MSC: Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training

Scholarships are available to all potential participants with special circumstances requiring financial assistance in order to attend (ranging from $2000 to $500). See the Registration tab for more information.
February 12-18, 2017 • Sedona Mago Retreat Center, Sedona, AZ
Faculty: Christopher Germer, PhD., Steven Hickman, PsyD., Michelle Becker, LMFT, and Susan Pollak, MTS, Ed.D.
April 2-8, 2017 • Hartzer Park Conference & Retreat Centre, NSW, Australia
Faculty:   Christopher Germer, PhD.Steven Hickman, PsyD., James Bennett-Levy and Tina Gibson
August 20-26, 2017 • Chapin Mill Retreat Center, Batavia, NY
Faculty: Kristin Neff, Ph.D.Christopher Germer, PhD., Steven Hickman, PsyD., and Michelle Becker, LMFT

Registration & Fees
Compassionate Action Scholarship Funds Available for 2017 Training programs

For someone to develop genuine compassion towards others,
first he or she must have a basis upon which to cultivate compassion,
and that basis is the ability to connect to one’s own feelings and to care for one’s own welfare… Caring for others requires caring for oneself.
” – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama –


msctecherMindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
is an empirically-supported 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on pioneering research by Kristin Neff and integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult emotions with care and understanding.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to others, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warmhearted, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption.  Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others, and be fully human.

Rapidly expanding research clearly demonstrates that self-compassion is related to emotional wellbeing, lower anxiety and depression, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.

Teacher Training

The MSC program has been in development since 2009, and a MSC training manual is scheduled for publication in 2017 (Guilford Press). The UCSD Center for Mindfulness will coordinate teacher training in the USA, in collaboration with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (www.CenterForMSC.org).

MSC Teacher Training is an intensive, 6-day, residential program facilitated by a team of senior MSC teachers. The training is built around the eight weekly sessions of MSC with each half day dedicated to a condensed, experiential review of one of the sessions, followed by small group activities designed to give attendees opportunities to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion in that session with the close consultation of one of the Teacher Trainers. In addition, the training includes short talks, group exercises, discussion, and periods of silence. Participants will be provided with the essential materials to teach MSC programs.

Objectives

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen one’s personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Summarize current basic theory and research on self-compassion
  • Identify the core themes and be able to implement practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
  • Develop the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience, and facilitate group cohesion
  • Apply advanced mindful self-compassion principles and practices in teaching patients, students, or clients
  • Engage in real-time interactive sessions to demonstrate teaching skills and receive feedback and assessment from instructors
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming them
  • Embody a mindful and compassionate stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice

Target Audience

This 6-day intensive is intended for those who wish to teach the MSC program, those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion in their ongoing professional activities (i.e., psychotherapy, coaching, nursing, teaching, etc.), and individuals who have a professional interest in the field (i.e., researchers, administrators, etc.).

Participation Requirements

The prerequisites for taking the MSC Teacher Training are:

Personal Skills
Professional Skills
  • Previous participation in a five-day or eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Training
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or in clinical settings
  • You do not have to be a clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training
Please Note . . .
  • You must allow at least 6 months to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning Teacher Training.  This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.
  • We strongly recommend that the silent, teacher-led meditation retreat be completed more than two months prior to your attendance at the Teacher Training.
  • You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training.
    Upon completion of the MSC Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Center for MSC stating that he or she has attended the TT in its entirety and can start teaching MSC as a Teacher Trainee.

Trained Teacher Designation

The purpose of the 6-day Teacher Training is to establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public. To receive MSC Trained Teacher status, graduates of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MSC program, either by co-facilitating with a certified MSC teacher or through online group consultation offered through the Center for MSC. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on the Center for MSC website in a Directory of Trained Teachers.

Teacher Certification

Trained Teacher status is a key step toward Certification. Certification is a process of ensuring that an individual has achieved full competency through experience, training and supervision over a period of time and practice. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness offers certification in conjunction with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.  Please see our MSC Certification Pathway if you have further questions about Certification.

Teaching MSC

The MSC program is ideally led by two instructors. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. Self-compassion can activate strong emotions, sometimes including relational pain dating back to childhood. We therefore recommend that one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MSC teacher, be a licensed mental health clinician. We realize that some groups may have members with relatively minor emotional needs, or be too small to require two teachers, so please use your own judgment about how to provide a safe and supportive learning environment.

Participant Guidelines

Our ability to teach others depends largely on discovering the power of self-compassion in our own lives and embodying the practice. Since the core principles and practices of the MSC program are taught through experiential learning, participants are encouraged to focus on their felt experience during teacher training. Ample time will also be allocated for professional dialogue and the nuts and bolts of teaching.

The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Loving-kindness and self-compassion training helps us soothe and comfort ourselves as it paradoxically reveals emotional distress we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface as we grow in our capacity to embrace them. This is intrinsic to the process of emotional transformation through self-compassion.

Self-compassion thrives in an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to presence and compassion. Self-compassion practice should also be easy and enjoyable. The teacher trainers are dedicated to creating such a learning atmosphere for all workshop participants and their future students.
The following reading is highly recommended, but not required, before the teacher training:

Neff, Kristin: Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
Germer, Christopher: The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

Needs Assessment

Over the past few years, mindfulness has become mainstream in the general population and is being increasingly integrated into professional practice (e.g., mental health, medical care, education, business, law). As the demand grows, the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year.  Self-compassion is at the growth edge of mindfulness. It’s a “trending health term” (Reader’s Digest, 2012) and an area of burgeoning research. Self-compassion is the emotional heart of mindfulness. Due to the impressive scientific evidence for the connection between self-compassion and emotional wellbeing, and the need for explicit training in self-compassion, the MSC Teacher Training is offered at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.

Register Online

Accreditation

Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 32.0 hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 32.0 contact hours may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if APA accreditation meets their requirements.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 38.25 contact hours.

Disclosure

It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to an educational activity being delivered to the learners through one of the following mechanisms 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review. All persons are also required to disclose any discussions of off label/unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Persons who refuse or fail to disclose are disqualified from participating in the activity. Participants will be asked to evaluate whether the speaker’s outside interests reflect a possible bias in the planning or presentation of the activity. This information is used to plan future activities.

All faculty members listed above have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

The MBPTI staff, meeting planners, planning committee and MBPTI committee reviewers do not have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine or University of California, San Diego Medical Center.

 

Tentative Schedule

Day One
Registration: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
First Session: 6:45 pm – 8:45 pm

Day Two-Six
Optional Morning Practice: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Evening Session: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Day Seven
Optional Morning Practice: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Final Session: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm


 

Required Reading Prior to Applying to Attend the Teacher Training

On Becoming a MSC Teacher: A Mountaineer’s Guide to Building the Resource of Mindful Self-Compassion
By Christine Braehler, Steven D. Hickman, and Christopher Germer

Required Reading

All books are available on our Amazon Bookshelf.

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher Germer

Recommended Reading

Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy by Christopher Germer and Ronald Siegel

Mindfulness and Psychotherapy – Second Edition by Christopher Germer, Ronald Siegel and Paul Fulton

The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert

The Mindfulness Solution by Ronald Siegel

Self-Compassion: Step by Step. CD set by Kristin Neff

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I am flying in for the training. What are my options and what do you recommend?
See our LOCATIONS page for details about travel to the retreat centers and preferred airports. The UCSD Center for Mindfulness will set up a Ride Share Bulletin Board in coordinating shuttle rides for those arriving by air at local airports.

What time should I plan to arrive? When do we finish?
We will begin checking people into the retreat at 1 pm on the first day of the training. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 1pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at dinnertime. We plan to end the retreat by 1:00 pm on the last day so please plan your travel accordingly, using the time guidelines above. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.

Is there wireless service/cellular phone use?
Please do not expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature of the training, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the training there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.

Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?
The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat is over is not likely to be a possibility. You can of course arrange to stay at lodging near the retreat center if you would like to extend your stay. Contact us directly at mindfulness@ucsd.edu to make such arrangements.

What do I need to bring?
If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a few cushions but not enough to go around, so if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.

The relatively remote location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.

What should I expect regarding the format of the training?
This training is taught in a retreat format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the training, and we want to reiterate that now so you are not surprised when you get here. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. There are no other large groups planned in the center that week so it should be relatively quiet and secluded. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious. and as you probably noted on the website, you will have a roommate. In most cases several of you will share a dorm-style bathroom nearby.

What should I read prior to arriving?
Check the “Schedule and Required Reading” page of the specific training you are registered to attend.

What if I require some special accommodations or have dietary restrictions?
While you are asked to note specific food restrictions on your registration application, if there are any additional food or medical concerns we should be aware of please let us know of these in advance so we may assist you.

Registration Fees

2017 February Early-Bird Registration Fee: $1395 + Room & Board
February 12-18, 2017 • Sedona Mago Retreat Center, Sedona, AZ
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before December 12, 2016. Early-Bird Rate
On or Before

December 12, 2016
On or After
December 13, 2016
Registration $1395 $1495
UC San Diego Faculty / Staff $1195 $1295
Room and Board Single Occupancy $1250 $1250
Room and Board Double Occupancy $930 $930
  1. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  2. Upon submission of your registration your application will be reviewed for prerequisites and you will be contacted when it has been formally accepted.
  3. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register Online

Make a payment or Change your Registration

April 2-8, 2017 • Hartzer Park Conference & Retreat Centre, NSW, Australia
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before March 2, 2017. Early-Bird Rate
On or Before

March 2, 2017
On or After
March 3, 2017
Registration $1295 $1395
Australian Citizens $1245 $1345
UC San Diego Faculty / Staff $1095 $1195
Room and Board Single Occupancy (with shared bathroom) $775 $775
  1. Fees shown above are in US dollars.
  2. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  3. Upon submission of your registration your application will be reviewed for prerequisites and you will be contacted when it has been formally accepted.
  4. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register Online

Make a payment or Change your Registration

August 20-26, 2017 • Chapin Mill Retreat Center, Batavia, NY
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before June 20, 2017 Early-Bird Rate
On or Before
June 20, 2017
On or After
June 21, 2017
Registration $1445 $1545
UC San Diego Faculty / Staff $1345 $1445
Room and Board Single Occupancy $1300 $1300
Room and Board Double Occupancy $980 $980
  1. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  2. Upon submission of your registration your application will be reviewed for prerequisites and you will be contacted when it has been formally accepted.
  3. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register Online

Make a payment or Change your Registration

Continuing Education Credit Fees

Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee
Psychologists, Psychotherapists (LCSW, MFT, LPC) $75

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable and non-transferable minimum deposit is due upon registration.

Please be aware that the early-bird rate is available for all participants who register and pay their balance in full by the early-bird deadline (see registration information above). All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance on or after the early-bird deadline will have their fees automatically adjusted to the General Session Rate.

All remaining balances must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the training or your registration will be cancelled for non-payment and you will not be permitted to attend.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus $300 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date.

In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.

Required Application Form

Upon submission of your registration, you will be provided with a brief essay “Self-Reflection on the Journey of Becoming a Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion” to read and a link to complete an online MSC Teacher Training Application. This application includes a brief 200-word essay where you can share your reasons for taking the training and your reflections on the essay. These items will be included in your confirmation email.

Your application for this training will not be taken under consideration until the application form has been submitted. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.

Compassionate Action Scholarship Funds Now Available

Recognizing the societal importance of self-compassion training and the financial realities that many prospective teachers may face, the UCSD Center for Mindfulness is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to attend the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. The scholarships (ranging from $2000 to $500) are available to all potential participants with special circumstances requiring financial assistance in order to attend. Applicants for the scholarships are asked to register for the training (the initial deposit WILL be refundable for scholarship applicants who do not receive an award) and submit the required essay and CV. Also please address a one-page essay addressing the following questions:

  • Why do you wish to attend this training, and what are the specific financial or other barriers to your attending?
  • How do you imagine implementing or integrating MSC into your life?
Scholarship Essay Submission Deadline and Notification of Award
Training Dates and Locations Deadline Notification of Award
February 12-18, 2017
Sedona, AZ
 October 12, 2016 October 24, 2016
April 2-8, 2017
NSW, Australia
December 2, 2016 December 16, 2016
August 20-26, 2017
Batavia, NY
April 20, 2016 May 4, 2016

 

Submit essays to the UCSD Center for Mindfulness at mindfulness@ucsd.edu.