positive neuroplasticity training


Hardwire peace of mind, contentment and self-compassion into your brain.

In this exciting 6-week course developed by Dr Rick Hanson, learn how to turn fleeting everyday experiences into lasting inner strengths. This reduces the negative bias, enables faster recovery from setbacks and difficulties and increases capacity for joy, resilience and connection.

It is a pre-requisite to have undertaken some training and practice in mindfulness before this course.

Beat the brain’s negativity bias and fill yourself with calm strength, confidence and joy.

A six week evidence-based program to learn how to:

beat the brain’s negativity bias

increase happiness and resilience

hardwire peace of mind and contentment

The positive neuroplasticity training is so empowering — it’s amazing to be able to gradually change the way I move through the world by choosing to focus on what is beneficial. — Joo-Inn, 2019 PNT participant

In a peer-reviewed study on these methods, people reported statistically significant increases in happiness, resilience, and compassion, and decreases in anxiety and depression.

What are the possible benefits?

Peer reviewed research on Positive Neuroplasticity Training points to a range of benefits:

More satisfaction in daily life

Greater sense of safety

Develop internal supports


Stronger feelings of connection

Decrease anxiety and depression

I experienced a re-awakening of joy and pleasure in my life. — PNT participant

learn to hardwire your brain

Everything we do creates connections within the network of our brain, and the more you repeat something, the stronger that connection gets. These connections control our reactions, emotions, and behaviours, and affect our overall well-being.

PNT teaches the skills to hardwire peace of mind, contentment and self-compassion into your brain. 

How positive neuroplasticity helps

Over 6  weeks (once a week for 3 hours) learn how to meet your needs with simple practices tailored for you.

As you practice, you may experience growing happiness, resilience, peace and internal support.

These qualities can radically change the way you experience life and your sense of safety, satisfaction and connection.

I’ve found new ways to meditate and built a basis for habitually seeing the good in me – and in situations I encounter. — 2022 PNT participant

What does the positive neuroplasticity course include?


18 hours of face-to-face instruction

3 hour class once a week for 6 weeks

Positive neuroplasticity training

Radically change the way you experience life

A range of learning approaches

Brief lectures, group discussion and experiential activities


A printed handbook to help guide you through the course 

Home practices

Learn a new practice each week that builds on the previous ones

Digital downloads of guided meditations and teachings

Lifetime access to our members-only online library

Turn fleeting everyday experiences into lasting inner strengths.

course outline

class 1: 

Overview of the essence of Positive Neuroplasticity, including the role of mindfulness and overcoming the brain’s negativity bias

class 2: 

Having, enriching and absorbing positive experiences, including: creating and intensifying positive experiences & being on your own side

class 3: 

Linking positive and negative material including, recognising your needs and growing the inner resources you need the most

class 4: 

Growing strengths for feeling safer, including reducing anxiety and managing threats with calm strength

class 5: 

Growing strengths for feeling more satisfied, including staying motivated and pursuing big goals without stress

class 6: 

Growing strengths for feeling more connected, including increasing a genuine sense of self-worth


I write to say that it worked! And also to say a proper thank you for your commitment to this stuff and for your determination to share it with the grace, care and love that you do. — Richard Wigley, PNT participant


Megan Layton

Megan Layton

Director, Senior MBSR, PNT, Self-Compassion and Yoga teacher

Megan Layton is the Director of Simply Mindful, a senior Mindfulness and Yoga teacher and Mental Health Social Worker with more than 25 years experience.

She has been endorsed and trained by Dr Rick Hanson to teach PNT.

Megan has been helping people integrate positive neuroplasticity into their lives and their practice for many years.

Thank you again for all you’ve taught me this year; it’s benefited me
greatly and you’ll be glad to hear that meditating once or twice a day has been part of my day since I finished the PNT course. — Jeremy, PNT participant

I adored Megan’s grounded, loving and compassionate approach. — Simply Mindful program participant

Our venue: the Gathering Place

Our programs are offered at our beautiful northside Canberra venue. We are delighted to share this beautiful place of peace, meditation, contemplation, healing, renewal and learning.

By taking in the good, you become more able to deal with the bad.

Rick Hanson

author of Hardwiring Happiness

Hardwiring Happiness book by Rick Hanson

Recommended preparation

We highly recommend you purchase Rick Hanson’s book Hardwiring Happiness to use as a resource throughout the course.

We also recommend that you have training and practice in mindfulness prior to this course. This is to ensure you have the necessary foundation of understanding and skills to benefit fully from this program and be able to apply it. MBSR is the recommended program; however, other reputable  mindfulness programs may be sufficient.

To learn more about the science of changing your brain for the better, visit the offical Positive Neuroplasticity website.


enrol now in positive neuroplasticity training

Choose a start date below. (We generally run 1-2 courses per year, so check back later if you don’t see a date that suits you.)

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Answers to your questions

What is Positive Neuroplasticity Training?

Positive Neuroplasticity Training is an educational program in which you will learn how to hardwire peace of mind, contentment, and self-compassion into your brain.

Is this therapy?

The Positive Neuroplasticity Training is not therapy, nor is it a substitute for therapy. It isn’t intended to be used as a treatment for any specific physical or mental health condition.

Who is this for?

Anyone can take the course and benefit from the training. Coaches, counsellors, educators, healthcare professionals, human resources trainers and people in related roles may find it especially useful.

Will this course help me with my everyday problems?

Participants have told us that they found Positive Neuroplasticity Training to have a beneficial impact on their lives. One student said, “The positive neuroplasticity training is so empowering—it's amazing to be able to gradually change the way I move through the world.”

People generally find this training is a useful resource for managing typical range
experiences of anxiety, blue mood, stress, loneliness, and interpersonal conflicts.

If you are already working through some of these challenges with a psychotherapist, it’s a good idea to let them know that you are enrolling in this training.

Can this course help with more serious problems?

People with significant psychological issues or a history of suicidality, complex trauma, psychosis, or other severe mental health issues may find that the Positive Neuroplasticity Training stirs things up too much. The course doesn’t include the kind of individualised support required to safely navigate these experiences.

Instead, we strongly advise that you seek one-on-one professional treatment. If you are in crisis, we urge you to access emergency services without delay.

If you already have excellent individualised support in place to manage your mental health condition, and are keen to begin the training, please chat with us before enrolling.

I want to take the PNT course, but I don't live in Canberra.

We typically offer the PNT course face to face only, so you do need to be able to get to Canberra. 🙂

If this is impossible and you are very keen to take the course with Megan, please contact us as we may consider offering it online if there's enough interest.

Also, Dr Rick Hanson maintains a calendar of upcoming PNT classes around the globe - you can see it here.


Questions? Send us a message.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about being fully present and aware to all of life. Presence is an innate human capacity, however this capacity is underdeveloped in most people.

Mindfulness training is a bit like ‘mental exercise’. As we practice over time,  we build what’s known as the ‘mindful muscle’ – our ability to be fully present and alive to our lives more of the time.

What does the MBSR course involve?
  • 2 ½ hour class once a week for 8 weeks plus one full day session (held on the weekend)
  • Mindfulness meditation training, access to the online library of guided meditation recordings, and course workbook
  • Learning about the effects of stress on our bodies and minds
  • Exploring patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving and their relationship to stress
  • Developing strategies for applying mindfulness in daily life
  • Learning through brief lectures, group discussion and experiential activities
Who is MBSR for?

This is suitable for absolute beginners as well as those who’ve previously done some mindfulness training.

How can MBSR help me?

"This is the most important thing I have ever done for myself"—this quite literally is the feedback we hear from participants again and again.

If you want to learn how to work skilfully with your own mind, body and emotions and really enjoy being you and feel truly at home in your own skin, then mindfulness training is for you. It is a proven method for improving health, mental health, self-awareness and skilfulness.

Is there science to back this up? Isn’t meditation a spiritual thing?

MBSR teaches the art and science of presence.

It’s an art because everyone’s internal world is completely unique, nuanced and it’s also a creative changing space. No one else can tell you exactly how to meditate or do it for you.

It’s a science because research in neuroscience, medicine and psychology have helped us to understand how this ancient practice actually works, how it not only changes the structure of the brain, but also improves health and mental health, and even slows down the process of ageing. (see our resources for some references)

Mindfulness and MBSR is open to anyone. You don’t have to believe anything in particular to benefit from it. It’s compatible with a wide range of spiritual and religious beliefs. Anything that is important or meaningful for you in your life can be enhanced by mindfulness practice.

I have a really busy mind. I can’t sit still, how am I going to meditate?

Almost everyone in our MBSR courses complains of a busy mind!

The mind’s job is to think. In mindfulness meditation we are not trying to stop thinking, we are learning to relate differently to it.

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to explore strategies, techniques and practical approaches for relating to your mind.

You will learn to meet your thoughts, mental and emotional habits, fears and stuck places with kindness and curiosity.

Why should I do MBSR when I can go to a local meditation centre for free?

Many people come to MBSR because they specifically want a mindfulness training that is secular and has no particular spiritual orientation or beliefs attached to the process.

As well, most “free” meditation centres rely on people’s generosity to support and sustain their work and the teachings. In order for these centres to survive, they need to be considered as supported by the people who use them.

MBSR is the world’s gold standard evidence based mindfulness training, It has been a major source of the evidence base over the last 40 years as it began in a university hospital setting, the university of Massachusetts medical school and was designed by a scientist, Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Someone down the road is offering a mindfulness course cheaper. What’s the difference?

Check it out! We encourage you to be curious about the differences. It is likely that with a shorter course (ie 4 weeks of 1 hour each week) that you will get ‘mindfulness lite’, a superficial and no doubt helpful course, but not something that sticks, or substantially changes anything in your life.

For over 40 years, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been the gold standard of teaching mindfulness in a secular setting for the relief of physical and psychological suffering. It is taught by people who have committed themselves to training, doing retreats and having a personal practice themselves, over many years.

Training takes place over a long period, is in depth and high standard. MBSR started at the University of Massachusetts Medical School over 26,000 people have participated in the research. This is a major source of the evidence base and current interest in mindfulness.

However, many people are now offering “mindfulness” courses “based on MBSR” or “based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn” with very little personal experience and immersion in mindfulness practice themselves, and little or no training in MBSR.

These courses are often shorter, perhaps 6 sessions of 1.5 hours (ie 9 hours long) or 6 sessions x 2 hours (12 hours long) for around $400. This works out as more expensive than the MBSR program which is 27 hours long, including a silent retreat day, plus email and phone contact with the teacher if you need it during the 8 weeks.