National CBCT® Certified Teachers


Jamie Beachy

Jamie Beachy holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, and an MDiv from Pacific School of Religion.  Jamie has served as a chaplain, spiritual care educator, and ethics consultant in academic medical centers, trauma hospitals, hospices, and palliative care settings.  As a spiritual health practitioner, her interreligious practice draws from a deep interest in Christianity, Buddhism and earth-based indigenous practices.  Jamie is Assistant Professor for Wisdom Traditions at Naropa University where she directs Naropa’s ACPE-accredited Center for Contemplative Chaplaincy.


Susana Brown

Susana Brown is the Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education Programs at Centra Health in Lynchburg Virginia.  In this role, she coordinates the curriculum, oversees accreditation, and teaches CPE to Chaplain Residents and Interns.  Susana holds a MA in Psychology and a Doctor of Ministry.  She is Ordained as an Interfaith Minister and in 2019 was certified by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education as an Associate Certified Educator.  Along with her work in CBCT®, Susana has over forty years of experience with contemplative and meditation practices.  She received her certification as a CBCT® instructor in 2021, and currently teaches courses to CPE students, staff and Hospice chaplains, and medical staff within the Centra Health system.


Pollyanna Casmar, PhD

Dr. Casmar serves as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and as a Staff Psychologist working with veterans at the San Diego Veteran’s Administration. Together with Emory and other UCSD faculty, she has created a CBCT (trademark) manual for treating PTSD for a feasibility trial. This trial resulted in a multi-site trial across the USA. The manual has also served as a basic template for interventions at the VA in aging now underway, and for proposed trials in chronic pain. Pollyanna has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for 25 years.


Gloria (I-Ling) Chien

Gloria (I-Ling) Chien is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University, and she teaches Buddhism and Asian religions. Gloria received her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. She conducts bibliographic analysis of the Tibetan Buddhist master Tokmé Zangpo's (1295-1369) biographies and Collected Works in order to shed light on the cultural legacy of Tibetan Lojong, or mind training.  Partly inspired by her research on Lojong meditation, Gloria became a certified CBCT®  teacher. In the spring of 2018, she taught a CBCT®  course to help Gonzaga students promote their emotional well-being and enlarge their ethical concerns. Gloria includes CBCT® practice in her other course offerings. She is working on writing projects concerning how CBCT®’s learning models align with Ignatian pedagogy and how CBCT® contributes to contemplative studies.


Debra Disney

Disney earned a clinical master’s degree in counseling from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.  In addition to being a certified teacher of CBCT®, she has additional certifications in Mind-Body Bridging and Cultivating Emotional Balance.  Her passion is combining the best of western psychology with the wisdom of contemplative practices to help people build resilience in the face of life’s challenges.  After working for 20 years in hospice care, oncology, and nursing education, she joined the University of Illinois College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in 2018.


Sally Dodds

A 30-year meditator, Sally Dodds has been a certified CBCT® instructor since 2014. She is a retired research professor of psychiatry, medicine, and social work who focuses on the importance of meditation for people living with difficult health problems. At the University of Arizona, Sally was faculty in the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine and in the Department of Psychiatry. At the University of Miami, she was faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.  Sally holds degrees in psychology and social work and is a psychotherapist and family therapist experienced in trauma due to interpersonal violence.


Lisa DuPont, M.S. ( Gyalten Chime)
DuPont has a combined 25 years’ experience as a school psychologist and Buddhism monastic.  Her background is in the  application of psychology in serving children, families and communities, and in Buddhist study and meditation. She has helped develop and implement primary prevention programs, provided counseling and consultations and has worked in both private private and public placements for children and teens with emotional, physical and mental needs. She has a passion for teaching CBCT® in Santa Cruz, Ca. as a form of secular ethics where compassion can be taught and practiced in a systematic and pragmatic manner regardless of one’s race, religion, nationality.

Contact: SantaCruz

Ronaldo Fraga

Ronaldo Fraga is a mechanical engineer and executive, born in Brazil.  His more than 40-year journey in Buddhism has been the guiding principle for everything he has done.  It started in Nepal in 1975 with Lama Yeshe.  It shaped how he grew and managed a $30 million/year manufacturing plant, and it propelled him to Emory University’s Cognitively-Based Compassion Training program to become a certified teacher in this special mind training protocol.  His ultimate goal is to bring CBCT® into the corporate world.  He first taught CBCT® at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.


Ann Friedman, PhD

Ann Friedman, a psychologist, received Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation from the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA in 2015.  Ann teaches mindfulness to individuals, schools, nonprofits and businesses.  She was sent by Mental Health America and UNICEF to train school personnel across Texas and Puerto Rico, and to a school in Oklahoma by Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps.  Previously serving as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Counseling Psychology Graduate Program, Ann completed her Internship in Clinical Psychology at UT Health Science Center and her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at Baylor College of Medicine.


Karen Goble, MA

Karen Goble, Director, Continuing Professional Development, Southern Regional AHEC, works to advance public health in the Sandhills of North Carolina as continuing medical education director at Southern Regional AHEC.   She earned her Master of Arts in Health Education and Promotion from East Carolina University in 2012.  Karen’s research and professional interests focus on contemplative practice, well-being, and resilience.  She is a certified Duke Integrative Health Coach and teacher of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training through the Emory Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics. 


Carolyn Graham

Carolyn Graham was a professional educator for more than thirty years. She continues to be a teacher at heart and is especially passionate about walking others through research-based processes such as CBCT® that enhance mind-body well-being, including immune system functioning.  She is also willing to travel to teach.


Amy Greene

Rev. Amy Greene, D.Min. is Director of the Center for Spiritual Care for the Cleveland Clinic Health System.  She is a Certified Educator with ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education, and its Board Chair 2081-2019.  She is also certified as a teacher of Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition.  Amy’s passion is being the head chaplain to an amazing institution and being a chaplain educator for future generations of caregivers. 


Rebecca H.F. Ivester, BS

Certified CBCT® Compassion Training instructor Rebecca Ivester endeavors to increase compassion for self and others through teaching and practice. Since 2017 she has taught CBCT® to a variety of participants including, and not limited to, teachers, nurses, clinical psychologists, university professors, physicians, retirees, and prison inmates. With a background in science, she is available to assist research on contemplative techniques. She has completed the online course required to receive the Emory Compassion Center’s SEE Learning® K-12 curriculum for use with this age range. Ms. Ivester teaches in person or via Zoom.


Julie Kangas

Julie Kangas is a clinical psychologist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego.  She is a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about exploring alternative and complementary treatments for mental health, including being part of the current research projects using CBCT® for Veterans. In her clinical work, Dr. Kangas sees a wide range of cases in the general mental health clinic of the VA.  She also serves as the co-director of the Advanced Fellowship for Women’s Health and is a clinical supervisor involved in training.


Deanna Kaplan

Deanna Kaplan, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Brown University School of Public Health and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  She holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona, and completed her clinical internship in the Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine Track at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  Dr. Kaplan’s research interests focus on the development of new methods for studying the effects of daily social processes on health, including the effects of meditation practices on typical daily life.  She is the current recipient of a National Research Service Award from the NIH NHLBI.  Dr. Kaplan’s clinical interests include providing care for patients who are coping with chronic illness and their family members, and the integration of trauma-sensitive practices into mainstream healthcare. She has been a Level 1 certified CBCT® teacher since 2014.


Urszula Klich

Urszula Klich, PhD, BCB, is a health psychologist, author, and meditation teacher with 25 years of expertise in coaching bio-based self-regulation to maximize physical and emotional health, manage pain, and achieve optimal performance. In treating complex medical conditions in interdisciplinary programs, she witnessed the mind-body interplay and the power of regulatory interventions as CBCT ® on dis-ease. She completed her residency at Henry Ford Hospital, internship at the Cleveland VA Hospital, serving on various medical teams, including the University of Illinois College of Medicine faculty. The president of the Southeast Biofeedback and Clinical Neuroscience Association, her specialized program of Mindfulness-Based Biofeedback has been published and widely applied from hospitals to classrooms based on the premise that integrating mindfulness and compassion fosters the user’s power to improve physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, achieving their BEST while leveraging leadership potential.


Leslie Langbert

Langbert has been teaching CBCT® since 2014 and has led more than 100 students through the CBCT® program, including adolescents in foster care, Native American youth, transgender youth, behavioral health professionals, early childhood professionals, and parents of preschoolers. In addition to her role as executive director of the Center for Compassion Studies at the University of Arizona, Langbert is an instructor in the Care, Health, and Society program of the Department of Sociology. She also shares wellness and mindfulness practices with students, faculty, and staff through various campus programs. A licensed clinical social worker, Langber is also a certified yoga instructor, with additional training in yoga therapy, and a mindfulness meditation facilitator. 


Marshall Kupka-Moore

Marshall Kupka-Moore is the CEO and co-founder of Source Wellness.  With nearly a decade of contemplative practice experience, he prides himself on truly living what he teaches.  By combining his passion for mindfulness and wellness, his dedication to promoting the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and his genuine care for the happiness and wellbeing of others, Marshall guides Source Wellness towards revolutionizing the way DEI departments across the country are run.  Marshall is a certified CBCT®  instructor, a 200-hour certified Vinyasa yoga teacher, and has studied with top religion, philosophy, and African American Studies’ teachers at Emory University.

Contact: Marshall Kupka-Moore

Skylar Kelsven, PhD

Skylar Kelsven, PhD, is a clinical psychology postdoctoral resident at the University of California San Diego/VA San Diego Healthcare System- Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH) postdoctoral fellowship program.  Dr. Kelsven is interested in the application of mind-body interventions, such as compassion meditation, for the treatment of trauma-based and schizophrenia spectrum disorders.  She researches the psychoneuroimmunology of mind-body interventions and hopes to help establish mind-body interventions as front line treatment for mental health disorders and co-occurring physical health conditions.  In her free time, Dr. Kelsven enjoys being in nature with her dog Lonestar.


Timothy W. Pedigo

Timothy W. Pedigo, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Master’s program in clinical psychology at Governors State University (GSU) in Illinois.  He is authorized as a meditation instructor in the Shambhala Meditation Tradition.  At GSU, he teaches courses in mindfulness and CBCT®.  He is published in the area in mindfulness-based social emotional learning and trauma resilience.


Wendy D. Saunders

Saunders is a CBCT® teacher and senior manager of leadership development for YMCA . She began her career with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles in 1996 and served as an executive director, leading multiple branches before transitioning to the national organization. In 2012, Saunders produced a white paper, “Beyond Civility: Growing Compassionate Love in Communities,” which was published in YMCA of the USA’s Journal of Community Strengthening. She has led CBCT® with leadership team members and staff, adult community members, teens, and older youth. She also leads national Mindfulness and Compassion Workshops (including online webinars) for executives and Love and Compassion Workshops for community members at local Ys in Los Angeles.


Marcelo Bento Soares – Senior CBCT® Instructor

Bento Soares is a cancer research investigator and an educator at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP), where he serves as Head of the Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology and as Senior Associate Dean for Research.  Along with colleagues from UICOMP, Bento has been teaching CBCT® since early 2017 to medical students, residents, and healthcare professionals in the two affiliated hospitals – OSF and UnityPoint Health.  Bento has also offered CBCT® courses to teachers and counselors in the Peoria Public School, and to the leadership of the Peoria Police Department.  Bento is also working towards development of a research program to investigate the relevance of CBCT® to cancer survivorship, and to exploit simulation as a contemplative research methodology for the assessment of skills developed in CBCT®.


Suzanne Westbrook

Suzanne Westbrook is a retired Primary Care Physician.  She taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for 10 years at Harvard University Health Services and for 3 years at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA).  Suzanne has been a volunteer meditation leader at CHA online during the pandemic and she continues to lead meditations 3 times a week. 


Anthony White

Anthony White is a US Veteran who is a retired law enforcement officer of 28 years. White has local, federal, and international training and career experience. His PHD is in Criminal Justice. White is a professor at Illinois Central College where he teaches criminal justice classes and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) classes. White is an avid meditation practitioner as well as conducts research in the community on topics such as police and community relationships, race and equity, and gun violence.


Tsering Ngodup Yodsampa

Tsering Ngodup Yodsampa was born in Tibet. At very young age experienced the tragedies and struggles of refugee in Nepal and India after escaping from the Chinese occupied Tibet in 1959. Fortunate to receive school and college education in India provided especially for Tibetan children under the guardians and direction of HH Dalai Lama and Tibetan Government in Exile with all other supports from Government of India and some private organization. 

In 1970s opened and ran a restaurant called The Lost Horizon for travelers, adventurers, students and spiritual seekers in Kathmandu Nepal.  Which led to teaching Tibetan Language and orientating students through Tibetan culture and religion in School For International Training, a college semester abroad from 1981-83 in Nepal. This experience took him to further in accepting the position to become resident and official translator and interpreter for Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and scholars in KAMALASHILA Institute for Buddhist Studies and Practice in Germany 1983- 1990. From 1990-2000 worked as freelance Dharma translator, assisting the startup Buddhist centers and engaged in deeper study and practice of Buddhist philosophy and meditation. 

In 2000 under the spiritual direction of Late 14th Kunsig Shamarpa Rinpoche of Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and on invitation from Bodhi Path Centers came to USA to translate and teach Buddhist philosophy and meditation and still is closely affiliated with the Dharma works founded by late Shamarpa Rinpoche. 

Tsering is also interfaith chaplain with 4 units of CPE training and  certified Field Education Supervisor for chaplain interns from Harvard Divinity School. He is currently staff chaplain in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston since 2010 and also spiritual caregiver and meditation teacher in VA Bedford MA.  

In 2020 Tsering joined CBCT teacher training and is  now the study therapist to the veterans participating in the research program on the benefit of the spirituality in the mental health of patients undergoing moral injuries and PTSD. 

Tsering is founder and spiritual director of the Bodhi Tree Institute for Tibetan Buddhist Study and practice and regularly leads study groups and meditation in the Mahayana path. Bodhi Tree Institute endeavors to provide authentic understanding of the view, meditation and action or building up the foundation to follow successfully the path which will bear sure results. 



Get Involved/Contact

The CBCT® program includes a growing number of certified instructors and is regularly expanding its programming and research areas. We welcome offers of support and ideas for new applications or populations who may benefit from learning the core CBCT® concepts and skills. Please contact the CBCT team for all inquiries, or call 404.727.8166.