Contents

This program is designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on pioneering research by Kristin Neff and integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult emotions with care and understanding.

The three key components of self-compassion

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 warm-hearted, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

For someone to develop genuine compassion towards others, first he or she must have a basis upon which to cultivate compassion, and that basis is the ability to connect to one’s own feelings and to care for one’s own welfare… Caring for others requires caring for oneself. – The Dalai Lama

Self-compassion can be learned

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.

I found it a beautiful balance between being a student and a teacher. That made it possible to deepen my own experiences and learn how to teach.

Reseach results

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.

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 Centrum for Mindfulness in Amsterdam is offering teacher training in Europe, in collaboration with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and UCSD Center for Mindfulness in San Diego.

Download all information

All information about this teacher training is downloadable as a pdf.

Program

Intensive 6-day MSC Teacher Training

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.

Objectives

At the completion of the above mentioned is activities, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen one’s personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion.
  • Understand the current theory and research on self-compassion.
  • Identify the core themes and 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.
  • 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.
Literature

The following reading is highly recommended, but not required, before the teacher training:

  • Neff, Kristin: Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind.
  • Germer, Christopher: The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.
Certificate of Attendance

Upon completion of the MSC Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Center for MSC stating that he or she has attended the TT in its entirety and can start teaching MSC as a Teacher Trainee.

Trained Teacher Designation

The purpose of the 6-day Teacher Training is to establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public. To receive MSC Trained Teacher status, graduates of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MSC program, either by co-facilitating with a certified MSC teacher or through online group consultation offered through the Center for MSC. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on the Center for MSC website in a Directory of Trained Teachers.

Teacher Certification

Trained Teacher status is a key step toward Certification. Certification is a process of ensuring that an individual has achieved full competency through experience, training and supervision over a period of time and practice. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness offers certification in conjunction with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Please see their MSC Certification Pathway if you have further questions about Certification.

Although I was very anxious about the teach-backs, this was the greatest learning possibility I had in years. I appreciate the warmth, love and non-judgemental approach a lot.

For whom

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.).

Participation Requirements

The prerequisites for taking the MSC Teacher Training are:

  • Personal Skills.
  • 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 meditation retreat.
Professional Skills

  • Previous participation in a five-day or eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Training.
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or in clinical settings.
  • You do not have to be a clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training.
Please Note

  • You must allow at least 6 months to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning Teacher Training. This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.
  • We strongly recommend that the silent, teacher-led meditation retreat be completed more than two months prior to your attendance at the Teacher Training.
  • You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training.
Teaching MSC

The MSC program is ideally led by two instructors. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. Self-compassion can activate strong emotions, sometimes including relational pain dating back to childhood. We therefore recommend that one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MSC teacher, be a licensed mental health clinician. We realize that some groups may have members with relatively minor emotional needs, or be too small to require two teachers, so please use your own judgment about how to provide a safe and supportive learning environment.

Participant Guidelines

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.

Needs Assessment

Over the past few years, mindfulness has become mainstream in the general population and is being increasingly integrated into professional practice (e.g., mental health, medical care, education, business, law). As the demand grows, the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. Self-compassion is at the growth edge of mindfulness. It’s a “trending health term” (Reader’s Digest, 2012) and an area of burgeoning research. Self-compassion is the emotional heart of mindfulness. Due to the impressive scientific evidence for the connection between self-compassion and emotional wellbeing, and the need for explicit training in self-compassion, the MSC Teacher Training is offered at the Centrum voor Mindfulness. The teacher training is open for participants from all Europe and the rest of the world.

Practical information

Venue

Conference Center of Mennorode (Apeldoornseweg 185, 8075 RJ Elspeet). 
The venue is located about 45 mintues outside Amsterdam and within easy reach from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, both by train, car and bus. Transport directions will be given upon enrolment. Click here for a view of the conference center: www.mennorode.nl

Price

The course fee is 1275 euro. This includes course material and administrative costs for the UCSD Center for Mindfulness registration as a MSC-teacher.

For lodging and accommodation we have a one person room option available for €995 and shared room for two persons for €875. Upon enrolment you can fill in your preference. Rooms will be assigned in the order of enrolment and availability.

Cancellation policy

A refund (minus your €150 non-refundable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing via email 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date. In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, the Centrum for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.

Certificate

Upon completion of the MSC Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Center for MSC stating that he or she has attended the TT in its entirety and can start teaching MSC as a Teacher Trainee.

All dates Enroll

Edition - July 2017

Dates / Times: Sunday 16 July 2017 (starting at 18:00 hrs.) to 22 July 2017 (ending at 12:00 hrs.)

Teachers: Chris Germer, Rob Brandsma, Mila de Koning

Edition – July 2018

Dates and times: Starting Sunday 15th of July 2018 and ending Friday 21st of July 2018.

Teachers: Christine Brähler, Rob Brandsma, Mila de Koning, Steve Hickman.

Application

Upon submission of your registration, you will be asked to fill in an application form, including your:
- reason for attending this teacher training.
- daily meditation practice and years practicing.
- your retreat experience (at least one 5-7 days silent teacher led retreat is required before participating in this TT-MSC), and the tradition in which you practice professional training and/or experience teaching meditation.
- date and location of the 5-day or 8-week MSC course you took as a participant, which has taken place at least six month before the date of this TT-MSC).
- brief curriculum vitae or resume.


Teachers

  • christine brahler
    Christine Brähler

    Clinical psychologist, Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

    Christine Brähler

    Dr. Christine Brähler (DClinPsy, PhD) is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Munich, Germany. She gained her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Edinburgh, UK. She is an MSC teacher trainer, and leads MSC intensives, MSC teacher trainings and workshops on self-compassion in psychotherapy around the world. In addition to being Secretary of the Board of the Center for MSC, she serves as International Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of Center for MSC.

    She has published several academic and popular articles, including the first randomized controlled trial of Compassion Focused Therapy. www.christinebraehler.com

  • Rob Brandsma

    Psychologist and mindfulnesstrainer

    Rob Brandsma

    Rob Brandsma is director of the Centrum voor Mindfulness. His main interest lies in applying mindfulness and compassion to the many domains of daily life and specifically to health care. He has been involved in developing a number of mindfulness-based interventions.

    Rob is directing the mindfulness teacher training programs of the Centrum voor Mindfulness. He is the author of several popular books on mindfulness in Dutch. He published books on on the pedagogy of teaching mindfulness, such as The Mindfulness Teaching Guide: Essential Skills and Competencies for Teaching Mindfulness-Based Interventions.

    Keen on following the progress of scientific research on mindfulness he tries to base his work as a teacher and developer on the newest insights in the field.

    Rob, sharing about his passion for mindfulness: ‘Mindfulness enables me to deal better with challenges and obstacles and realize more often that the here and now is (almost) always the best place to dwell in. It enriches my life with insight, wonder and tenderness. It’s a gift to be able to bring this in my work as well.’

    Rob used to work as a prevention officer in addiction treatment, as director of an organization in the health prevention sector, and in his own practice for psychology. He is a trained pedagogue and a registered (but not-practicing) healthcare psychologist.

  • christopher germer
    Christopher Germer, PhD

    Psychologist, Harvard Teacher and Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

    Christopher Germer, PhD

    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.

    He teaches internationally on mindfulness and compassion, and has a private clinical practice of mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy. www.mindfulselfcompassion.org
    www.centerformsc.org

  • Steven Hickman
    Steven Hickman

    Clinical Psychologist, Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher

    Steven Hickman

    Dr. Steven Hickman is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego Departments of Psychiatry and Family & Preventive Medicine. Dr. Hickman is the Founder and Director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. Having taught over 50 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, and been a trainer in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Steve gladly pursued training as a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher as well.

    Having witnessed the transformation that is possible out of the practice of self-compassion, including what he has witnessed in his own MBSR "graduates", he has become an advocate for self-compassion as an essential aspect of a mindful life. Steve is a co-founder, along with Michelle Becker, Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, of the MSC Teacher Training program. Dr. Hickman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine. He is married and has three teenage children, affording him ample opportunities to practice what he teaches.

  • Mila de Koning

    Mindfulnesstrainer

    Mila de Koning

    My name is Mila de Koning. In 2008 I started, next to my job, my private practice focusing on mindfulness, workshops and mindfulness training. Since 2010 I do also individual coaching and counseling. At the Centrum voor Mindfulness I am one of the teachers of its teacher training program for mindfulness teachers.

    I work for the Free University’s Amstel Academy, responsible for its expertcenter for mindfulness. That center specializes in applying mindfulness in health care. We train social workers, nurses and physicians.

    Mindfulness gave me more quiet and relaxation in a full live. I see it as a bid big gift, one of the biggest you can give yourself.