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Making Friends with Yourself Teacher Training - Whidbey Institute, Clinton , WA

Karen Bluth and Laura Prochnow Phillips

July 26, 2020 - August 1, 2020

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MSC-T TT at Whidbey is Cancelled due to current health concerns. 

The CMSC team is developing a Live Online MSC-T TT.  Please add your name to this form if you are interested.


Welcome to the journey of becoming an MSC-T teacher!

This journey requires a big heart and a passion for the well-being of teens.

Adolescence is a time of change and growth. It is the period of life reserved for rebellion and self-discovery, but as the demands in life increase for teens, this time is often fraught with confusion, anxiety or depression. For many teens these challenges lead to disconnection and isolation.

To support teens in coping more effectively with the ongoing challenges of their day-to-day life, Karen Bluth, Ph.D., and Lorraine Hobbs, M.A., co-created Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T), an empirically-supported, 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion in teens. It was adapted from the original Mindful Self-Compassion program for adults and is endorsed by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer.

MSC-T teaches core principles and practices that enable teens to respond to the challenges of these critical years with kindness and self-compassion.

The MSC-T Teacher Training program is intended for those who wish to teach the MSC-T program in an educational, clinical, or community setting.  

Participant Requirements

The prerequisites for taking the MSC-T Teacher Training are:

  • Established daily mindfulness and self-compassion practice,
  • Completion of a 5-day or 8-week MSC course,
  • Experience working with teens in an educational or clinical setting, preferably in groups.

Upon completion of the 6-day MSC-T Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance stating that he or she has attended the MSC-T TT in its entirety and can begin to teach MSC-T as a Teacher Trainee.

The process involves two steps:

Step 1: The MSC-T Teacher Training is an intensive, 6-day program facilitated by MSC-T teacher trainers Karen Bluth, Ph.D. and Laura Prochnow-Phillips, MA. The training is built around the eight weekly classes and includes opportunities to practice teaching in small groups, with the close consultation of the teacher trainers. The training also includes how to advise parents in supporting their teens throughout the program. After the training, participants will be provided with access to the essential materials to teach MSC-T through the PowerSchool Learning website.

Training Objectives

At the completion of the MSC-T Teacher Training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight sessions of MSC-T
  • Understand the rationale for the modifications made from the adult MSC program
  • Describe different ways of involving parents so that they can appropriately engage and support their teens in their practice
  • Identify obstacles for teens to learning mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming these obstacles
  • Deepen one’s understanding of key elements in teaching mindfulness and self-compassion practice to teens

Step 2: Group Consultation Sessions

Graduates of the Teacher Training (i.e. Teacher Trainees), are required to register for 10 group consultation sessions (i.e., Zoom sessions, which are 1 hour in length if more than 3 are registered, and 30 minutes in length if 1-3 students are registered) while teaching their first 8-week MSC-T program. (Note: These sessions have an additional total cost of $400 for ten sessions). This provides trainees with the essential support needed to teach MSC-T and maintain the integrity of the program. Upon completion of the required Zoom sessions, “trainees” receive the designation of “Trained Teacher” and can be listed on the Center for MSC website in a directory of Trained Teachers.

Please see this page on becoming a MSC-T Teacher for further details.



This program will be held at the beautiful and serene Whidbey Institute in Clinton, Washington.  Recognized as a home for transformational learning, Whidbey includes a 106 acre conservation forest with miles of trails though wetland, forest and meadow landscapes.  Click on this link for more information about Whidbey: https://whidbeyinstitute.org/

Whidbey Institute                                                                                                                                                                     
6449 Old Pietila Road
Clinton, WA 982365

Program begins with dinner on Sunday, July 26 at 6:00 PM and concludes at Noon on August 1. (Lunch on Saturday is included.)

Check-in Sunday, July 26 at 4:00 PM 

Check-out at 10:00 AM on Saturday, August 1.  (Luggage can be stored either in the back of the meeting hall or with the front desk until program concludes.)

Tentative Schedule

Day One
Registration: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Arrival: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
First Session: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Days Two-Six
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm -2:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Evening Session: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Day Seven
Session Ends: 12:00 noon


Karen Bluth, Ph.D. is faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Psychiatry and a certified instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion. She is co-creator of the curriculum Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens, the teen adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion for adults. She is also the author of The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are (New Harbinger). Dr. Bluth’s research focuses on the roles that self-compassion and mindfulness play in promoting well-being in youth. A new line of her research centers on the role of self-compassion in caregiving.  In addition, she is Associate Editor of the academic journal Mindfulness and co-editor of a special issue of the academic journal Self and Identity on self-compassion with Dr. Kristin Neff.

As a mindfulness practitioner for 40 years, a mindfulness teacher, and a lifelong educator with 18 years of classroom experience, Dr. Bluth frequently gives talks, conducts workshops, and teaches classes in self-compassion and mindfulness in educational and community settings. In addition, she trains teachers in Making Friends with Yourself internationally.

Laura Prochnow Phillips, MA is a certified mindful self-compassion teacher (adults) and a trained mindful-self-compassion teacher (teens) based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was trained through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and University of California – San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute by the creators of the MSC program for adults (Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer), and by the creators of the Making Friends with Yourself program for teens (Dr. Karen Bluth and Lorraine Hobbs, MA).

Laura has taught more than 30 classes to adults (MSC) and teens (MSC-T) primarily with her co-teacher, Dr. Karen Bluth, since 2015.  Together, Laura and Karen have witnessed the profoundly positive impact that mindful self-compassion can have on people of any age, freeing them from years of pain and suffering caused by harsh self-criticism.

Laura was introduced to mindful self-compassion through her work as a health, wellness, and lifestyle coach. She completed the Integrative Health Coach Professional Training at Duke Integrative Medicine and was in private practice for more than five years in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She now devotes her time to teaching mindful self-compassion skills to adults and teens in a variety of settings and formats, for the general public, specialized populations, and research studies. She is also available for lectures, talks, and workshops.

Recommended Reading

  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel, M.D.
  • The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time by Dzung Vo

 Program fees: 

The program fees include tuition and materials.  Accommodations (with meals and snacks) are a seperate fee. All fees are payable to the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion in USD. 


Early-bird tuition, materials (before May 26, 2020): $1495
Standard tuition, materials  (from May 26, 2020): $1695


Whidbey Institute provides both private and shared rooms. Shared rooms reflect a per person rate and private is single occupancy. If you wish to room together with a friend, please select the shared room option. If you are coming alone and register for a shared room, we will assign you a roommate (of the same sex).  None of the rooms have private restrooms.

Accommodations will be in the Farmhouse or Cabin Village.  See this link for more information on the accommodations: Whidbey Accommodations

Shared Rooms:  $998 per person;   Private Rooms:  $1190 per person

Scholarship Funds Supporting Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Recognizing the societal importance of self-compassion training and the financial realities that many prospective teachers (especially people from diverse and historically underserved communities) may face, the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to attend the Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens Teacher Training. Through the generosity of several donors, CMSC is able to offer a number of full and partial scholarships covering the registration fee, focused on applications from people of color and those who are members of historically marginalized or underserved communities, and those who wish to serve these populations and communities.

Scholarship applicants are asked to register for the training first (the initial deposit WILL be refundable for scholarship applicants who do not receive an award) and then complete this Teacher Training Scholarship Application Form.

All applicants will be notified whether or not their scholarship application has been successful 3 months prior to the course start date.


Continuing Education Credit:


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 hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs:

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. 32.0 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 APA accreditation meets their requirements.


UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 38.25 contact hours. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if California accreditation meets their requirements.

$75 fee for CEs. Sign-up and submit during registration.

Cancellation policy:

$300 Non-Refundable cancellation fee for tuition applicable at any time. 

Your tuition payment (less the $300 non-refundable cancellation fee) will be refunded if we are notified by June 26, 2020 that you need to cancel your registration. 

No refunds are available after June 26, 2020, except on compassionate grounds.

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.


July 26, 2020
August 1, 2020


Whidbey Institute
6449 Old Pietila Road
Clinton, WA 98236
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