Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported, 8-week, training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think. By cultivating skills that evoke good will toward ourselves, we increase our capacity to meet our own suffering with compassionate action. We gently shift our attention inwardly and begin to meet the unknown parts of ourselves that deserve concern and kindness.
So often the demands of life lead to stress, confusion and sorrow. Our quality of life can suffer, can impact our relationship with ourselves and others. This course offers an opportunity to respond compassionately to our own struggles, just as you might to a friend who is struggling.
In MSC, students will learn:
- how to stop being so hard on yourself
- how to handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- how to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
- how to transform difficult relationships, both old and new
- mindfulness and self-compassion practices for home and everyday life
- how to manage caregiver fatigue
- the theory and research behind mindful self-compassion
- how to become your own best teacher
What to Expect
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is a workshop rather than a retreat. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life. MSC is a compassion training program rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although mindfulness skills are taught as a foundation for self-compassion. MSC is also different from therapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Nonetheless, psychological healing may occur as we develop the capacity to be with our difficulties, and with ourselves, in a loving, compassionate way. MSC is a journey that entails a variety of challenges. Compassion has the effect of soothing and comforting us as it paradoxically opens us to emotional discomfort. While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to make the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.
The 8-week format: Consists of eight weekly, 2 ½ -hour sessions in a classroom/discussion group format, plus a 4-hour retreat. This class is often most easily integrated into our lives and offers an extended opportunity to deepen and solidify our practice.
Prerequisites: No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. It is recommended that participants read one or both of following books before or during the program:
CE Units: This course meets the qualification for 24 hours of continuing education credit for LCSW, MFT, LEP and LPCC licenses, approved by the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider No. PCE 5755.