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Broederplein 33 C, 3703CD Zeist The Netherlands - Phone +31 (0) 6 834 125 73 - E-mail office@garrisoninstitute-int.org

© 2020 by Garrison Institute International. All rights reserved

79% of Humanitarians

suffer from severe anxiety or stress

About CBR

Contemplative-Based Resilience (CBR) Training is a skills-building programme, grounded in cutting-edge research on human resilience.  All training support humanitarians to develop coping regimes and habits to enhance personal resilience and thrive within their work. Each training does this through an integrated approach incorporating:


Psychosocial Education on the science of the mind and its reactions to stress and trauma

Low-impact physical exercise that utilizes movement to reduce entrenched stress within muscles and other parts of the body

Mindfulness training through the building of emotional and cognitive resilience in the face of high stress.


Through promoting the ABC’s of Resilience: Awareness, Balance and Connection the training methodology of all GII CBR trainings is tailored for adult learning and involves theory, participatory techniques and thought-provoking tasks. The CBR Project is delivered by a team of CBR experts with experience of working in the humanitarian sector.


The Science

Contemplative traditions have existed for thousands of years; however, scientists are only just beginning to study the mechanisms by which these practices impact mental and physical functioning. The impact of contemplative practices on five key domains of resilience are:


Psycho-behavioral Domains of Resilience

Brain Activity

Stress Response

Gene Expression

Post-Traumatic Growth


The Impact

Humanitarian Staff will gain:

  • An increased understanding of the psychology and physiology of stress.

  • Techniques to understand their own sources of stress and its impact in daily life.

  • Increased awareness of thoughts, emotions and body reactions, improving emotional regulation and stress management.

  • Tools and knowledge to create their own actionable stress management plans.

  • Contemplative-based resilience skills such as meditation and mindful movement,

  • Connection with a peer support community of other humanitarian aid workers


Humanitarian organisations will benefit from:

  • More resilient staff in the field that are able to personally address their levels of stress and the potential effects of vicarious trauma they experience

  • A potential reduction in attrition rates of staff due to burn out and anxiety

  • Increased impact of programmes that resilient staff operate within

  • Increased mitigation of risk relevant to staff’s negative actions or coping mechanisms towards dealing with vicarious trauma or burn out

  • A cadre of trained staff within a country or region that are able to engage and support each other utilizing the skills they learn within the CBR training.


2020 Events

"I’m starting to discover myself and the world, humanity again. We’ve had so many trainings regarding humanitarian sector, humanitarian laws, how to be human, how to be kind, but what I’ve felt here was completely different. The place, the training, the people, the atmosphere. I feel so grateful for the experience. It was four days but an experience for life."

Aerlyn, Humanitarian