Students sitting together

Research on CBCT®

CBCT ® as a Research Intervention

CBCT® has been the subject of numerous formal research studies since its development in 2004. Early studies, led by Charles Raison, MD, suggested strongly that the practice of CBCT would positively influence key blood-based biomarkers of stress and inflammation. Later studies show that CBCT® may improve the ability to interpret facial expressions along with increasing activity in the parts of the brain associated with empathic reasoning.

A number of other special groups have enjoyed CBCT® and taken part in research projects, including veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder , parents of children with autism, depressed patients and their partners, neonatal intensive care unit nurses, transgender youth and their parents, and public school teachers. More than a dozen studies have been published to date, and the center continues to collaborate with psychiatrists, neuroscientists, public health professionals, and others in the investigation of CBCT®

CBCT ® in Healthcare

CBCT® has been offered to numerous health care practitioners at institutions including the Emory School of Medicine, the University of Illinois College of Medicine–Peoria, Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare, Northside Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at the Cambridge Health Alliance, and Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paolo, Brazil.

Compassion- Centered Spiritual Health 

CBCT® is pleased to be collaborating with Spiritual Health at Emory Healthcare to develop a unique and innovative program, Compassion-Centered Spiritual Health, for the Emory hospital system and beyond.   CCSH™ is a program to bolster the wellbeing, resilience, and compassion of healthcare patients and staff.  CCSH™ augments existing spiritual health education and best practices with CBCT®. CCSH™ interventions are delivered by spiritual care professionals trained in both CBCT® and ACPE: The Standard in Spiritual Care and Education. In 2018, the Mind and Life Institute awarded their prestigious PEACE grant to the Emory CCSH team in order to research outcomes from training spiritual health providers in the Emory hospitals.

Education and Youth

CBCT® has been taught to public school teachers, primarily in the Atlanta Public Schools, since 2014, with promising outcomes helping people on the front lines of education sustain their resilience and resolve to help the young students they serve. CBCT® has also been offered to teens in foster care settings, with promising research outcomes.

CBCT® was adapted experimentally for elementary school students in 2009–2010 with promising initial outcomes.  This effort since grew and developed into the center’s new K–12 program, SEE Learning (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning), which was launched internationally in early 2019 in 25 countries and14 languages. For details about this exciting new compassion-centered program for youth and those who educate them, please visit the SEE Learning website.  CBCT® is being offered to adults who work with kids and who train teachers for this novel and promising new program.

Other Relevant Publications on CBCT

  • Gonzalez-Hernandez, E, Harrison, T, & Fernandez-Carriba, S. (2019). Chapter 5: CBCT®: A program of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training and Chapter 6: Sequential Skill Development in CBCT®. In Laura Galiana & Noemi Sanso (Eds), The Power of Compassion; Nova Science Publishers, New York.
  • Fernandez-Carriba, S, & Bradshaw, J. (2018). Self-help for parents of children with autism: mindfulness and compassion. In M. Siller & M. Lindee (Eds.), Handbook of Parent-Implemented Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism (pp. 283-298). Cham: Springer.
  • Mascaro, JS, Negi, LT, & Raison, CL. (2017). Cognitively Based Compassion Training: Gleaning Generalities from Specific Biological Effects. In Seppala, Simon-Thomas, Brown, Worline, Cameron, & Doty (Eds), Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science. Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Mascaro, J, Darcher, A, Negi, L, & Raison, C. (2015). The neural mediators of kindness-based meditation: a theoretical model. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 109.
  • Desbordes, G, & Negi, L. (2013). A new era for mind studies: training investigators in both scientific and contemplative methods of inquiry. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 741.
  • Ozawa-deSilva, B & Dodson-Lavelle, B. (2011). An education of heart and mind: Practical and theoretical issues in teaching cognitive-based compassion training to children. Practical Matters, 1, 1-28.

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.