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 training offers you a unique opportunity: immerse yourself in the key practices of mindful self-compassion, taught by the founders Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. Learn how powerful and transformative mindful self-compassion is, while staying at a relaxing and inspiring accommodation in the natural surroundings of the Veluwe in the Netherlands. A life-changing experience!
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?"
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.
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.
This retreat training gives you the full experience of the MSC training. Activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises and group discussions. During the program you will have ample opportunity to enjoy the hotel and the surroundings. 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 www.centerformsc.org
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
- Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer
During this retreat training you will stay at the relaxing and inspiring accommodation of “Mennorode”, in the natural surroundings of the Veluwe forest in the Netherlands, near the picturesque village Elspeet. Mennorode is known for its comfort, sustainability and natural facilities.
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.
Meet the trainers
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, PhD is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, and co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy. Dr. Germer is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy as well as the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance.