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August 30, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC-8

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Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. But 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.

This intensive version of the empirically supported Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program provides clear, warm guidance about how to cultivate 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.

MSC is designed for members of the general public. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • describe the theory and research supporting Mindful Self-compassion
  • motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
  • relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
  • respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation
  • practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation
  • integrate core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into daily life
  • teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients

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. It is comprised of mindfulness, self-kindness, and community.

Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those of us who did not learn these skills as children.



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.

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).

  • MSC is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

It is an intensive training program rather than a retreat or a vacation. Program activities include short talks, experiential exercises, meditation, group discussion, and home practices. 


The course begins with dinner at 6:00 pm on Sunday, December 8, 2019 and ends by 12:00 pm on Friday, December 13.

Sunday:  8:00-9:30 pm
Monday – Thursday:  9:15 am-12:45 pm
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday:  2:45– 6:15 pm
Friday:  9:30–12:00 pm

There may be optional sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  And there may be optional morning meditations daily. 

  • 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 APA accreditation meets their requirement.
  • Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 28.75 contact hours.
  • Social Workers:  Re-approval pending by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886771645-2718) for 24 continuing education contact hours. Some States do not accept this approval. Please contact your local board if you are unsure.
  • Fees for APA CE credits: $75  (CE credits will be opened-up for purchase a few months before the start of the program.  An email will be sent when they are available, or please check back in September.)

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 events@centerformsc.org


Highly recommended while participating in the MSC course (but not necessary to read in advance):

It is recommended, but not required, that participants read the following two books before participating in MSC:

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August 30, 2019
8:00 am - 5:00 pm




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