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12-Week Live Online MSC Teacher Training

Steve Hickman and Anna Friis

August 11, 2020 - October 29, 2020

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 CMSC is Happy to Announce a New Format for Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training
Live Online Teacher Training is a 12-Week program built around the eight weekly sessions of MSC. 
To find out more about the benefits of teaching in this format, and how it differs from the traditional residential model, please refer to the main Live Online Teacher Training Page.

This online training is the first step in a three-step process towards becoming a fully trained MSC teacher authorized to teach the standard in-person, 8-week MSC course. For more information about the MSC teacher training pathway, including pre-requisites and the steps in the training pathway, please view this page on Becoming an MSC Teacher.

Training Sessions Include:
  1. Two initial introductory 3-hour sessions (led by three trainers) in the first week
  2. Nine-week, 3 hours per session MSC course (led by one trainer), with a one-week break after Session 4 to accommodate an additional large group meeting with all three trainers (to address conceptual issues and questions as well as to provide feedback on the training itself) This course will be recorded for the use of the trainers only.
  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)
  4. A final 3-hour wrap-up session to address next steps, nuts and bolts of teaching MSC and final evaluation of the program.
  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.

Training in an Online Format

Online learning is not for everybody. Some people thrive in an online environment and others don’t.  Everybody is different. Please ask yourself, honestly, if you feel you can be as present and embodied in the online environment as you might be when you are physically present with someone. In this teacher training, we will be providing multiple opportunities for trainees to interact with one another, even more than in the regular teacher training, but some people might have a deeper and more comfortable learning experience when they are with others in person. Kindly reflect on your own learning needs before applying for this training.

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.

Cancellation Policy

There is a $300 USD non-refundable deposit and application fee.

If you cancel by July 28, 2020 you will be refunded all monies paid except the $300 non-refundable application fee.

No refunds will be given after July 28, 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

    The training begins on August 11 and ends on October 29.

    There are two sessions each week for 12 weeks. All sessions start at 12pm Pacific Time / 1900 UTC.

    The schedule consists of:

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

    Registration Fees

    $2195 (US) for the full program.

    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 25 people. Early registration advised.



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. 

Anna Friis – Live Online Teacher Trainer

Anna Friis, PhD, is a certified MSC Teacher and a psychologist in private practise in Auckland, New Zealand. She specialises in mindfulness and compassion-based therapy. She has had a life-long devotion to ashtanga yoga, a form of moving meditation which provided the foundation for her evolution as a practitioner and teacher of MSC. Anna previously had a substantial career as the director of a public relations company specialising in crisis management, a challenging environment in which the practise of equanimity proved essential to the health and wellbeing of both herself and her clients. Her corporate life provided the inspiration for a Master’s degree investigating the effects of stress and meditation on the autonomic nervous system. Her subsequent doctoral research demonstrated the psychological and physiological effects of self-compassion training, effectively reducing biological markers of stress among people living with diabetes. The results of these studies have been published as peer-reviewed journal articles, contributing to the scientific understanding of the mind-body effects of self-compassion and the MSC programme. Her current practise is “unbusying” which she describes as an orientation towards a more spacious, present-focussed life and a daily opportunity to practise more yang self-compassion.

Mara Elwood – Program Online MSC Teacher

Info coming soon.

Marcia Burton – Program Online MSC Teacher

Marcia Burton is a Certified MSC Teacher, a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a Senior Hakomi Trainer.  She brings a combination of gentleness, compassion, humour and playfulness to her work. Marcia lives on Salt Spring Island, Canada, and enjoys kayaking, gardening, and walking with her dog on the beach.


August 11, 2020
October 29, 2020


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