Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD
Berlin to Los Angeles to InsightLA
I started my professional life as a Gynecologist at the University Hospital in Berlin, Germany.
I had fallen in love with the universality of the Buddhist teachings as a searching teenager and it surely helped me stay sane through medical school and residency.
In 2003 my husband, baby daughter and I moved to Los Angeles “for just one year” as I enjoyed my maternity leave. I met Trudy Goodman when she had just started an organization called “InsightLA” a few months prior.
MBSR, secular mindfulness, clinical trainings
Trudy and I deeply connected and she encouraged me to train as an MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) teacher to share with my patients once back home in Berlin. While we were still in LA, we started teaching MBSR together – which turned out to be a very high-in-demand class, which Trudy and I enjoyed teaching immensely.
We ended up staying in LA and I was a part of growing InsightLA from its tiny beginnings into a thriving, wonderful big community.
I trained as a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teacher, became an MBSR teacher trainer, and the head consultant and trainer for the national mindfulness facilitator training for the Department of Veterans Affairs. I realized that the combination of my medical and mindfulness training is a powerful combination to train fellow clinicians to teach mindfulness as well as helping patients cope with their health issues.
In 2015 my dear friend and colleague from the VA, Dr. Greg Serpa, and I published the book “A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness”, which became required reading for numerous mindfulness teacher programs around the world.
I wrote another book, “Outsmart Your Pain” on practicing mindfulness for chronic pain, combining all of my trainings. I’m also a regular contributor to the German mindfulness magazine “Moment By Moment”.
On the Buddhist side, I received teacher transmission from Trudy in 2011 and then also completed the 4-year Dharma/Retreat teacher training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center and IMS (Insight Meditation Society) under Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. I teach silent meditation retreats in the US and around the world.
When I’m not meditating, teaching, or writing I can be found exploring the amazing nature of Southern California on foot, bike or swimming. All of this helps me to be a more sane and centered parent, partner and friend.