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12-Week Live Online MSC Teacher Training

Steve Hickman and Tina Gibson

January 11, 2021 - March 31, 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 [email protected] 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 December 21, 2020 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 December 21, 2020.

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
    January 11 to March 31. 

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

    MSC Teachers for this cohort:
    Ben Weinstein and Cassondra Graff

    The Schedule Consists of:

    1. 3-Hour MSC sessions on Mondays
    2. 1.75-Hour Teachback sessions on Wednesdays (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. 

Tina Gibson – Live Online Teacher Trainer

Tina is a certified MSC Teacher and teacher trainer. Based in Australia, she traveled to America, as part of the first MSC teacher training, and has been teaching with enthusiasm across Australia ever since. Tina has years of experience teaching Mindfulness, having facilitated programs within Women’s Health, the Education System, Cancer Support and the general community. Her MSC has also included programs specifically for Health Professionals and for young women. Tina practices what she teaches, bringing warmth, honesty, courage and humour to MSC in her life and her teaching. She has a sound knowledge of health and education stemming from training and working in roles such as; Paramedic, Health Care Worker, Rehabilitation Counsellor, Kinesiologist and Health Educator. Some of her current passions are bringing MSC to children and MSC for enhancing creativity.

Megan Prager – Program Online Teacher Trainer

Megan is Compassion Programs Director at UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness and Co-Founder of Mindful Labs. She is a Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor (MBSR), a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Instructor (MSC), a Certified Compassion Cultivation Instructor (CCT), and an Adjunct Faculty member at San Diego State University. In addition to teaching programs, she is a Mentor and Teacher Trainer for various Mindfulness-based programs, and specializes in developing and delivering mindfulness and compassion trainings for Fortune 500 companies as well as for educational, healthcare, and academic settings. Megan found MSC in her own moments of difficulty and anxiety, and each day feels grateful for the support of her own practice and teachers. Nothing brings her greater joy than exploring and sharing the practices of compassion with others.


Seongwangsnim Song – Program Online Teacher Trainer

Seongwangsnim is a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Instructor and Teacher Trainer in Seoul Korea. She is also a Teacher Trainer for the Making Friends With Yourself (MFY) course for teens. Her focus is in helping participants experience a spiritual process and transformation from her teachings. Seongwangsnim teaches Buddhist psychology and Zen therapy at the Dongguk University and Institute of Korean Meditation and Psychotherapy .

Ben Weinstein – Program Online MSC Teacher

Ben is a clinical psychologist based in Thailand who has been living and working as an expatriate since 2003.  With more than 20 years experience as a therapist, university lecturer and trainer, Ben works to support the personal and professional development of others; he is really enthusiastic about the enormous transformative potential of mindfulness and self-compassion as practical, concrete pathways for personal growth and healing. Ben has been practicing and teaching mindfulness since 2007. He attended the MSC program in 2016 and is now a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher. He teaches the MSC program in English and in Thai.  In addition to being a therapist and lecturer, Ben is frequently involved in providing trainings for corporate and humanitarian clients on resilience, adjusting to change, and managing uncertainty.  When not practicing psychotherapy, he volunteers his time to support urban asylum seekers and refugees in Bangkok and helps organize mindfulness retreats and trainings for Thai healthcare professionals.  Ben holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Cassondra Graff – Program Online MSC Teacher

Cassondra is a Certified Instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She holds a Certificate of Competence in Teaching MBSR, Proficient/Advanced via MBI TAC, from Bangor University. Cassondra taught at the University of California at San Diego Center for Mindfulness and is the founder of the Speakers Bureau. She teaches MBSR for a long-range National Institutes of Health (NIH) research study through UCSD evaluating the potential benefits of mindfulness in the senior aging process. Cassondra works closely with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) and has developed the role of Participant Support Person (PSP) creating ethical, inclusive and compassionate guidelines to serve participants of the MSC program. She received her Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York and is a licensed psychotherapist in California. Cassondra’s work as a mental health professional transformed over the years, becoming mindfulness and compassion based. She offers Mindfulness and Compassion Training in the USA and worldwide, and is currently based in Arizona.


January 11, 2021
March 31, 2021


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