5 Day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive

This course is being offered by CMSC and held at the beautiful and peaceful Sedona Mago Retreat Center, which is remotely located outside of Sedona, Arizona.

March 12 – March 17, 2023
Instructors: Kristin Neff & Chris Germer

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically- supported, mindfulness-based, self-compassion training program. MSC participants from across the globe learn the skills of self-compassion and mindfulness to enhance their capacity for emotional well-being, including more helpful ways of exploring our typical responses to difficulties that arise in our lives and learning tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves.

 The emphasis of the program is on building the resources of self-compassion and mindfulness through a process of self-discovery. We begin with mindfulness, through which we turn with loving awareness toward difficult experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Next, we learn to turn that loving awareness toward ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

This offering is an intensive version of the 8-week, science based MSC program, developed by Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (www.ChrisGermer.com) and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org). This program fulfills the prerequisites for becoming an MSC teacher or participation in the SCIP (Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy) certificate program.

Please keep in mind that MSC is therapeutic, but it’s not therapy.  MSC is not a substitute for medical or mental health care.

What will I learn in an MSC Intensive?

MSC activities include short talks, experiential exercises, meditation, group discussion, and home practices.

Upon completing MSC, participants should be able to:


Motivate yourself with encouragement rather than self-criticism;


Relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance;


Respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness;


Transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation;


Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation;


Identify core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises for use in daily life;


Discuss simple self-compassion practices with patients, students, or clients;


Describe the theory and research supporting self-compassion;


Identify fierce and tender aspects of self-compassion and their role in well-being.

What does the research tell us about self-compassion?

Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is an inner strength that is strongly associated with emotional well-being, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. 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. Read the full-text article.

Who is MSC for?

This program is designed for members of the general public based on the values of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness. MSC is particularly helpful for:

  • those who would like to cultivate the capacity to comfort and soothe themselves and to motivate themselves with encouragement when they suffer, fail, or feel inadequate;
  • those who struggle with a strong inner critic or perfectionism;
  • those engaged in the care of others, like mental health and other healthcare professionals who wish to share self-compassion with their clients through their own embodiment of the practice.

Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!

Ways of learning MSC: The MSC Intensive

When considering which format of MSC you’d like to undertake, we encourage you to explore the variety of options available. The deep dive into self-compassion that happens at an Intensive is a unique opportunity to experience MSC’s transformative potential. Because 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, difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program, including past traumas. We view the intensive format as the most emotionally challenging format in which to learn MSC, so we urge careful consideration before enrolling.

MSC teachers are committed to helping participants feel safe and supported during the course. However, participants agree at the outset that they will take primary responsibility for their emotional wellbeing. If you are unsure, please contact CMSC for further discussion of the best fit for your particular circumstances.

To create an optimal learning experience, Intensives are only taught by Certified MSC Teachers (the highest level of teacher training available). All participants are encouraged to engage in the Intensive to the extent that they feel comfortable, and not more.

March 12 – 17, 2023

Sedona Mago Retreat Center

3500 E Bill Gray Rd,
Sedona, AZ 86336

Please contact [email protected] with any questions

Sedona, Arizona








Kristin Neff


Kristin Neff, Ph.D., is co-founder of CMSC and co-developer of MSC. She is Associate Professor in the Educational Psychology Dept. at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, being the first person to operationally define and measure the construct.  She has published widely including numerous academic articles, book chapters and the popular book Self-Compassion:  The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.  She is also Associate Editor at the journal Mindfulness.  Kristin’s work has received extensive media coverage, including the New York Times, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Scientific American, and Psychology Today.  Kristin is an MSC teacher trainer, and leads MSC intensives and workshops around the world.

Christopher Germer


Christopher Germer, Ph.D., is a co-developer of the MSC program and a co-founder of the Center for MSC. He is the author of the popular book, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, and co-author (with Kristin Neff) of the professional text, Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program, and a workbook, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. Chris is an MSC Teacher Trainer and leads MSC intensives and workshops around the world.

Chris is also a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. Chris has been integrating the principles and practices of meditation into psychotherapy since 1978. He has co-edited two influential volumes –Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy – and he is a founding faculty member of both the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. Chris maintains a small private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA, specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy.

Recommended Reading

The following book is highly recommended while participating in an MSC Intensive:
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer

It is also recommended, but not required, that participants read the following three books prior to the training:
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer
Fierce Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff

Continuing Education and Scholarships

Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided 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. (Please check with your local board to verify that APA approval is accepted.)

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided 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 CE Credit 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 CE Credit is accepted.)

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 28.75 contact hours. (Please contact your local board to see if California BRN CE hours are accepted.)

Fees for CE hours: $75   (Please purchase when you register.)

 For questions regarding Continuing Education, please contact Gail Stein at [email protected]


Scholarships – Supporting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Recognizing the societal importance of self-compassion training and the financial realities that many prospective participants (especially people from diverse and historically under-served communities) may face, the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion is pleased to offer scholarships to attend this Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive. CMSC is able to offer a limited number of partial scholarships, focused on applications from people of color and those who are members of historically marginalized or under-served communities, and those who wish to serve these populations and communities.
All scholarship applications are due by January 12, 2023. All applicants will be notified if they are awarded a scholarship by February 12. If you are interested in a scholarship, please complete this application form: Intensive Scholarship Application
Program fees


The Tuition fees include program fees and materials. All meals and snacks are included in the Accommodations fees, which are additional.

All fees are payable to the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion in USD.  There is a $200 non-refundable deposit due at registration.

  • Early-bird tuition, materials (through January 12, 2023):  $847
  • Standard tuition, materials (from January 13 – February 26, 2023):  $997
  • Late registration tuition, materials (February 27 – March 12, 2023): $1297

Registrations close on March 5, 2023

No refunds after February 12, 2023

Given the uncertainty imposed upon us all by the pandemic, there is a possibility that plans may need to change for this event. For this reason, we strongly advise you to refrain from making non-refundable travel arrangements until (at most) 60 days prior to the start of the event. We will keep you informed about any potential changes in plans in the meantime.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions.


Sedona Mago provides both private and shared rooms. Shared rooms reflect a per person rate and private is single occupancy. If you wish to room together with a family member or friend, please select the shared room option. If you are coming alone and register for a shared room, you will be assigned a roommate (of the same sex).  All rooms include private bathrooms.

Sedona Mago does not allow Commuter attendance, due to local County environmental impact laws. When you register please select one of the following options.

Accommodations pricing include lodging, meals, beverages and snacks.

  • Shared Rooms:  $1259 per person
  • Private Rooms:  $1514 per person

This event is a benefit for the non-profit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, which means that the teachers are donating all teaching fees to fund the operations of the organization.

Cancellation Policy

$200 Non-Refundable cancellation fee for tuition applicable at any time.

  • Your tuition payment (less the $200 non-refundable cancellation fee) will be refunded if we are notified by February 12, 2023 that you need to cancel your registration.
  • No refunds are available after February 12, 2023, 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.

All participants must provide a negative COVID test administered no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled arrival regardless of having the vaccination or not. At-Home Rapid Tests are accepted with Date and Timestamp. Sedona Mago may have rapid tests available onsite.  Any guests with COVID-like symptoms upon arrival will be asked to leave, and no refund will be awarded. Please see this page of the Sedona Mago Website for more information.

Given the uncertainty imposed upon us all by the pandemic, there is a possibility that plans may need to change for this event. For this reason, we strongly advise you to refrain from making non-refundable travel arrangements until (at most) 60 days prior to the start of the event. We will keep you informed about any potential changes in plans in the meantime.