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CBT Radio

Jan 10, 2016

Episode # 41

Running Time: 35:50

Podcast Relevance: Professionals


In this episode R. Trent Codd, III, Ed.S. interviews Dennis Tirch, PhD about Buddhist Psychology and CBT. They discuss:

  • What Buddhist Psychology is
  • Why Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists should be interested in Buddhist Psychology
  • What aspects of Buddhism remain to be explored by Cognitive and Behavioral researchers/therapists
  • And, much more!

Dennis Tirch, PhD Biography


Dr. Tirch is the Founder and Director of The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, the first clinical training center for Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) in the USA. Dr. Tirch is also the President of The Compassionate Mind Foundation USA – the North American wing of the training, research and development community for CFT. Dr. Tirch has been described as one of the country's foremost experts on CFT and the contextual psychology of compassion. He has dedicated his research and scholarship to bettering our understanding of how therapies like ACT and CBT can be strengthened and further developed by bringing a compassion focus to our work.

Dr. Tirch is the author of  6 books, and numerous chapters and peer reviewed articles on mindfulness, acceptance and compassion in psychotherapy. His books include The Compassionate Mind Guide To Overcoming Anxiety, the first evidence-based self-help book to apply the science of compassion to the treatment of anxiety. Dr. Tirch is also the co-author of the books Emotion Regulation:  A Practitioner’s GuideMindfulness in Clinical Practice, and The ACT Practitioner’s Guide to The Science of Compassion. This Autumn, the co-authored book, Buddhist Psychology and CBT: A Clinician's Guide will be released.

Dr. Tirch is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist who served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Weill-Cornell Medical College, and as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Albert Einstein Medical School. Dr. Tirch is an Associate Editor of the Journal for Contextual Behavioral Science. 

Prior to founding The Center, Dr. Tirch collaborated with leading CBT therapist, Dr. Robert Leahy, at The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy for 12 years, serving as Associate Director of The Institute. Dr. Tirch has worked closely with CFT Founder, Dr. Paul Gilbert, in the development of compassion focused approaches for anxiety, using elements of ACT, which are currently being researched. Dr. Tirch is a Diplomate, Fellow & Certified Consultant & Trainer for The Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Dr. Tirch is a Founding Fellow and the President of The New York City CBT Association, & The Compassion Focused Special Interest Group of The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). Tirch is also President Emeritus of The New York City Chapter of The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science.Tirch's work has been covered by numerous media outlets, from The Wall Street Journal to O Magazine.

Dr. Tirch regularly conducts training workshops globally and serves as an invited speaker for many organizations, such as Columbia University, The University of New South Wales, The University of Hong Kong, The NYC-CBT Association, ABCT, ACBS, New York Univeristy, Cornell University, and the Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist monastery in Scotland. Dr. Tirch also provides online consultation groups and webinar based trainings, and has delivered these for The Association for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ABCT)  and The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (IMP).

Throughout his clinical experience, Dr. Tirch has specialized in the treatment of anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, addictions, and relationship problems.

His internship and post-doctoral residency took place at the Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, MA., where he served as the Assistant Director of the Bedford CBT Center, co-authored articles based on research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, (NIMH) and developed the “Continual Awareness” meditation based group therapy for trauma survivors. Dr. Tirch completed a second year post-doctoral fellowship at AICT with Dr. Leahy.

In addition to his training in Western psychology, Dr. Tirch has had extensive experience in Eastern meditative and philosophical disciplines over the past 25 years. This training includes work in Japanese Zen and Vajryana Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and other Central Asian meditative disciplines.

Dr. Tirch has benefited by participating in numerous trainings with many mentors, experts, friends and colleagues such as Paul Gilbert, Robert Leahy, Kelly Wilson, Steven C. Hayes, Robert Fripp, Robyn Walser and Zindel Segal.  Dr. Tirch is a founding participant in the ACT peer consultation group for New York City and Environs (ACTNYCE).

The primary valued aim of all of Dr. Tirch’s research, writing, training and psychotherapy practice is an expanding sensitivity to human suffering, combined with the development and dissemination of ever more effective, evidence based methods for the alleviation of this suffering.

Dr. Tirch received his PhD from Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Episode-Related Links



The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy


The Compassionate Mind Foundation USA


The Compassionate Mind Foundation



The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy - Training calendar and information on clinical supervision and consultation - 4.5 online Course "Compassion Focused Therapy for Anxiety: Beyond the Basics" APA and NBCC credits available



Buddhist Psychology and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Clinicians Guide