This program is an intensive skills training programs, offered in a retreat-style setting, and is a residential intensive version of the eight-session, empirically-supported Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training developed by Kristin Neff, PhD, and Christopher Germer, PhD. This program fulfills a prerequisite for becoming a MSC teacher.
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 (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 caring attention from yourself when you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion. Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. Self-compassion is learned in part by connecting with our innate compassion for others, and self-compassion also helps to grow and sustain our compassion for others.
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 personal relationships. It is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human—to acknowledge our shortcomings, learn from them, and make necessary changes with an attitude of kindness and self-respect.
Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those of us who did not learn these skills as children.
What to Expect
In MSC you’ll learn to:
• Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life
• Understand the science of self-compassion
• Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
• Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
• Transform challenging relationships, old and new
• Manage caregiver fatigue
• Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
• Teach simple self-compassion skills to others
This program is designed for members of the general public. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!
Program activities include short talks, experiential exercises, meditation, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is an opportunity to explore how we typically respond when difficulties arise in our lives and to learn tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves.
The MSC program 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, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. MSC teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.
MSC is therapeutic but it’s not therapy. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources to meet emotional challenges, old and new. MSC is also not primarily a type of mindfulness training; MSC is mindfulness-based compassion training in which the quality of warmth is emphasized more than awareness itself.
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. Improvements were linked to how much a person practiced in their daily lives. For the full-text article, please click here (PDF).
Venue and Schedule
This course is being managed by CMSC and held at the beautiful Sedona Mago Retreat near Sedona, Arizona. Please see this page for guest guidelines and this page for driving directions and this page for information about getting a shuttle to Sedona Mago Retreat. You can find additional visitor information about Sedona Mago on this page of their website including weather and what to bring.
The course begins with dinner at 5:30pm on Sunday, March 12, 2017 and ends by 11am on Friday, March 17, 2017.
Sunday: 7:00-8:30 pm
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 2:30 – 6:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 – 11:00am
There will be optional sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
This course will have 90 participants.
Continuing Education and Scholarships
Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 24.0 hours of credit.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 24.0 contact hours may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if APA accreditation meets their requirements.
Social Workers: This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886743125-3905) for 24.0 continuing education contact hours.
Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 28.75 contact hours.
Fees for CE credits: $75 (An email will be sent a month before the course with registration and payment information.)
We are no longer accepting scholarship applications for this course.
The tuition and accommodation fees for the course are payable to the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
Earlybird tuition and materials (on or before February 4, 2017): $895
Standard tuition and materials (on or after February 5, 2017): $995
Room and Board Single Occupancy: $1,140
Room and Board Double Occupancy: $865
Please register early if a Wheelchair Accessible room is required.
All meals will be arranged with Sedona in advance. The Sedona dining hall’s buffet line labels each menu item identifying options that will meet the needs of guests following Gluten free, Soy Free, Vegan, or Dairy free diets. Please see this page for additional information regarding the Sedona Dining Hall.
$200 Non-Refundable cancellation fee applicable at any time.
Your payment (less the $200 non-refundable cancellation fee) will be refunded if we are notified before February 11, 2017, that you need to cancel your registration.
No refunds are available after February 11, 2017, except on compassionate grounds.
In the unlikely event that the course is canceled, CMSC is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.
** Please note that as of December 17, 2016, we are changing registration/payment portals. If you paid via PayPal before this date and would like to cancel your registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for refund details.