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12-Week Live Online MSC Teacher Training

Steve Hickman and David Spound

June 23, 2020 - September 15, 2020

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CMSC is happy to announce this new, online format for MSC 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.

Please contact gail@centerformsc.org if you have any questions about CE credits.



  1. Scheduling

    The training begins on June 23 and ends on September 8.

    There are two sessions each week for 12 weeks. All sessions start at 4pm Pacific Time.

    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

    Please ensure you meet all the pre-requisites and then submit your application form.

    The application deadline is May 24 midnight PDT.

    CMSC will review your application. If approved, you will be invited to register and submit your payment online. 

Click Here to Apply


12-Week Training 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.


David Spound – Live Online Teacher Trainer

David Spound, M.Ed., is a certified teacher and teacher trainer of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). David trained in MSC at the USCD Center for Mindfulness where he continues to serve as a teacher trainer and mentor for new teachers of both MSC and MBSR. David also works with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion on programs that include silent meditation retreats, online teacher training and mentoring, online continuing education for MSC graduates, and self-compassion workshops for men. David trained and served as a staff member at the UMass Center for Mindfulness (founded by MBSR developer Jon Kabat-Zinn) where he taught MBSR and coordinated the MBSR teacher training and certification program.David is also the founder and director of Valley Mindfulness in Northampton, MA. 


Dawn MacDonald – Program Online MSC Teacher

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.

Michael McIntyre – Program Online MSC Teacher

Mike McIntyre received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, was a post-doc in neuropsychology at Cornell, and has taught for many years at the University of Winnipeg. He founded and led the Functional Neuroimaging Program at Canada’s National Research Council. Research on pain and analgesia  led him to examine the importance of attention, emotion, and self-compassion to well-being. He loves undergraduate teaching and his university course “Mind, Brain, and, Body” has introduced hundreds of students to the vital connections between well-being and health. At present he is studying the consequences of mindfulness and compassion in health care providers.  He teaches, with great satisfaction, Mindful Self-Compassion and believes ardently in self-compassion’s centrality to health and well-being. He has often remarked: “it is difficult to think of a definition of mental health that doesn’t include the ability to be kind to yourself.” In fact, Mike, who lives with a serious chronic illness, credits self-compassion as being critical to his recovery from a period of quadriplegia. 


June 23, 2020
September 15, 2020





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