This workshop is a 4-session, online introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). MSC is an empirically-supported training based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer. The curriculum has been steadily refined since 2010 and taught to over 100,000 people worldwide.
This workshop is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the key practices and exercises of the 8-week program, from the comfort of your home. MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (emotions, sensations, thoughts). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives.
Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying, compassionate relationships. Self-compassion includes the capacity to comfort, soothe and validate ourselves, but also to protect and provide for ourselves, and to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals. Fortunately, anyone can learn self-compassion.
What you will learn
- Practice self-compassion in daily life
- Understand the evidence-based benefits of self-compassion
- Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
- Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- Manage caregiver fatigue
- Increase your happiness with savoring and self-appreciation
- Teach simple self-compassion practices to others
During this training we work with the The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. You can order this book here.
Please Note: This workshop contains the highlights of the MSC training but is not the entire course and therefore does not fulfill the pre-requisite for attending teacher training or participating in other CMSC programs for MSC graduates.
What to expect
This workshop is completely live and online. Program activities include short talks, meditation, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend this workshop. The course takes place on the Zoom conference platform and is limited to 200 participants. Numerous 4-person breakout groups provide an opportunity for participants to connect and share their direct experience of the practices with others.
MSC is a resource-building program rather than a retreat. In that regard, difficult emotions are likely to emerge as we give ourselves the kindness that we need. Participants are asked to attend to their own safety and wellbeing, and there will be trained MSC teachers ready to support participants as we proceed together through the course. We are committed to making the journey safe, interesting and enjoyable for everyone.
Self-compassion: what is it?
Self-compassion is the emotional attitude of bringing kindness to ourselves when things go wrong in our lives. Most of us easily treat our friends and loved ones with warmth, tenderness and patience when they struggle, fall short or fail at times in their lives, but we have a much harder time bringing those same qualities of compassion to our own selves in the same situations. Self-compassion is directed to the one who is suffering, and encourages us to consider the fundamental question of “What do I need?” By recognizing that difficulty is here (mindfulness), that these things are a part of every human life (common humanity), and connecting with our natural capacity for kindness toward suffering (self-kindness), we can develop healthy and enduring patterns of relating to all the circumstances of life.
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.
- Identify the three key components of self-compassion
- Describe key research that supports the benefits of self-compassion
- Apply techniques to increase self-compassion in everyday life
- Use self-compassion to alleviate caregiver burnout
- Implement self-compassion practice to motivate behavior change
- Develop and apply self-compassion practices to respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
- Assess and manage difficult situations and emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
This program is designed for members of the general public. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this MSC program. All are welcome!
As said, no prior experience with mindfulness or meditation is required. We expect participant to trust themselves with enquiring their inner experiences and feelings. This course is not fit for people currently mentally unwell of experiencing lots of emotional stress. The course speaks to your self reflective skills and taking responsibility for your own mental and physical health. When in doubt, please contact the teachers in advance.