MSC Mentorship

One-on-one mentorship (which can include web-based video conferencing for those not located near an approved mentor) is seen as a key component of development for new, as well as experienced, teachers of Mindful Self Compassion, providing the intimacy of a close connection with a seasoned teacher as well as the venue for open and honest exploration of challenges, breakthroughs, insights and possibilities that inevitably arise in teaching the program. The MBPTI has defined mentorship as: “A contractual arrangement between a mentor and mentee which focuses on a mentee’s mindfulness-based teaching in secular settings and supports the ongoing development of personal practice. The purpose of this arrangement is to promote competency and best practice skills for teaching mindfulness in secular settings and to encourage the relevance of applying the principles of mindfulness in everyday life”.

We have assembled the MSC Mentorship Program to assure that each trainee has an educational and inspiring experience of the mentorship process, and have carefully chosen each of our approved mentors based on their years of experience, training and wisdom.

The Process

Upon enrollment in the MSC Certification Pathway of the Institute, your next step will be to identify and engage a UCSD-approved mentor from the list below. It is important that before contacting one of the mentors via email, that you carefully review the MSC Certification Pathway.

Next, take the time to read each biography and consider contacting the mentor to arrange a brief phone interview to get a sense of whether you feel comfortable with this mentor. The arrangement is between you (as the mentee) and the mentor, so once you have determined that it is a good fit for both of you, you can jointly complete the contract and make arrangements for your regular mentorship sessions. Note: Your mentor will notify the MBPTI when you enter into a mentorship agreement with them, and will track the dates and times of sessions for reporting to the Institute for Certification purposes. However, it is highly recommended that you also maintain your own record of sessions.

The Finances

While your financial arrangement is between you and your mentor, we have asked the UCSD-approved mentors to agree to a base hourly rate for trainees in the United States of $155 (US), but we also appreciate that this rate may not align with local economies in the different countries where MSC is taught. Our mentors are prepared to consider these local factors when determining an agreed-upon rate. We also know that individuals have varying financial circumstances and may need some consideration for these circumstances. If the fee is a financial hardship for any reason, then you are encouraged to discuss this with potential mentors and see if you can mutually agree upon a fee that is acceptable to both parties.

The Documentation

Mentor Document Packet will be available in a few weeks, that further describes the mentorship process and includes an agreement that you and your mentor will complete.

The Mentors

Take the time to consider each of the mentors listed below and reach out to any that seem like a good fit. You will be spending a significant amount of time in contact with your mentor (over the phone, online or in person) and you should choose carefully before proceeding.

Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, CA utilizing mindfulness and compassion based psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is Director of Compassion Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness where she also teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindful Self-Compassion. She is a teacher trainer for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-founder, along with Dr.’s Germer, Neff and Hickman, of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. She is also co-founder of the San Diego Center For Well Being and co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program. Michelle enjoys helping individuals, couples, families and groups to find a meaningful and satisfying way of life.



Christine Brähler, DClinPsy, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and clinical supervisor. She gained her degrees from the University of Edinburgh, UK and is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, UK. She maintains a psychotherapy practice in Munich, Germany, specializing in compassion-based psychotherapy and conducted the first feasibility trial of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). She is an MSC teacher trainer, and leads MSC intensives, MSC teacher trainings and workshops on self-compassion in psychotherapy around the world. In addition to being Secretary of the Board of the Center for MSC, Christine serves as International Coordinator and as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of Center for MSC. Christine has published several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and two popular books. As an MSC Mentor, Christine greatly enjoys supporting MSC colleagues in their personal and professional development. She speaks fluent English, German and French and basic Spanish.


Tina Gibson is a certified MSC Teacher and teacher trainer. Based in Australia, she traveled to America, as part of the first MSC teacher training, and has been teaching with enthusiasm across Australia ever since. Tina also has years of experience teaching Mindfulness, having facilitated programs within Women’s Health, the Education System, Cancer Support and the general community. Her MSC has also included programs specifically for Health Professionals and for young women. Tina practices what she teaches, bringing warmth, honesty, courage and humour to MSC in her life and her teaching. She has a sound knowledge of health and education stemming from training and working in roles such as; Paramedic, Health Care Worker, Rehabilitation Counsellor, Kinesiologist and Health Educator. Some of her current passions are bringing MSC to children and MSC for enhancing creativity.

Phone: 0430-328-007  Website:

Lightroom (IMG_6869.dng and 87 others)Steven HickmanPsyD., is the Founder and Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Steve is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSD Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive Medicine. Since founding the Center in 2000, he has taught over 60 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, numerous other Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) and is a trainer of teachers in MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Steve is also a teacher trainer for the Mindful Self-Compassion program and is the Director of Professional Training for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. His passion is the training of teachers of Mindfulness-Based Interventions and is currently working on a book for Guilford Press entitled A Teacher’s Guide to Learning and Teaching Mindfulness-Based Interventions.

vanessa-hopeVanessa Hope, BA Hons, PG Dip in Mindfulness-Based Approaches, practised as a Homeopath for 18 years and was both a supervisor and lecturer for several colleges. She has been practicing meditation and yoga for over 35 years and currently works with a Zen teacher. She has taught MBSR courses since 2001 and has been a member of the Core Training Team for the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, U.K, since 2007. She taught for 5 years on the Masters in Mindfulness-Based Approaches and is a supervisor, assessor and mentor of mindfulness teachers. She is now delighted to be working as a Certified Teacher and Trainer in MSC as the practice of compassion and loving kindness has always been dear to her heart. Apart from all of this, she also enjoys time with her grandchildren and writing haiku.

Marta Alonso Maynar, DClin Psy. is a psychologist and specialist in clinical psychology with the Ministry of Education and Science in Spain. She is the first Certified Teacher and Teacher Trainer in Spanish language and a pioneer in introducing compassion programs in Spain. Since 2012 Marta has delivered more than 26 MSC courses in her country. She has practiced meditation for the last 27 years. She is a founding member and the current President of AEMind (Asociación Española de Mindfulness y Compasión) She holds the recognition as European Expert in Psychotherapy by the EFPA. Marta is co-author, along with Vicente Simon and others, of the book “Mindfulness en la Práctica Clinica” and both created the triple CD with a booklet with 209 minutes of Mindfulness and Self Compassion audios and practices in Spanish with a booklet available on Amazon.

Marta Alonso Maynar, DClin Psy. es psicóloga colegiada y Especialista en Psicología Clínica por el Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia español. Es la primera profesora Certificada y Teacher Trainer del programa MSC en habla hispana y pionera en introducir el programa en España junto con el Dr. Vicente Simón y desde finales de 2012 ha impartido más de 26 ediciones del programa MSC por todo el territorio nacional. Lleva 27 años practicando meditación. Es la actual presidenta de AEMind (Asociación Española de Mindfulness y Compasión) . Tiene el reconocimiento de Experto Europeo en Psicoterapia por la E.F.P.A. Es coautora junto con el Dr. Vicente Simón y otros colegas del manual “Mindfulness en la Práctica Clínica” y ambos crearon un triple Cd libro con 209 minutos de prácticas en castellano de Mindfulness y Autocompasión, disponible en Amazon.


dawn2Dawn MacDonald, MSW, RSW, currently co-leads the Compassion Project, an innovative organizational change and development initiative of the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba designed to co-create the conditions for Compassion to flourish in Health and Human Services. She is a Certified Mindful Self Compassion Teacher and teacher trainer. Dawn also teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and has completed all the professional trainings at the Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-based Professional Education and Teacher Training. She is a Certified Compassion Cultivation Teacher by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion Altruism Research and Education and a Senior Instructor for the Institute for Mindful Leadership.

pittman_mcghee1Pittman McGehee, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. Pittman received his doctorate from The University of Texas, Austin where he researched self-compassion and mindfulness with Dr. Kristin Neff. He has worked as a psychologist with individuals of all ages and trained in many different environments. Prior to working in private practice, he worked and trained at the Austin Psychology and Assessment Center, the Capital Area Mental Health Center, and the Travis County Correctional Complex. He also trained at the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, where he worked with individual students and co-led several groups, including Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy groups for depressed students. Dr. McGehee is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher and teacher trainer and is currently adjunct faculty at Seton Cove Spirituality Center in Austin, Texas.

MulliganPhotoBeth Mulligan, PA-C is a certified MSC Teacher and teacher trainer. She was in the first group to be invited to MSC teacher training, and has been teaching MSC with great passion and enthusiasm ever since, at the UC Irvine Center for Integrative Medicine and Insight LA as well as providing workshops for professional caregivers. Beth is also a certified MBSR teacher and teacher trainer, and adjunct faculty for the UMASS Center for Mindfulness. She has been teaching MBSR for over a decade to diverse populations; from the critically ill, to non-profit organizations, the underserved, educators, and corporate leaders. Beth has a background in primary care medicine as a Board Certified Physician Assistant and has practiced medicine for over 25 years. Beth is a certified yoga instructor, and holds a Black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She is a long time student of Roshi Charles Tenshin Fletcher at Yokoji Zen Center where she has lived in residence, and is the Guiding Dharma teacher at Insight Community of the Desert. Phone: 760-799-7847

susan_pollakSusan M. Pollak, MTS, Ed.D. is a licensed psychologist in Cambridge, MA. and President of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. For over 2 decades she has taught and supervised at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, and is a co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at CHA. She has been teaching MSC with Christopher Germer since 2010, and worked on developing and refining the 8- week MSC course. A student of meditation and yoga since childhood, she has been integrating mindfulness and psychotherapy since 1985. Susan is the co-author of Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy.

regulaRegula Saner is a psychologist and psychotherapist practicing in Basel, Switzerland. She trained and has been certified by the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a teacher of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She leads the Center for Mindfulness (Zentrum für Achtsamkeit) located in the heart of the old city of Basel. Regula is a passionate teacher and teacher trainer of the Mindful Self-Compassion. She teaches MSC in the German speaking parts of Europe. In addition to her therapeutic work and courses in mindfulness based interventions at the Center for Mindfulness in Basel, she regularly teaches meditation, mindful being, and self compassion to students of the University of Basel, to staff of the University Hospital Basel and also to young athletes and business executives. She does her mentoring in German.


judith1Judith Soulsby, MA, CQSW initially trained as a social worker and psychotherapist, and has a long-term Buddhist meditation practice.  While working as a research officer at Bangor University, UK, she helped found the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP) in 2001.  Judith hastaught mindfulness-based approaches for CMRP since 2003, including training, supervising and assessing MBSR and MBCT teachers since 2006, and working as Director of CMRP’s Master’s Programmes for 6 years.  She is now semi-retired and works freelance, mainly teaching Mindful Self-Compassion and training teachers in this, and is now a Certified MSC Teacher and Teacher Trainer.  As well as greatly enjoying this work, she delights in singing with several local community choirs in north-west Wales.

Hilde Steinhauser, PG Dip in Mindfulness-Based Approaches, is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher and teacher trainer, a certified MBSR teacher and a qualified translator with a longstanding meditation practice (Zen, Vipassana). She has assisted or co-taught with Christopher Germer, Ph.D., since 2011. She was trained through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, the Oasis Institute, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, School of Psychology at Bangor University (UK) and the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches in Germany.  She teaches mindfulness courses, MSC and MBSR in Koeln and Borkum (Germany).