This offering is an intensive version of the empirically-supported 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. It was developed by Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org) and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org). This program fulfills a prerequisite for becoming a MSC teacher.
MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.
Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion. Self-compassion involves the capacity to comfort and soothe ourselves, and to motivate ourselves with encouragement, when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. Self-compassion is learned in part by connecting with our innate compassion for others, and self-compassion also helps to grow and sustain our compassion for others.
Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. It is an inner strength that enables us to be more fully human—to acknowledge our shortcomings, learn from them, and make necessary changes with an attitude of kindness and self-respect.
Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those of us who did not learn these skills as children.
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:
This program is designed for members of the general public. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!
Program activities include short talks, experiential exercises, meditation, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is an opportunity to explore how we typically respond when difficulties arise in our lives and to learn tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves.
The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. 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, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. MSC teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.
MSC is therapeutic but it’s not therapy. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources to meet emotional challenges, old and new. MSC is also not primarily a type of mindfulness training; MSC is mindfulness-based compassion training in which the quality of warmth is emphasized more than awareness itself.
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. For the full-text article, please click here (PDF).
Venue and Schedule
This course is being managed by CMSC and held at the beautiful Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, Maryland. Please see the Pearlstone website for more information about the venue. Please click on this link for directions and travel information. And here to preview the accomodations. Please do not contact Pearlstone about accommodations. Please email [email protected] with questions, or leave a message at 512-790-2672 and we’ll get back within 48 hours.
The course begins with dinner at 6:00 pm on Sunday, March 17, 2019 and ends at approximately 12:00 pm on Friday, March 22, 2019. You may stay for lunch on Friday.
Approximate Course Times:
Sunday: 7:30-9:00 pm
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 2:30– 6:00 pm
Friday: 9:00–12:00 pm
There will be optional sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. And optional morning meditations daily – time TBA.
This course will have 100 participants.
This 5 Day Intensive will be Kristin Neff’s only Intensive in the US though 2019.
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.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: 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. 24.0 contact hours 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.
Social Workers: This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886771645-3069) for 24 continuing education contact hours. Some States do not accept this approval. Please contact your local board if you are unsure.
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 CE hours are accepted.
Fees for CE hours: $75 (Submit when registering)
There are a limited number of scholarships available for this program. CMSC is especially committed to providing access to participants of color and members of other underserved groups and we prioritize scholarship applications of these individuals. If you are interested in a scholarship please email [email protected]. All Scholarships for this program have been awarded.
Highly recommended while participating in the MSC course:
It is recommended, but not required, that participants read the following two books before participating in MSC:
The tuition and accommodation fees for the course are payable to the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Please do not contact Pearlstone about accommodations. Please email [email protected] with questions, or leave a message at 512-790-2672 and we’ll get back within 48 hours.
Earlybird tuition and materials (before January 17, 2019): $845
Standard tuition and materials (from January 17, 2019): $945
Accommodation Choices & Fees (Includes 6% sales tax and 2.4% lodging tax):
$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 16, 2019 that you need to cancel your registration.
No refunds are available after February 16, 2019, except on compassionate grounds. Accommodations will not be refunded after February 16 under any circumstances.
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.
Christopher Germer is a co-founder of CMSC and co-developer of MSC. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in mindfulness- and compassion-based treatment. He has been integrating the principles and practices of meditation into psychotherapy since 1978. He is a lecturer on psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and a founding faculty member of both the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance. Chris has co-edited two influential volumes –Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy – and is author of the popular book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. Chris is an MSC teacher trainer, and leads MSC intensives and workshops around the world.
Dr. Germer currently divides his time evenly between clinical practice and teaching/writing. He is a co-director of the annual Harvard Medical School “Meditation and Psychotherapy” conference. Dr. Germer is a committed student of insight meditation (vipassana) through the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. His main clinical interest is the need for self-compassion, in addition to mindfulness, to manage intense and difficult emotions. Toward that end, Dr. Germer and Dr. Kristin Neff (University of Texas) have co-developed the 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion program which is currently being taught around the world.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D. is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, being the first one to operationally define and measure the construct over a decade ago. In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed an eight-week program to teach self-compassion skills in daily life, co-created with her colleague Dr. Chris Germer, called Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). Her book, Self-Compassion, was published by William Morrow in April, 2011.