The Garrison Institute offers resilience trainings for direct service professionals through our Contemplative Based Resilience (CBR) Project. These evidence-based trainings give health care providers, social workers, humanitarian aid workers, service providers, caregivers and senior managers supporting those teams on the front-lines the chance to decompress while learning practical skills to improve their ability to re-balance, manage chronic stress and avoid burnout.

The CBR Project offers both in-person and virtual trainings. From one-day introductory sessions, to online courses, to multi-day retreats, we work closely with organizations to design a format that best suits the needs of our clients. We also offer trainings in leadership and resilience at the organizational level through our Women’s Leadership Program. For information on our international CBR offerings, please visit Garrison Institute International.

Service Providers Risk Burnout

CBR TrainingVicarious trauma is a real risk for service providers, often compounded by long hours and heavy caseloads. Whether they are working with the homeless, or extended shifts in the hospital, taking hotline calls, accompanying clients to court appearances or managing complex emergency situations under the world’s worst conditions, they regularly witness traumas they can neither predict nor control. What can be controlled, however, is their reaction to these stressors.

The CBR Project offers practical tools – including mindful movement, breathing techniques, meditation, and an understanding of the psychology and physiology of chronic stress, burnout, and vicarious trauma – that can be life-changing.

A Proven Response 

A large and growing body of science-based research confirms that resilience skills can be learned; that training in the practices of mindful movement and meditation produces positive effects on physiology and behavior; and that these effects can be measured. The CBR Project is grounded in a strong, validated theoretical model, developed in partnership with internationally-recognized experts in the fields of psychology, trauma, meditation, and yoga, including Sharon Salzberg, the noted meditation teacher and author.

Through the program’s unique integration of psycho-social education, meditation, mindful movement and compassionate connection, participants in CBR trainings learn and practice the ABC’s of Resilience: Awareness, Balance, and Connection:

Awareness of the psychology of stress and its causes;

Balance through mind and body practices;

Connection with ourselves, with the people we work with and care for, and in our communities

Facing an Uncertain Future

CBR YogaAs our global community faces the novel coronavirus outbreak, growing disruptions caused by the climate crisis, and related large-scale economic and social instabilities, the strains on first responders and service providers are unprecedented. Cultivating resilience at the individual, community and organizational levels is needed now more than ever. It is our intention to provide a variety of online resources around the ABCs of resilience for any and all in need during these challenging times.

When you see people suffer, and you are not able to give more, or alleviate their suffering, this feeling of helplessness, that what you are doing is not enough to help these people, creates even more stress.”

This program was a turning point in my life… If I will one day be able to win the battle I am fighting—to find my way to an everlasting peace and compassion—I want you to know that you will have created the hero of this battle.”

-CBR Training beneficiary

History of the CBR Project

CBR began as a training for domestic violence victim service providers in the New York metropolitan area, and soon expanded to focus on the needs of international humanitarian aid workers. The CBR International Project for humanitarian aid workers is headquartered in the Netherlands through Garrison Institute International, and the US-based work remains based in Garrison, NY.

The Garrison Institute is a non-sectarian organization based in New York’s Hudson Valley, exploring the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world. Our mission is to apply the wisdom that arises from contemplation and insights derived from science to today’s pressing social and environmental issues to create a more compassionate, resilient future.