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12-Week Live Online MSC Teacher Training

Steve Hickman and Dawn MacDonald

March 16, 2021 - June 3, 2021

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This Live Online Teacher Training (LOTT) is Step 1 of the Teacher Training Pathway and includes the following elements:

  1. A cohort of 24 trainees who have met all the usual pre-requisites for MSC Teacher Training, including: having taken the MSC course greater than six months prior to the training; having an established practice of mindfulness and compassion; and having completed a 5-day or longer teacher-led, silent residential meditation retreat. NOTE: No exceptions to these requirements will be made.
  2. Registrants will complete a Teacher Training application during the registration process that will also include an item or two addressing online learning and the registrants concerns or desires about this format of training.
  3. Upon acceptance into the training, all participants are required to purchase the Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program book and to read Part 1 of that book prior to the start of the training.
  4. Trainees must attend and participate in ALL scheduled sessions to successfully complete the program. Trainees who miss more than one session of the MSC course or the teacher training component may not be allowed to complete the training


 Training Sessions Include:
  1. Two initial introductory 3-hour sessions in the first week. 
  2. Nine-week, 3 hours per session MSC course (led by two Certified MSC teachers who are not the Teacher Trainers), with a one-week break in Week Eight of LOTT.
  3. Weekly “teachback” (practice teaching) sessions of 1.75 hours in groups of 12 held between each session of the online MSC program (each session led by one trainer as a sub-cohort with a mid-course re-assignment to new sub-cohorts). There are two Teachback sessions (in Week Six and Seven) that are 3 hours long.
  4. A final 3-hour wrap-up session to address next steps, nuts and bolts of teaching MSC and CMSC policies, procedures and ethical guidelines.
  5. All trainees who successfully complete the online teacher training (just like those who complete the traditional in-person training) will then be eligible to join a Teacher Training Practicum as the next step in their process toward becoming a Trained Teacher of MSC.

Teacher Training Objectives

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Develop and apply personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Describe current basic 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 and implement 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
  • Practice and demonstrate a mindful and compassionate embodied stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice
Continuing Education Credits

Continuing Education Credits will be offered for US certified psychologists, therapists and nurses. (Please see the list below for details.)

In order to receive CE credits, you must attend all the Teacher Training Sessions. No credit is given for partial attendance. You will also need to fill out the online Evaluation after the training completes. CE Certificates will be emailed about a month after the program completes.


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 32.0 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs:

This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 32.0 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 CE credit is accepted.


UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 38.25 contact hours.

Please submit the $75 USD fee when registering.

Please contact gail@centerformsc.org with any questions regarding CE credits.


Cancellation Policy

There is a $300 USD non-refundable deposit that is part of your application fee.

If you cancel by February 23, 2021 you will be refunded all monies paid except the $300 non-refundable application fee. Refunds may take up to 60 days to receive.

No refunds will be given after February 23, 2021.

CMSC is not responsible for any miscellaneous expenses incurred by trainees. Should this program be cancelled by CMSC for any reason, CMSC will refund all monies paid.

  1. Scheduling:

    Course runs for 12 weeks from
    March 16 to June 3. 

    All sessions start at Midnight UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). See Course Time Zone Schedule for details. See Time Zone Converstion section below for more details on determining your local time. 

    MSC Teachers for this cohort:
    Siri Chandler and Marcia Burton 

    The Schedule Consists of:

    1. 3-Hour MSC sessions on Tuesdays
    2. 1.75-Hour Teachback sessions on Thursdays (with a few exceptions – see table below)

    Registration Fees:
    $2195 (US) for the full program. Tuition fee includes a digital copy of the MSC Teacher Guide. Hard copy is available for purchase once you are a Teacher-in-Training.

    Application Process:

    1. Ensure you meet all the pre-requisites

    2. Register and make payment online

    3. Submit your online application form (provided after you register)

    4. CMSC will review your application and let you know whether you have been approved,  within 2 weeks of submitting your form.

    Space limited to 24 people. Early registration advised.

Time Zone Conversion and Course Time Zone Schedule

By virtue of being online, the LOTT draws trainees from all around the globe. Different regions and time zones may shift at different times during the 12-week LOTT. CMSC uses UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) to anchor the time for these programs. 

In order to determine your local time zone relative to the UTC start time for this course, please visit a time convertor site like World Time Buddychecking your time zone in correlation to the UTC time on the start date of the LOTT. 

Click here to view this LOTT Course Time Zone Schedule.  

Steve Hickman – Live Online Teacher Trainer

Steven Hickman, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine & Public Health. As Executive Director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, his role is to provide oversight, vision, direction and focus for the development and expansion of CMSC around the world. He is also the Director of Professional Training, overseeing the training of teachers from “start to finish” and assuring the highest quality standards and the best possible resources for teaching. Steve is the Founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. 

Dawn MacDonald – Live Online Teacher Trainer

Dawn MacDonald, MSW, RSW has been practicing and teaching mindfulness based interventions for decades. In 2010, after noticing a trend in health care providers to be incredibly self-critical, she invited Dr. Kristin Neff to share her research in a hospital Grand Round. Part of the first cohort of teachers trained in Mindful Self Compassion, Dawn continues to work towards co-creating the conditions to alleviate unnecessary suffering within and between ourselves and in the structures of our institutions. Dawn’s training in mindfulness-based interventions is extraordinarily broad and encompasses MBSR, Compassion Cultivation Training, Mindful Leadership, and, of course MSC. At present, Dawn is a trainer and a certified teacher with the CMSC. She is also Director of Patient Relations at the Grace Hospital and a doctoral student in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba.

Siri Chandler – Program Online MSC Teacher

Siri Chandler is an experienced Mindfulness educator – training educators, parents, athletes, corporations and students of all ages. Her genuineness, kindness and personal experience of the benefits of MSC and MBSR infuse her courses with a special personal touch. A dual Thai-American national, Siri currently lives in Pranburi, Thailand where she facilitates retreats, courses, and workshops in-person and online. As an enthusiastic life-long learner, Siri devotes her time to continuously deepening her own practice which she has been cultivating over the past 25 years. The skills and tools of mindfulness have helped her to cope with grief and difficult life challenges that have occurred during the past few years as well as cultivating joy and well-being. She is especially drawn to bringing mindfulness into daily life in a practical way and is enthusiastic to share this way of being with others.To learn more about her educational and teaching background, please visit: www.mindfulnessth.com/about

Marcia Burton – Program Online MSC Teacher

Marcia Burton has a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy, living in British Columbia, Canada. She maintains a private practice in counselling and supervision of counsellors. She is a Senior Trainer in Hakomi (a mindfulness-based, compassion-focused method of psychotherapy), and is a Certified MSC Teacher and Teacher Training Practicum Trainer. Marcia is a long-time practitioner of mindfulness and has been teaching mindfulness-based, compassion-focused methods for many years. She self-identifies as a “slow learner” and is delighted to consider herself a life-long student of MSC! She is grateful to have the opportunity to share the adventure of mindful self-compassion with others, and to support others to find their own authentic expression of MSC to enhance their lives. Marcia brings a combination of gentleness, compassion, humour and playfulness to her work.



March 16, 2021
June 3, 2021


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