Becoming an MSC-Teacher
The foundation for teaching MSC is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have an ongoing, daily practice. MSC teachers are often deeply moved by the transformation of their participants and honored to share in this transformation. Some say teaching self-compassion makes their personal practice even deeper and more meaningful and feels like a natural extension of self-compassion into the world.
The Teacher Training Pathway
The first step of the teacher pathway is to complete the 6-day residential or 12-week online teacher training course. This training 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.). If you wish to be granted Trained MSC Teacher status and teach the 8-week, in-person MSC course, you must also complete steps 2-4.
- Step 1: 6-Day Residential or 12-Week Online Teacher Training
- Step 2: Teacher Training Practicum
- Step 3: Co-Teach first MSC course with Zoom Consultation
- Step 4: Apply for Trained Teacher status
In this connected page you can read an overview of the full Teacher Training Pathway.
As a partner organisation of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) the Centrum voor Mindfulness (CVM) supports prospective teachers on their journey to becoming a Trained or Certified Teacher, more details of which are given below.
The Residentinal 6-day MSC Teacher Training
The Residential Teacher Training is an intensive, 6-day, in-person course facilitated by a team of senior MSC teachers, including Chris Germer, who leads the first two sessions. 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 the standard 8-week MSC course.
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.
Please read the following prior to attending the training. All books are available on our Amazon Bookshelf.
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher Germer
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David Treleaven
- Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy by Christopher Germer and Ronald Siegel
- Mindfulness and Psychotherapy – Second Edition by Christopher Germer, Ronald Siegel and Paul Fulton
- The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert
- The Mindfulness Solution by Ronald Siegel
- Self-Compassion: Step by Step. CD set by Kristin Nef
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.
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.).
The prerequisites for taking the MSC Teacher Training are:
- 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.
- Previous participation in an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course or 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive.
- Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat.
- Experience teaching meditation in groups
- 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 and give you time to embody the practices of MSC. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.
- Other mindfulness-based training programs do not count as a substitute for the standard MSC course pre-requisite.
- You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training.