Mindful Self-Compassion Training (MSC)

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported 8-week course designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. It was developed by Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion

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 experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). 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.

Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same kindness and compassion that you give to others when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate? All that’s required is a simple U-turn—including yourself in the circle of your compassion.  Self-compassion is essentially a humble enterprise.

Self-compassion involves the capacity to soothe, comfort, and validate ourselves, as well as to protect, provide for and motivate ourselves, when things go wrong in our lives.  It is learned, in part, by connecting with our natural compassion for others. Learning how to be self-compassionate also helps us sustain and expand our compassion for others.

Numerous research studies show 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 personal relationships. It is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human—more fully ourselves.

Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone.

In MSC you’ll learn to:

  • Techniques for grounding yourself in stressful situations
  • Practice mindfulness and self-compassion when you need it most
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Anchor yourself to your values to increase resiliency and satisfaction
  • Care for yourself while you care for others
  • Cultivate gratitude and self-appreciation
  • Teach simple self-compassion skills to others

Program activities include short talks, experiential exercises, meditation, group discussion, and home practices). MSC is taught in a variety of formats (e.g., face-to-face, online, full or partial trainings) to meet the needs of individuals in differing circumstances. 

MSC is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Self-compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing our emotional distress as well as opening us to the pain that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years.  Therefore, challenging emotions are likely to surface during the program, including past trauma. MSC teachers are committed to helping participants feel safe and comfortable during the course. However, participants agree at the outset that they will take primary responsibility for their emotional wellbeing.

MSC is therapeutic, but it’s not therapy. The emphasis of the program is on building the resources of mindfulness and self-compassion.  MSC is not a substitute for medical or mental health care. 

In a randomized, controlled study, MSC significantly increased self-compassion, compassion for others, mindfulness, and life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression, anxiety and stress. Read the full-text article. 

Highly recommended while participating in the MSC course: The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer

Are there any prerequisites for this training?

No. There are no prerequisites for Mindful Self-Compassion training. Just a willingness to learn and grow. 

Which form of Mindful Self-Compassion training should I take?

Jamie Lynn offers an abbreviated MSC training entitled Cultivating Self-Compassion as well as the full MSC training. The abbreviated training offers foundational MSC practices. The full training offers more practices and more time to integrate the practices. If you aspire to teach self-compassion, you will need to take the full MSC training. 

My schedule doesn’t match with the upcoming class dates. How can I take this class?

This course is best taken in-person or live-online. The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion has a listing of live-online MSC classes offered by other teachers.  Jamie Lynn also offers this course “on demand.” 

I want my children to learn self-compassion. Do I really need to take a training for adults?

You can learn self-compassion alongside your child/teen (in a parent-child or parent-teen class), on your own, or best of all: BOTH! Your level of self-compassion profoundly influences your ability to model and share self-compassion with your children. 

I want to learn to teach self-compassion to children. Do I need to take this class?

Yes.  The full Mindful Self-Compassion training (in-person or live-online) is a prerequisite for learning to teach self-compassion to children. See the teacher training pathway for details.

Upcoming Classes

Live-Online Mindful Self-Compassion Training

December 5, 2022-February 13, 2023
Mondays, 12-2pm CT  Convert to your time zone

Live-online adult Mindful Self-Compassion training taught by Jamie Lynn Tatera through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

Cost: $575
Discounts available! Click here for more details. CE credits are available for live-online MSC training for an additional fee.

Note: In-person or live-online Mindful Self-Compassion training is required for the SCCC TT and all MSC-related teacher training programs offered through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. 

If you are interested in taking Mindful Self-Compassion training for personal enrichment, you may either register for Live-Online MSC or take an asynchronous online Mindful Self-Compassion training with Jamie Lynn.

Related Testimonials

“Mindful Self-Compassion has brought peace into my chaotic life. It has changed my self-talk and created a sustainable mindfulness in my every day. I loved the course and recommend it to anyone.” Mindful Self-Compassion participant

“This course was helpful for me and for me as a caregiver to my daughter. I learned a lot that I’m using with her on a daily basis.” –Mindful Self-Compassion participant

“I’ve finished your incredible asynchronous MSC course. So many discoveries and a notebook full of lessons learned. Your playful, kind, caring approach made this course a lot of Fun! I was touched countless times by all the beautiful and courageous ways people in the group shared their discoveries. You have gathered and created a unique asynchronous learning experience that didn’t feel like I was doing it alone. Thanks so much, Jamie Lynn, for how your course has enriched my life!!” – Rebecca D. asynchronous MSC student

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