Becoming an MSC Teacher NEW (draft)

Becoming an MSC Teacher NEW (draft)

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.

CMSC supports prospective teachers in every step of their journey to becoming a Trained or Certified Teacher, more details of which are given below.

What is 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.


At the completion of this activity, 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

Target Audience

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 standard pre-requisites 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
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led meditation retreat
  • Previous participation in an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course or 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups

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 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.
  • You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training.
  • Upon completion of the MSC Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance and may teach their first 8-week MSC as a Teacher-in-Training, while simultaneously attending 10 online group consultation sessions offered by CMSC.  

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 8-week MSC course to the general public. To receive MSC Trained Teacher status and teach independently, Teachers-in-Training must meet the following requirements:

  • Teach a full 8-week MSC group course (after Teacher Training) with at least eight participants
  • Participate in 10 online consultation sessions while teaching one’s first MSC group course.  Consultations are hosted by an MSC Teacher Trainer and cost of $40 per session
  • Ongoing, personal practice of mindfulness and self-compassion, including sitting meditation and practice in daily life

Upon completion of these requirements, the teacher will be issued with a certificate that states they are a Trained Teacher of MSC.  All Trained Teachers can teach the 8-week MSC independently and be listed as a Trained Teacher on the CMSC website along with their future MSC courses. 

Teacher Certification

Certification is verification of a teacher’s competence whereas the designation of Trained Teacher simply recognizes that a person has completed the requisite training activities. It is highly recommended for those who continue to teach on an ongoing basis. It also offers opportunities to adapt and teach MSC in other MSC formats. 

Requirements for becoming a Certified Teacher include:

  • Being already a Trained Teacher (following steps above)
  • Taught a minimum of 5 MSC group courses
  • 14 hours of individual mentorship with an approved MSC mentor/teacher trainer

Further Details on Certification Outlined on the UC San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute Website

"The MSC trainings have softened my inner critic and strengthened my inner champion. I am less anxious about imperfection, and celebrate vulnerability as a strength to meet challenges with courage, to deepen my capacity for joy. The best part is I get to embody it and humbly offer it to others as an MSC Teacher!"