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Vietnam: Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive, Ho Chi Minh City , Viet Nam

Steve Hickman and Cassondra Graff

March 2, 2019 - March 10, 2019

| $2280

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Are you passionate about emotional well-being and would like to learn more about the combined skills of mindfulness and self-compassion? Do you wish to cultivate self-compassion skills for daily life? Have you dreamed of immersing yourself in a unique culture in Africa or Asia and engaging deeply with local and international colleagues? Would you like to be part of helping local clinicians and professionals to experience more of MSC and to support them in learning to share the program and the practices with the people most in need of it in their community?

CMSC and GEI invite professionals and students interested in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) to join a unique training retreat. International delegations travel to a developing country in Africa or Asia to engage with local professionals and enjoy an MSC intensive course. Every person who signs up to attend, will allow two local people to also participate in the program, thereby meeting the main pre-requisite for attending MSC Teacher Training in the future. 2018 destinations include Vietnam and Kenya.

Please see this page for more information about the location, teachers and program partners: Globally Engaged MSC Intensives


  • Learn to practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life.
  • Understand the current scientific research underlying the skill and attitude of self-compassion.
  • Gain invaluable intercultural competence relevant to your profession.
  • Share your knowledge and gain cultural insight through a unique African or Asian perspective on emotional wellbeing.
  • Benefit from the professional exchange with other participants and local colleagues.
  • Support the inclusion of local clinicians and individuals in the program, in order to actively enhance MSC skills in other cultures.
  • Add your personal piece to a growing global network of professionals and benefit from its connections.
  • Explore an exciting destination in a meaningful way and immerse yourself in the culture of your hosts, while supporting the local community.


Program Background

The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) was originally founded in 2012 in the USA by the developers of MSC, Christopher Germer, PhD, and Kristin Neff, PhD. CMSC is an international nonprofit organization – a vibrant center for the learning, teaching and practice of self-compassion worldwide. CMSC’s vision is to contribute to a more compassionate world through cultivating deep understanding and personal practice of self-compassion. We believe that mindfulness and self-compassion are basic human capacities that can be cultivated to support well-being and reduce suffering in the world. We want to cultivate an inclusive, caring and multi-cultural community that allows individuals to thrive, and foster a professional global community in service of self-compassion and compassion.

Mindful Self-Compassion can be learned – more correctly, remembered – by anyone.
It is one essential foundation of emotional healing – being aware in the present moment when we’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress (mindfulness) and responding with kindness and understanding (self-compassion), aware that all human beings experience similar emotions and that we are all interconnected in this (common humanity). Mindful self-compassion also means holding difficult emotions – fear, anger, sadness, shame and self- doubt – and ourselves, in loving awareness, leading to greater ease and well- being in our daily lives. It’s the practice of cultivating an attitude of good will toward ourselves, cultivating the same desire that all living beings wish to live happily and free from suffering.

MSC Intensive is an intensive format of the full eight-session MSC curriculum, usually consisting of an introductory evening, four full days of training, and a final morning of training and closing. Intensives are primarily taught by Certified MSC teachers who have completed additional MSC teacher training. It is a deep dive into the practice of self-compassion. While it can be emotionally challenging, this concentrated practice allows you to immerse yourself very deeply and experience its transformative potential. Attendance at the MSC Intensive satisfies a pre-requisite to ultimately attend MSC Teacher Training and become a teacher of the program. 

Steven Hickman, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine & Public Health. As Executive Director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, Dr. Hickman’s 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 Founder and Executive Director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. He has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for 15 years and has trained teachers of MBSR, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and is an MSC Teacher Trainer as well. He leads MSC intensive and workshops around the world. 

Cassondra Graff is a Certified Instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She holds a Certificate of Competence in Teaching MBSR, Proficient/Advanced via MBI TAC, from Bangor University. She is the Speakers Bureau Manager at UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Cassondra received her Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York and is a licensed psychotherapist in California. Cassondra’s work as a mental health professional transformed over the years, becoming mindfulness and compassion based to the point that she now no longer offers traditional therapy or what might be recognized as therapy at all. She believes that her current approach is much more powerful and effective. Cassondra now lives in Arizona, pioneering new territory locally and on a global scale. Cassondra teaches and speaks about mindfulness and compassion to a wide range of audiences, including those in healthcare, education, relationships, the workplace, and the general public. When asked why she does this work, she replied “I cannot not do this work. It is tied to the way I live, truths I cannot deny. It is a joy to witness us humans discover our own strengths and capacities, and in this, become more alive and thrive!


Typical Program Itinerary

Day 1           Personal welcome at the airport | welcome dinner

Day 2           Program briefing | exploration of the city and the host culture

Days 3-6     MSC intensive training for participants and local colleagues

Days 7-8     Cultural highlight: Exploration of the Mekong Delta

Day 9           Day at own disposal | personal farewell at the airport (or start of an optional post-program extension)


Register Here

Location:  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Venue:  CK Central Hotel, 92 – 94 Ly Tu Trong, Dist. 1  GK Central Hotel

Itinerary:  Training retreat begins with a welcome dinner at 5:00 pm on March 2, 2019, and ends at 12:00 pm on March 10.  Included is a group exploration of  Ho Chi Minh City, time for personal explorations and an overnight excursion to the Mekong Delta. (There is an optional extension to Angkor Wat, Cambodia from March 10-13, 2019.)

Please see this link for a downloadable training program and optional extension itinerary:  Vietnam MSC Program Overview

Please see this link for information regarding Health and Safety:  Health and Safety

Please see this page for more information about the location, teachers and program partners: Globally Engaged MSC Intensives

Contact us with any further questions.

Continuing Education Credits 

    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.

CE Fees are $75: To be directly billed and collected by the Center for MSC at a later date.

Scholarships are not available for this program.  However, every person who signs up to attend will allow two local people to also participate in the program, thereby allowing them to meet the main pre-requisites for attending an MSC Teacher Training in the future.

Recommended reading:


Registrations and payments will be made through GEI. To further support this global outreach in countries with limited financial resources, our MSC teachers will not be accepting honorarium for the their teaching of the MSC Intensives.

US$ 2,280 Double Occupancy

US$ 2,455 Single Occupancy

Optional (See flyer for details): Angkor Wat Extension (Siem Reap, Cambodia) US$700 (Double Occupancy) or US$805 (Single Occupancy)

The following in-country arrangements are included in the experience:

  • All accommodation in shared mid-range hotel rooms (single rooms available at an additional cost)
  • All in-country transportation for the delegation, including airport arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals, as specified in the itinerary, each including one locally produced soda or mineral water
  • Admission to all activities, as specified in the itinerary
  • MSC intensive course
  • Mineral water available during transportation
  • Full-time local delegation management and guiding
  • 24/7 emergency support from our local program office

Not included are the international transport (flights, airport taxes, etc.), visas, travel and medical insurance, selected meals,
alcoholic and additional nonalcoholic drinks, personal expenses, and other extras.

Accommodations can also be made for early arrival/ late departure, and private airport transfer for both the main program and the optional extension.

Contact us with any further questions.

Contact[email protected] for questions directly related to GEI.

Register Here


Payment Details:

Registration and payments will be made through GEI.

US$500 non-refundable deposit payment at time of registration.

Payment of the remainder not later than 60 days before the start of the program. Otherwise your registration will be cancelled and you will not be allowed to attend.

Refund Policy:

  • 45 or more days prior to the start of the program:  80% of the price is refundable (less the $500 non-refundable deposit)
  • 44-15 days prior to the start of the program:  50% of price is refundable (less the $500 non-refundable deposit)
  • 14 or less days prior to the start of the program:  0% of price is refundable.

In the unlikely event that the course is canceled, GEI is responsible only for the program fees (tuition and accommodations as listed on the itinerary) and not for international transport, visas, additional hotel accommodations, travel or medical insurance,  meals other than stated on the itinerary, personal expenses or any other travel related miscellaneous expenses.

GEI’s general Terms and Conditions apply to this program: GEI Terms and Conditions


March 2, 2019
March 10, 2019


GK Central Hotel
92 - 94 Ly Tu Trong, Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
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