Are you interested in teaching the MSC curriculum?
There are several Prerequisites to meet before being accepted into the teacher training course and you are encouraged to carefully consider whether you meet these prerequisites before you apply. Once accepted into the teacher training program, you will complete several steps to become a Trained MSC Teacher, eligible to teach the standard MSC course. After teaching a minimum of 3 MSC courses, you can apply to start the process of becoming a fully Certified MSC Teacher eligible to teach approved MSC adaptations, in addition to the standard MSC course.
Current Open Applications
Supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion welcomes applications from people from diverse backgrounds and is committed to creating diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in all of its training programs. Read about scholarships for people of color, historically marginalized and underserved communities.
The foundation for teaching MSC is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have an ongoing, daily practice. Becoming an MSC teacher is a wholehearted endeavor and a rich experience for those who choose to embark on this path. The teacher training pathway is designed for those who wish to teach the full 8-Week MSC course as well as those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion into their ongoing professional activities (i.e., psychotherapy, coaching, nursing, teaching, etc.) and individuals who have a professional interest in the field (i.e., researchers, administrators, etc.).
Fulfilling the Required Prerequisites
The required prerequisites for taking the MSC Teacher Training course are:
- Established daily mindfulness practice of at least two years
- Ongoing, daily, sitting meditation practice
- Ongoing practice of loving-kindness and self-compassion in daily life
- Previous participation in an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course or a 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive.
- Minimum 6-month gap required between completing MSC and starting Teacher Training.
- This gives you time to embody the practices of MSC and to reflect on whether embarking on the teaching training journey is the right path for you.
- Attendance in a least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat.
- Some MSC silent retreats will be available throughout the year, sign up to our email newsletter to know when, however the retreat does not need to be MSC-based in order to meet the requirement. While an in-person silent retreat is preferred, online silent retreats run by well-established retreat centers and reputable teachers may also count toward this prerequisite, subject to the discretion of the Center for MSC. Open Retreats listed here.
- All the prerequisites are mandatory and no exemptions will be granted.
Becoming a Trained MSC Teacher Overview
Step 1: Teacher Training Course
Teacher Training course, in either the 6-Day Residential or 12-Week Live Online (LOTT) format.
Step 2: Teacher Training Practicum
10-Week Teacher Training Practicum.
Step 3: Group Consultation Sessions
10 Online Group Consultation Sessions while co-teaching your first MSC course. Sign Up Here.
Step 1 – Teacher Training Course
- Duration / Format: Residential – 6 Days or Live Online – 12 Weeks
- Cost: $1720 (early bird) $1920 (standard) USD
Step 2 – Teacher Training Practicum
- Duration / Format: Live Online – 10 Weeks
- Cost: $1095
The TTP is step 2 of Becoming a Trained Teacher. It is an opportunity for a group of up to 16 teachers-in-training to practice their new-found teaching skills in a safe, structured, online environment facilitated by two Certified MSC Teachers/TTP Trainers. Each week focuses on a single MSC session and all trainees come prepared to teach each session in its entirety just as you would prepare a whole class if you were teaching your own group. Please note that this represents a considerable time investment! Trainees are then assigned to lead the various practices, topics and exercises of that session, with periods of feedback and discussion – so no one trainee will be teaching the entire class, usually at most just one piece each session but preparing the whole class is invaluable learning and preparation for becoming an MSC Teacher and is an integral part of the Practicum training.
The TTP provides new teachers with a “laboratory” to find their own voices and to continue to practice what they learned during the Residential/Live Online Teacher Training course, with time between each session to review, prepare and reflect on the process of teaching MSC. Once you begin the Teacher Training program, you will be provided with a link to register for the Teacher Training Practicum of your choice.
- 10 weekly sessions, 2.5 hours each
- Total contact time: 25 hours
- CEU credits are not available
- Choose from a range of dates once you are enrolled on a Teacher Training Program.
- Partial scholarship funding available
Step 3 – Group Online Consultation Sessions while Co-Teaching your First MSC Course
- Duration / Format: Live Online – 10 Weeks
- Cost: $500 USD
- 10 weekly sessions, 1 hour each
- Total contact time: 10 hours
- CEU credits are NOT available
- Multiple slots offered weekly, sign up any time before or during your first teaching experience.
While co-teaching your first 8-week course, teachers-in-training must enroll in a series of ten, group consultation sessions. There are up to 6 teachers-in-training per session, facilitated by a Teacher Trainer or Senior MSC Teacher. Unlike the Teacher Training and the TTP where you are in the same cohort throughout, attendees in the consultation sessions will vary week-to-week and you can expect to hear from a variety of experiences and stages of teaching.
To be eligible to apply for Trained Teacher status after completing this step, the following is required:
- Your MSC course must have at least 8 registered participants.
- You must have a co-teacher or assistant, very few exceptions are granted.
- You should be co-teaching at least 50% of the course.
- Your course must follow the MSC curriculum and not be a modification or adaptation of the curriculum.
Apply for Trained Teacher status
Once you have completed the Prerequisites and the 3 steps of Becoming a Trained Teacher, outlined above, you can apply for Trained MSC Teacher status. You will receive a certificate and be listed as a Trained Teacher on the MSC course directory.
Teacher Training Course Objectives
- Develop and apply personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
- Describe current basic theory and research on self-compassion
- Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
- Develop and implement the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience, and facilitate group cohesion
- Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies to overcome them
- Practice and demonstrate a mindful embodied stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice
Teacher Training Reading List
Required References (no need to read ahead of time):
- On Becoming a MSC Teacher: A Mountaineer’s Guide to Building the Resource of Mindful Self-Compassion by Christine Braehler, Steven D. Hickman, and Christopher Germer
- Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals by Christopher Germer & Kristin Neff
- The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer
- Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher Germer
- Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David Treleaven
- Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy by Christopher Germer and Ronald Siegel
- Mindfulness and Psychotherapy – Second Edition by Christopher Germer, Ronald Siegel and Paul Fulton
- The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert
- The Mindfulness Solution by Ronald Siegel
- Self-Compassion: Step by Step. CD set by Kristin Neff
Continuing Education Credits
This information pertains to Live Online Teacher Training only. If you are interested in CEUs for Residential Teacher Training please check with the host organization directly.
In order to receive CE credits, you must apply for CE’s before the course starts, attend all the Teacher Training Sessions. No credit is given for partial attendance. You will also need to fill out the online Evaluation after the training completes. CE Certificates will be emailed about a month after the program completes.
- 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 32.0 hours of credit.
- California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: 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. 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.
- Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 38.25 contact hours.
- You may pay for the CE’s if available for your LOTT upon registration after application is approved.
- Please contact Laura Stein, [email protected], Continuing Education Coordinator with any questions regarding CE credits.
International Partners and Teacher Trainers
MSC has been in development since 2010 and Teacher Training started in the USA and Europe in 2014. In addition to hosting MSC Teacher Trainings in the US and online, the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion coordinates teacher training programs around the world through a network of worldwide host organizations including:
- Arbor Seminars in Freiburg, Germany
- De Mindfulness Academie, Amsterdam , the Netherlands
- Sussex Mindfulness Centre in the UK
- GlobalC Mindfulness y Compasión Training Institute in Spain
- Center for Mindfulness Sweden in Sweden
- MSC-Formation in France
- Institute of Korean Meditation and Psychotherapy (IKMP) in Korea
- Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore
- Hailan Family and Wellbeing in China
The Teacher Training Course is built around the eight weekly sessions of the standard 8-Week MSC course and is facilitated by a team of senior MSC Trainers, who will provide participants with the essential materials for teaching the standard 8-Week MSC Course.Your application will be reviewed by the Teacher Trainers and upon approval you will be accepted into the program.
The Teacher Training course is offered in two formats – residential and live online. Sessions include:
- 6 full days and 5 nights
- Start time is generally 3pm on day one and ends after lunch on day 6.
- $300 non-refundable registration fee is included*
- CE credits may be available, please check individual course details
- Scholarships may be available, please check individual course details
- Condensed, experiential review of each of the 8 MSC sessions
- “Teachback” sessions to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion
- Short talks, group exercises, discussion and periods of silence
- Close consultation with the Teacher Trainers
- Full attendance is required to successfully complete the program and move to the next step, although accommodations may be made in exceptional situations.
*Please review our refund policy here.
Residential Teacher Training
Cost: $1695 (early bird) $1895 (standard) USD (not including room and board)
Residential Teacher Training is an intensive course held at a retreat venue. Staying on site is typically required to avoid disruption, enhance group cohesion and deepen the experience.
Live Online Teacher Training
Cost: $1720 (early bird) $1920 (standard) USD
Live Online Teacher Training provides a more intimate, personalized experience with more contact between trainees and trainers and more time to practice and process learning between sessions.
- 1 session per week over 12 weeks
- Sessions are 3 hours per week
- $300 non-refundable registration fee included*
- CEU credits are available
- Partial scholarship funding available.
*Please review our refund policy here.
Becoming a Certified MSC Teacher
Certification is verification of a teacher’s competence whereas the designation of Trained Teacher simply recognizes that a person has completed the MSC teacher training. Certification is highly recommended for those who continue to teach on an ongoing basis. While both Trained and Certified Teachers can teach the standard MSC course, only Certified Teachers are eligible to teach approved adaptations such as MSC Intensives, Retreats and Core Skills workshops.
Fulfilling the Prerequisites
The prerequisites before starting your journey toward MSC Teacher Certification are:
- Trained MSC Teacher status
- Taught at least 3 MSC courses in the standard 8-Week MSC format
- Submit video footage of either session 4 or 5 of a recent MSC course
Step 1 – Collaborative Assessment with Mentor
Start by contacting a Mentor and organizing the Collaborative Assessment. A list of MSC Mentors is provided on this page.
The Collaborative Assessment consists of 3 sessions:
- An orientation session with your Mentor
- Mentor reviews video on their own (see Prerequisites)
- Mentor and Mentee create a Mentorship Plan.
- The minimum duration of a Mentorship Plan is fourteen individual mentorship sessions. This includes three sessions for the Collaborative Assessment process and eleven sessions over the course of teaching at least two MSC courses(see step 3 for details).
At this point a decision is made regarding the applicant’s readiness for certification
Step 2 – Enroll in the Certification Program
Once you have completed your Collaborative Assessment and Mentorship Plan with your Mentor, the next step is to enroll with the University of California San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (UCSD-MBPTI).
Step 3 – Individual Mentorship while teaching MSC
You are required to teach two consecutive MSC courses while meeting regularly with your Mentor to complete your Mentorship Plan. Mentees are expected to record all MSC classes during the mentorship process. The Mentorship Plan may include more sessions at the discretion of the Mentor.
Step 4 – Finalize your Certification
Upon completing these requirements, you will submit a formal letter of application for Teacher Certification to the UCSD-MBPTI Teacher Qualification and Certification Committee. Your Mentor will also submit a letter of recommendation at this time. Your request will be reviewed by the Committee and upon approval, you will be issued with a letter confirming you have satisfied all the necessary modules for Teacher Certification status and you will be awarded a certificate acknowledging your Certified MSC Teacher status.
Please note, MSC Teacher Certification is managed through the University of San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (UCSD-MBPTI) . For more information please visit the UCSD website here.