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WSP 287 — The Art and Science of Relationships: Conversations About Connecting, Courage, and Compassion

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Mar 3
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 24
Unit: 0
Tuition: $225
Instructor(s): Carole Pertofsky, Daniel Ellenberg
Limit: 50
Status: Open
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Mar 3
1 day
Drop By
Feb 24
0 Unit
Carole Pertofsky, Daniel Ellenberg
How would your life be different if your relationships were more consistently fulfilling and supportive? Cultivating courage and compassion helps develop relationships that are rooted in trust, honesty, joy, gratitude, strength, and vitality. Most of us share this vision, but the demands and hectic pace of our complex lives, as well as our own defenses, often distract us. We define living courageously and compassionately as the willingness to skillfully express a core value, such as being authentic, despite experiencing an emotional risk in the process. Life affords us many such opportunities. For example, when we are hurt or angered by the words or actions of a friend or lover, how can we skillfully express ourselves to the other?

In this course, we will explore the skills and tools that support having potentially challenging conversations, and skillfully expressing courage with compassion and effectiveness—all for the purpose of creating relationships that truly work. Drawing from the fields of positive, existential, and evolutionary psychology, we will understand and appreciate the vital keys to thriving relationships. The course will include a combination of lectures, class participation, and small-group exercises. We will focus on personal relationships; however, the principles and practices equally apply to collegial relationships. The course is designed for those with either a personal or professional interest in relationships.

Grade restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade

Carole Pertofsky, Director, Stanford Wellness and Health Promotion Services, Vaden Health Center

Carole Pertofsky specializes in positive psychology, well-being, and resilience. She co-developed and taught Stanford’s first course on the psychology of happiness, and she teaches courses on the art and science of compassion. She also leads seminars and consults professionally. She received an MEd from UC Berkeley.

Daniel Ellenberg, Leadership Coach

Daniel Ellenberg is a coach, seminar leader, group facilitator, and counselor. He is a principal in Rewire Leadership Institute and Relationships That Work. He leads Strength with Heart men’s groups and seminars and is a board member of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. Ellenberg co-created and delivered a resilience training program for several NASA space centers and is the co-author of Lovers for Life: Creating Lasting Passion, Trust and True Partnership. He received a PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.