
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • You Are Responsible for the Way You Are Now
  • Living in Separate Worlds
  • Self-Disclosure and Inclusiveness
  • Interrupting the Client’s Story
  • Confidence in a Therapist

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the relationship between the early childhood environment and brain development.
  2. Recognize the importance of mutual responsiveness in adult-child relationships.
  3. Recognize the value and role of the empathetic witness for the child.
  4. See your children for who they are.
  5. Learn the connection between ADHD and lack of attunement.
  6. Know that the true self is never damaged or lost.
  7. Recognize that all diagnoses originate from coping mechanisms.
  8. Understand the challenges of borderline personality disorder.
  9. Encourage the mindset of taking 100 percent responsibility for your responses to people and situations.
  10. Build confidence as a therapist.
  11. Practice using appropriate self-disclosure.
  12. Become skilled at interrupting the client’s story and bringing them into their in-the-present self.

Module 6: Memory, Stories, Beliefs


  • Memory
  • Explicit Memory
  • Implicit Memory
  • Preverbal Memory
  • Somatic Memory
  • The Body Knows All
  • Unconscious Beliefs and their Origin
  • Is It True?
  • Shift Your Perspective
  • The Use of Teaching Stories
  • The Lesson In Judgement
  • Soften Into Acceptance

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the difference between explicit and implicit memory.
  2. Recognize the ways in which implicit memory shows up, especially when you are triggered.
  3. Be aware of how memories reveal themselves in the body.
  4. Notice your judgements of self and others, and what stands in the way of acceptance.
  5. Pay attention to your internal body states and bring attention to tension.
  6. Develop the ability to make effective use of story-telling in sessions with your clients.
  7. Become aware of unconscious beliefs in yourself and your clients.
  8. Recognize how you and your clients create lives that fulfill your beliefs.

Module 7: Will, Compassion, Forgiveness


  • Diagnoses
  • Will and Counterwill
  • Working with the Super-Ego
  • The Five Levels of Compassion
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • The Two-Way Valve
  • Self-Compassion and Self-Care
  • Who Is there to Forgive?
  • It’s Not About Them
  • How Are You Showing Up?
  • Responsibility and Action

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand counterwill and recognize when it is activated in yourself, your client or in relationship.
  2. Recognize the voice of the Super-Ego within yourself and in the client and develop a communication strategy with it.
  3. Notice self-judgement and replace it with self-compassion.
  4. Recognize when you are not being compassionate towards yourself and notice the disconnection that is present.
  5. Decide each day how you are going to show up.
  6. Practice Fierce Compassion towards yourself and your clients.
  7. Understand and embody the Five Levels of Compassion.
  8. Embrace the possibility of Radical Compassion.
  9. Practice daily self-care.

Module 8: Relationship, Possibility, Change


  • The Behavioural Approach to Therapy
  • The Relational Approach to Therapy
  • Be In Relationship with the Client’s True Self
  • How to Work with Clients Who Don’t Want to Feel
  • Willingness to Do the Work
  • Working with Couples
  • The Client-Therapist Relationship Is Like a Marriage
  • Inquiry and Validation
  • Holding Hope, Hitting Rock Bottom and Enabling
  • See the Client for their Possibility
  • Give the Client a Taste of Victory
  • Change is Possible
  • Engage in Play
  • Express Gratitude

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the difference between the behavioural and relational approaches to therapy.
  2. Recognize the qualities in the relationship that you have with your clients that lead to a more positive therapeutic impact.
  3. Develop the awareness and ability to be in relationship with the client\\\’s true self.
  4. Learn how to work with clients who don\\\’t want to feel.
  5. Become skilled at creating a safe therapeutic container so the client can experience growth.
  6. Become more aware of what it is that you are able to teach the client.
  7. Recognize what is unconscious in you that the client is either responding to or activating.
  8. Practice seeing the possibility in the client and giving them a taste of victory.
  9. Practice expressing authentic gratitude during and after the therapy sessions.

Course Levels and Structure

Participants will cycle through the eight modules three times in the Professional Online Training, focussing on different elements of the course content during each cycle, integrating more fully, becoming fluent with the Skills and Stepping Stones, and progressing towards mastery.

Level One: Self-Inquiry, Connection (18 weeks)

Level Two: Skill-Building (16 weeks)

Level Three: Mastery (16 weeks)

The levels, and learning objectives of each, are outlined in detail below.

Level One: Self-Inquiry, Connection

Learning Objectives:

  1. Establish safety in group
  2. Follow group guidelines
  3. Establish consistency in meetings
  4. Build group connection
  5. Build connection to self
  6. Become familiar with materials and content
  7. Become familiar with forms and assessment tools (video quizzes, competency forms)
  8. Learn to navigate website
  9. Become familiar with the Compassionate Inquiry Map
  10. Embody the Qualities of the Therapist in each module
  11. Begin the process of ongoing Self-inquiry
  12. Practice Skills and Stepping Stones from each module in dyads/triads
  13. Process material arising from course content and in dyads/triads and share experiences in larger bi-weekly group
  14. Explore the material further via regular Zoom meetings with Gabor, Sat Dharam and Facilitators
  15. Become engaged in international Facebook group and online community

Level Two: Skill-Building

Learning Objectives:

Deepen group connection

Deepen understanding of material and content

Utilize Case Study forms and assessment tools (video quizzes, competency forms)

Complete Competency Form for each module

Begin completion of 25 case study forms

Internalize and utilize the Compassionate Inquiry Map

Mature the Qualities of the Therapist in each module

Become fluent in Skills and Stepping Stones from each module, continuing to practice in dyads/triads and with clients

Process material arising in dyads/triads and share experiences in larger group

Complete the Study and Practice Guide questions and discuss briefly in biweekly groups.

Engage with the material further during any scheduled Zoom sessions with Gabor, Sat Dharam and Facilitators – submit questions.

Foster dialogue in international Facebook group and online community

Level Three: Mastery

Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop supportive, professional peer group, providing feedback and support.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of material and content, leading towards mastery.
  3. Complete 25 Case Study forms.
  4. Complete video quizzes, and competency forms.
  5. Complete Study and Practice Guide questions if incomplete.
  6. Complete any videos to submit for review.
  7. Complete Competency Form for self.
  8. Be fluent and spontaneous with the Compassionate Inquiry Map
  9. Express the 9 Qualities of the Therapist
  10. Demonstrate expertise in 22 Skills and 17 Stepping Stones, modelling your skills in dyads/triads with assessment from peers and small group facilitator.
  11. Engage with the material further during any scheduled Zoom sessions with Gabor, Sat Dharam and Facilitators
  12. Explore the possibility of further Compassionate Inquiry Mentorship, leading towards certification
  13. Consider 5 year plan of using Compassionate Inquiry professionally, and explore opportunities to expand Compassionate Inquiry globally
  14. Foster dialogue, establish relationships with international colleagues, and investigate research and networking possibilities through international Facebook group and online community via Compassionate Inquiry Focus Groups.

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