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The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion and Happiness

May 20, 2011
Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA | Map It

A day-long seminar with Dacher Keltner offering strategies for cultivating compassion, building resilience, and promoting happiness in yourself and others.

Check out the Greater Good Events Calendar.

This day-long seminar will offer strategies for cultivating compassion, building resilience, and promoting happiness in yourself and others.

It will be led by Dacher Keltner, a renowned professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center. Drawing on cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Keltner will highlight the strong connections between happiness, compassion, and altruism, identifying the health and social benefits that come from practicing gratitude, kindness, and other positive behaviors.

For instance, simply counting one’s blessings on a regular basis can lead to measurable improvements in one’s immune system and psychological well-being, and improve their relationships. Dr. Keltner’s overview of this research will show how leading a meaningful life isn’t just good, but good for you.

Building on this science, Dr. Keltner will present research-based tips for fostering empathy, compassion, happiness and other positive skills in yourself, in children, and in colleagues and clients. He will also shed light on those who have trouble forming compassionate relationships, such as those who suffer from social disorders like autism.


Workshop Topics

  • People are wired to form deep social connections, to cooperate, and to feel compassion.
  • There are research-tested steps one can take to cultivate compassion, empathy, happiness, and other qualities of social-emotional well-being in themselves and others.
  • One’s own emotional well-being can foster social well-being in their relationships, families, workplaces, communities, and the world at large.
  • Practicing pro-social behaviors—such as compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude—brings measurable psychological and physiological benefits to oneself, including greater levels of happiness.


8:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Registration and check in
9:00 - 10:30 - The evolution and neuroscience of social well-being
10:30- 10:45 - Break
10:45 – 12:00 - Compassion, empathy, and gratitude as paths to social well-being and the meaningful life
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 2:30 - Breakdowns in social and emotional well-being: autism, depression, antisocial disorder
2:30 - 2:45 - Break
2:45 - 4:30 - Practical steps toward cultivating happiness and compassion in yourself and others

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the connections between compassion and happiness.
  • Diagnose the root causes of anti-social behavior, such as aggression and autism.
  • Utilize research-based practices to boost happiness in themselves and others.
  • Develop effective ways to handle stress and maintain a more resilient, compassionate approach toward other people.

Continuing Education

Continuing education co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Satisfactory Completion

Participants must have paid tuition fee, signed in, attended the entire seminar, completed an evaluation, and signed out in order to receive a certificate. Failure to sign in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available.

R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program.  (6) CE hours.

Social Workers
CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418.

Marriage and Family Therapists
CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418.This course provides 6 CE hours.

Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists will receive a certificate of completion for (6) CE hours.

CA: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CeP12224, for (6) contact hours.

Disability Access: If you require ADA accommodations please contact our office 10 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.

Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

The Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series is made possible through a generous grant from the Quality of Life Foundation.

Register now!

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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