Training Opportunities

Personal Note:

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, our normal Zentensive Retreats have been put on hold. Instead, I’ve decided to offer an online Zentensive Consultations program. This confidential, one-on-one service focuses on psycho-spiritual issues arising out of someone’s personal or professionally-oriented interests or concerns.

These sessions are open to anyone interested in the interface between psychotherapy and spirituality. As with our Zentensives, mental health practitioners may consider this work as part of their professional training, and therefore as deductible expenses. For more information, or to schedule a session, please get in touch with me at

As a final note: because people’s financial resources vary widely, especially in these times, training fees can be established on a case-by-case basis.

Zentensive Workshop and Retreats

are for those who feel drawn to exploring the rich intersection of meditation and western psychology. They offer advanced levels of training for mental health professionals interested in accessing deeper unconscious patterns, as well as for dharma practitioners who may wish to discover a greater understanding of the more hidden dimensions of the psyche.

These trainings take advantage of the natural deepening and openness that comes about as the mind quiets down—and merges this inner silence with a strong psychodynamic perspective. Intensive periods of meditation effectively mobilize the mind on both conscious and unconscious levels. This mobilization works broadly—bringing forth a complex mixture of our innate care and compassion, along with the often hidden layers of grief, guilt, intimacy, and anger.

As practice continues to deepen, we may see more clearly into those repression-based patterns of thinking and feeling that so often cycle through our lives, and which inevitably exert a powerful impact on all that we do. Insights into these embedded energies can lead to significant change, which in turn fosters more focused and sustained meditation. This can be rich territory for all practitioners; for psychotherapists, these insights and openings can have particular value in terms of their work with clients.

Programs that we’ve offered in the past, and which will hopefully resume this fall:

Zentensive Workshop and Retreats are personal and professional trainings that explore the unconscious dimensions of Western dharma practice from an informed psychodynamic perspective. They have been accredited by The Washington School of Psychiatry* for all mental health professionals, and offer a unique approach to training for all serious practitioners interested in the intersection of Eastern and Western training disciplines.

These Workshop and Retreats are offered in various formats. They range from one-day workshops, which integrate a basic introduction to different meditation practices with an overview of Davanloo’s Intensive Short-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), up to the five-day, advanced Zentensive Immersion.

We also offer a limited number of individual Zentensive Personal and Professional Trainings. These non-accredited retreats last from three to five days, and combine periods of self-directed meditation with experiential blocks of one-on-one, ISTDP-based training. These programs are flexibly designed so they can respond to the personal and/or professional focus of therapists, dharma leaders, and practitioners.

As with our other programs, participants can consider these individual retreats to be part of their own professional training. For more information please contact Lawson directly at

The Washington School of Psychiatry has approved the Three-Day Zentensives for 18 CE/CMEs , including 2 for ethics, and the Five-Day Zentensives have been approved for 30 CE/CMEs, including 2 for ethics. Credits are applicable to all mental health professionals including social workers, LPCs, nurses, psychologists, and doctors. (see below)

Next Steps…

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Note about Accreditation

Continuing Education Credits for these Zentensives have been approved by the Washington School of Psychiatry. For those interested in CEs, please read the following:

Continuing Education Credits for these Zentensives have been approved by The Washington School of Psychiatry. For those interested in CEs, please read the following:

The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The School is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School designates the program for a maximum of 30 AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.

The Washington School of Psychiatry is an independent non-profit organization. It is not affiliated with the government of the District of Columbia or the government of the United States.