Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer are pioneers in the scientific development of self-compassion. They have brought their experience together in the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training. This intensive offers you the full experience of the MSC training

Self-compassion: what is it

Self-compassion is the emotional attitude of mindfulness when we come in contact with suffering. Whereas mindful awareness is usually directed toward moment-to-moment experience, self-compassion focuses on the experiencer. Mindfulness says, "Open to your suffering with spacious awareness and it will change." Self-compassion adds, "Be kind to yourself in the midst of suffering and it will change." Mindfulness asks, "What do I know?” and self-compassion asks, "What do I need?"

With compassion for myself, I suddenly get so much more confidence and believe in my own capabilities and strength.

Self-compassion: how to learn it

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who find it embarrassing to be kind to oneself. It’s a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm, including the discomfort that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, and self-rumination when things go wrong. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, and respond to ourselves and others with care and respect, and be fully human.

When I notice that I’m too hard on myself, I can sometimes soften now. That makes life easier for me.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing and comforting as well as opening us to emotional distress that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. The teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.


Rapidly expanding research has clearly demonstrated that self-compassion enhances emotional wellbeing, reduces anxiety and depression, helps to maintain healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and is related to better personal relationships.


Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises and group discussions. The goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring how we typically respond when difficult emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. For more information on self-compassion, please see

By practicing self-compassion I’m much more friendly for myself. It helps me to take better care of my body and mind.


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

  • motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
  • relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
  • respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation
  • practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
  • integrate core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into daily life
  • teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients
  • describe the theory and research supporting mindful self-compassion
Recommended reading

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

For whom

This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this 5-day MSC program for professionals. All are welcome!

Becoming a MSC teacher

Participating in a MSC program satisfies a prerequisite for becoming a MSC program teacher. International teacher training for MSC is offered yearly in the Netherlands. For more information on the upcoming international Teacher Training MSC in the Netherlands look at our website.

Practical information


The venue for the residential MSC-Intensive is Conference Centre Mennorode, Apeldoornseweg 185 8075 RJ Elspeet. This venue is 45 minutes’ travel from Amsterdam by train or taxi. Check for directions.


For this course the price is €825 including VAT and course materials. Plus €465 (two-person shared room) or €575 (one-person room) for lodging and accommodation.


As this course is for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work, no meditation experience is necessary to participate in this MSC - Intensive program.


Upon request a certificate of participation is available.

All dates Enroll

July 2017 – Intensive (residential)

Sunday 9 July t/m Friday 14 July 2017.
Times: Sunday 19:00 hrs. till Friday 11:00 hrs.
Teachers: Kristin Neff en Chris Germer.
Language: English

July 2018 – Intensive (residential)

Sunday 8 July t/m Friday 13 July 2018.
Times: Sunday 19:00 hrs. till Friday 11:00 hrs.
Teachers: Kristin Neff en Chris Germer.
Language: English

Meet the teachers

  • Kristin Neff
    Kristin Neff

    Professor Human Development, Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

    Kristin Neff

    Kristin Neff, professor Human Development at the University of Texas, discovered that self-compassion has a very beneficial effect in programs of psychological development. She is researching this effect and has developed a great number of practical exercises, which one can use to enhance self-compassion on a daily basis, such as the ‘self-compassion mantra’. She has developed a compassion training with Germer.

    Neff has depicted her work in the popular psychological book “Self Compassion, stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind”. She is also known as the mother of The Horse Boy from the documentary of the same name.

  • christopher germer
    Christopher Germer, PhD

    Psychologist, Harvard Teacher and Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

    Christopher Germer, PhD

    Psychologist, professor at Harvard and writer
    Chris Germer is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School. His work is intertwined with Buddhist psychology and mainly in the practice of mindfulness and compassion in the therapeutic work. Along with Kristin Neff he regularly does retreats with these issues as a theme.

    Germer has multiple publications about this subject to his name. His most recent book is ‘Wisdom & Compassion in Psychotherapy’. However, the best known is ‘The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion’, which recently appeared in Dutch as 'Mindfulness en zelfcompassie'.