Fostering Compassion in Couples: Helping Couples Develop the Skills of Loving Connection

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Event End Date
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Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT
The workshop will be offered online.

Register Online

Compassion involves treating ourselves and others with kindness, care and understanding. Rather than turning on- or distancing from- each other, compassion allows us to be present with each other as we face the inevitable struggles in life and relationships with greater ease. Compassion allows us to accept ourselves and each other as imperfect beings, even as we learn to speak up about what we need- from a place of love and caring. Through discussion, meditation and experiential exercises therapists will gain practical skills to help couples bring compassion into their daily lives.

This workshop will introduce therapists to how to educate couples on the ways stress reactivity presents in couples relationships, how to help couples decrease reactivity, and develop and utilize skills rooted in kindness and compassion to foster secure attachment in their relationship. Focused on the role that mindfulness, common humanity, and kindness play in fostering satisfying relationships, therapists will learn how to help their patients develop skills to meet themselves and each other with greater understanding, acceptance, and compassion in their day to day lives, especially when painful situations arise.

Therapists will learn how to help couples identify their stress reactivity patterns, to stop taking their partner’s behavior personally, to know how to set limits and speak up for themselves from a place of care and compassion and how to stay present, listen, and understand (rather than react) when their partner shares what they need. You will learn the role criticizing and withdrawing play in self-protection strategies, and how to help couples learn and practice the skills of compassionate communication. Finally, you will learn a simple practice you can teach your patients to foster gratitude and appreciation in the relationship. Fostering these skills in couples relationships can support the process of psychotherapy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the three emotion regulation systems and how they present in relationships
  • Describe the three components of self-compassion and the role they play in relationships.
  • Apply techniques to increase self-compassion and compassion in everyday life
  • Demonstrate how to speak from a place of care rather than reactivity
  • Describe a practice to increase gratitude and appreciation in relationships.


Michelle Becker is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, the developer of the Compassion for Couples program, and the founder of Wise Compassion- a company specializing in teaching compassion in various relational contexts. She is a teacher trainer, mentor and co-founder of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training, as well as a senior teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training, certified Daring Way Facilitator and a Senior Trainer at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She teaches and speaks on the topics of compassion internationally. You can listen to her podcast: Well Connected Relationships wherever you like to listen to podcasts or on her website. Her book Compassion for Couples: Building the Skills of Loving Connection is due out February 2023. For more information please visit her website:


May 18 and May 25, 2023

9am-12pm (PT)

Registration Fee

$225 ($205 early-bird rate available for those who register on or before April 18, 2023) CE fees included.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus your $30 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing on or before May 4, 2023, two weeks prior to the start of the program. No refunds will be allowed after this date.

In the unlikely event that the course is canceled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee.

Continuing Education Credit

Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 6.0 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 6.0 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 7.0 contact hours.