“At long last, a self-compassion training for teens! This delightful, innovative program captures the essence of self-compassion for an age group that needs it the most. Wholeheartedly recommended!”
– Christopher Germer, Ph.D.
Welcome to the journey of becoming an MFY teacher! This journey requires a big heart and a passion for the wellbeing of teens. The process involves two steps:
Step 1, the 6-day MFY Teacher Training, is to establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public. To receive MFY Trained Teacher status, graduates of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MSC program 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 MFY Teachers. Specifics about the steps are here:
The MFY Teacher Training is an intensive, 6-day program facilitated by MFY teacher trainers, including the creators of the program, Karen Bluth, Ph.D. and Lorraine Hobbs, MA. The training is built around the eight weekly classes and includes opportunities to practice teaching in small groups, with the close consultation of the teacher trainers. The training also includes how to advise parents in supporting their teens throughout the program. After the training, participants will be provided with access to the essential materials to teach MFY through the PowerSchool Learning website.
At the completion of the MFY Teacher Training, participants will be able to:
- Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight sessions of MFY
- Understand the rationale for the modifications made from the adult MSC program
- Describe different ways of involving parents so that they can appropriately engage and support their teens in their practice
- Identify obstacles for teens to learning mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming these obstacles
- Deepen one’s understanding of key elements in teaching mindfulness and self-compassion practice to teens
This 6-day intensive is intended for those who wish to teach the MFY program in an educational, clinical, or community setting.
The prerequisites for taking the MFY Teacher Training are:
- Established daily mindfulness and self-compassion practice,
- Completion of a 5-day or 8-week MSC course,
- Experience working with teens in an educational or clinical setting, preferably in groups.
Upon completion of the 6-day MFY Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance stating that he or she has attended the MFY TT in its entirety and can begin to teach MFY as a Teacher Trainee.
“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel as I begin to settle into this new, wide world of self-compassion for teens. Lorraine Hobbs and Karen Bluth wove together their two worlds to create a program that is fun, informative, engaging and transformative.” Celedra Gildea, teacher training participant, San Diego (April 2016):
“I, too, was one of the fortunate ones to be participate in the first teacher training of Making Friends with Yourself (MFY). It was an absolute gift to see the beautiful sequencing of this material, as well as the heartfelt incorporation of so many of the key components of MSC. Karen and Lorraine’s work on this program demonstrate an exquisite example of development of curriculum for a new population… I was touched to see the beautiful duo of Karen and Lorraine, as co-teachers/trainers they modeled genuine love and respect for each other and a deep trust and knowledge of the material. It is an exciting and hopeful time for MFY.” Michelle Bobowick, teacher training participant, San Diego (April 2016):
Step 2: Group Consultation Sessions (Zoom sessions)
Graduates of the Teacher Training (i.e. Teacher Trainees), are required to register for 10 group consultation sessions (i.e., Zoom sessions, which are 1 hour in length if more than 3 are registered, and 30 minutes in length if 1-3 students are registered) while teaching their first 8-week MFY program. (Note: These sessions have an additional cost of $400 US for all ten sessions.)
This provides trainees with the essential support needed to teach MFY and maintain the integrity of the program. Upon completion of the required Zoom sessions, “trainees” receive the designation of “Trained Teacher” and can be listed on the Center for MSC website in a directory of Trained Teachers.
Trained Teacher Designation
The MFY program is led by two instructors. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. We know that self-compassion can activate strong emotions and that teens’ emotions can be unpredictable. It is important for teachers to be able to hold a safe container and support the group. We therefore recommend that one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MFY teacher (in the instance that a second MFY teacher is not available), be a licensed mental health clinician.
How to Approach the Training
Our ability to teach others depends largely on discovering the power of self-compassion in our own lives and embodying the practice. Self-compassion thrives in an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to presence and compassion. The teacher trainers are dedicated to creating such a learning atmosphere for all workshop participants and their future students. As many of you know, teens require authenticity and transparency; a strong practice of our own enables us to support the journey of these young minds and hearts with depth and wisdom.
For those who are interested in pursuing MFY teacher certification:
After teaching at least 4 MFY courses, MFY trained teachers can pursue certification. If you’re interested in the Certification pathway, please contact Lorraine Hobbs (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Bluth (email@example.com) to request a mentoring arrangement with a teacher trainer. The MFY teacher will videorecord their teaching and discuss it in a minimum of 14 mentoring sessions with the teacher trainer. Mentoring sessions will be held on the Zoom platform.
Continuing Education Credit
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.
UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 38.25 contact hours.
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 learners through one of the following mechanisms: 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over CFM 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 will be disqualified from participating in the CFM activity.
Registration: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Arrival: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
First Session: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm -2:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Evening Session: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Session Ends: 12:00 noon
- Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel, M.D.
- The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time by Dzung Vo
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 after 2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Fees are variable for each training. Please see the listing for your preferred event (sidebar) for its specific pricing.
Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable minimum deposit of $300 USD 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.
Online Application Form
Upon submission of your registration, you will receive a registration confirmation email with a link to our online MFY Training Application Form where you will be describing your reason for wanting to attend this MFY Training, an indication of your professional training and experience in psychotherapy as well as a description of your meditation practice (if any). In regard to meditation practice, you will be asked to describe the tradition in which you practice and any retreats or other meditation experiences in which you have participated. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.
A refund (minus your $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.