MSC Teacher Training Intensive

Train to teach Mindful Self-Compassion with guidance from Christopher Germer, one of its co-developers.

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.

Who Should Attend
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.).


  • Established daily mindfulness practice of at least two years.
  • Ongoing, daily, sitting meditation practice
  • Ongoing practice of loving-kindness and self-compassion in daily life
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent teacher-led residential meditation retreat of any kind, at a location of your choosing.
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or in clinical settings
  • Previous participation in a Mindful Self-Compassion personal program (8-week or 5-day Intensive) at least 6 months beforehand. Two-day Core Skills Workshops, Online MSC and shorter workshops do not satisfy this requirement.

To find an MSC program around the world, click here.

Apply Before Registering
If you have not already been approved to attend this MSC Teacher Training, please check above to see if you meet the prerequisites. If you do, please apply now and wait to hear back before registering. If you’re not sure, please note any questions you have in the application.

Timing: 45 in-class hours

Fee: Varies based on retreat location and your choice of accommodation. Partial scholarships may also be available.
As a charity, we do not charge taxes.
Payment, cancellation and refund policies

MSC 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 MSC teacher training in the USA, in collaboration with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. The Centre for Mindfulness Studies will coordinate MSC teacher training in Canada, in collaboration with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. 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. Please see MSC Certification Pathway on the UCSD website to learn more.
Participants Will Learn To

  • Deepen their 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

What To Expect

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.

Compassionate Action Scholarship

Compassionate Action Scholarship Funds Now Available

We are pleased to offer a number of scholarships to attend the MSC Teacher Training Intensive. The scholarships (ranging from $1000 to $250) are available to all potential participants with special circumstances requiring financial assistance in order to attend. Applicants for the scholarships are asked to apply for the intensive (you can register after notification of the award) and submit a one-page essay to The one-page essay should address the following questions:

  • Why do you wish to attend this training
  • 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 is on the corresponding event page.
Scholarships may be awarded on a rolling basis, and retreat space may be limited, so please apply early. We will decide on the final awards and notify remaining scholarship applicants within 2 weeks of the deadline.

Required Reading

Before applying to the MSC 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.
Highly Recommended Reading

No upcoming offerings of this program are currently scheduled.
Please check back later or contact us.