Keynote Speaker

Rekindling Kindness Within and Reconnecting to the Heart of Your Work

By nature counselors are caring, kind and compassionate people. Yet, pressures on counseling centers and staff are unprecedented and growing. Counseling directors, in particular, may feel the strain of accountability given the increasing rates of suicidality and emotional pain among youth, as well as tighter budgets that negate needed training or programming. No matter how experienced or well-trained staff may be, the demands may exceed any human’s ability to cope, leading to burnout and staff turnover. Certain self-defeating patterns may emerge, including negative inner dialog of never being or doing enough. The goal of Dr. Tara’s keynote is to redirect attention to ways of increasing self-compassion and resilience, rekindling joy in your work, and setting the tone for the conference.

Speaker: Tara Cousineau, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and author of The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World. She currently works as a staff psychologist at Harvard University Counseling Center. She is professionally trained in mind-body medicine from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tara is a mindfulness meditation teacher trained by Drs. Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, and is trained in mindful self-compassion, based on the teachings Drs. Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff, including the adolescent and emerging adult adaptation, Making Friends with Yourself. Dr. Tara is also certified facilitator of the Daring Way Method™ in practices of courage and resilience, based on the research by Dr. Brene Brown. Previously, she was a global expert for the DOVE Self-Esteem Project, which has a social mission to encourage evidence-based practices in positive body esteem and self-confidence. She is now a co-founder of KindMinds, which is devoted to bringing “kindfulness” practices to individuals, schools and workplaces. You may learn more at and