Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is a training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of leading American Psychologists, Dr Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Dr Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.
This course will support you in learning to:
Practice self-compassion in daily life
Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion
Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
Transform challenging relationships, old and new
Manage caregiver fatigue
Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation
What to expect
The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Programme activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is a workshop rather than a retreat. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
MSC is primarily a compassion training programme rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.
MSC includes nine weekly sessions of three hours each. Prior to registering, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day throughout the programme.
Anyone can join this course. People who have previously done the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme will find Mindful Self-Compassion a further development to their practice.
Dr Caroline Hoffman OAM, PhD, RN, BSW is Clinical and Research Director of Breast Cancer Haven. Caroline has been teaching and researching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses since 2004. She trained to teach MBSR with Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues in the USA. Caroline has a PhD in mindfulness from the University of Southampton. She trained to teach Mindful Self-Compassion with Kristin Neff in 2016 and is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher with the USA based Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Through this centre, she also teaches live online courses. Caroline is passionate about helping us all live happier lives from a place of kindness and ease.
Jonathan Ward is a Courage Coach and Daring Way™ Facilitator having trained with Dr Mark Atkinson and Dr Brené Brown. He runs workshops on courage and vulnerability and facilitates a weekly group called Remarkable Men. He trained to teach Mindful Self-Compassion in 2019 and teaches the mindful self-compassion practices both with individuals and in his groups. Jonathan believes that the most courageous journey we make is the one from our head to our heart and that with self-compassion we can find the support and care for ourselves along the sometimes bumpy path of this brave journey.
Registration: Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7384 0007
or 07572 637 588 to apply to attend the course. (Our centre phone number is 020 7384 0099).
Location: Breast Cancer Haven, Colet House, 151 Talgarth Road, London W14 9DA. This is around the corner from Barons Court tube station.
Cost: £300 including all tuition and course materials. No one will be turned away on financial grounds, concessions are available. Please feel free to contact Caroline with any queries.
If you cannot get to a course, then there are live online courses centerformsc.org/lomsc/ that Caroline will be teaching starting in April.