CMSC Blog

Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals

“Wise and heartfelt, visionary and thorough, this guide is a rich and practical treasure. The work of Germer and Neff is an invaluable gift for our times.”

– Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

Six years in the making, a comprehensive textbook describing the MSC program will finally be released in August.

This is the authoritative guide to conducting the MSC, which provides powerful tools for coping with life challenges and enhancing emotional well-being. MSC codevelopers Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff review relevant theory and research and describe the program’s unique pedagogy. Readers are taken step by step through facilitating each of the eight sessions and the accompanying full-day retreat. Detailed vignettes illustrate not only how to teach the course’s didactic and experiential content, but also how to engage with participants, manage group processes, and overcome common obstacles. The final section of the book describes how to integrate self-compassion into psychotherapy. Purchasers get access to a companion website with downloadable audio recordings of the guided meditations.

Note: This book is not intended to replace formal training for teaching the MSC program.

Curious to learn more? Read the complete interview with Kristin and Chris about the co-creation of this authoritative guide for teaching MSC.

Table of Contents

PART I
Self-Compassion:
Theory, Research and Training

  1. An Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion
  2. What is Self-Compassion?
  3. The Science of Self-Compassion
  4. Teaching Self-Compassion

PART II
On Teaching
Mindful Self-Compassion

  1. Understanding the Curriculum
  2. Teaching Topics and Guiding Practices
  3. Being a Compassionate Teacher
  4. Facilitating Group Process
  5. Engaging in Inquiry

PART III
Session-by-Session

  1. Session 1 – Discovering Mindful Self-Compassion
  2. Session 2 – Practicing Mindfulness
  3. Session 3 – Practicing Loving-Kindness
  4. Session 4 – Discovering Your Compassionate Voice
  5. Session 5 – Living Deeply
  6. Retreat
  7. Session 6 – Meeting Difficult Emotions
  8. Session 7 – Exploring Challenging Relationships
  9. Session 8 – Embracing Your Life

PART IV
Integrating Self-Compassion into Psychotherapy

  1. MSC and Psychotherapy
  2. Special Issues in Therapy

Appendices

  1. Ethical Guidelines
  2. Companion Reading
  3. Resources

References

Index

Endorsements

“This outstanding, inspiring book comprehensively draws together the impressive body of work on the MSC program. The book is deeply personal–the authors share their motivations and process as they embarked on this work–and also offers a big vision for the potential of the practice of self-compassion across cultures, ages, and contexts. The authors ground the writing in a clear overview of the current research evidence. At the heart of the book is crystal-clear guidance on the content and process of MSC. It is an invaluable guide and companion for MSC teachers as well as other professionals who are integrating self-compassion practices in their work.”

–Rebecca Crane, PhD
Director, Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, United Kingdom

“Our world is crying out for compassion. But compassionate action presupposes self-compassion–an attitude we urgently need to learn, an attitude that can indeed be taught. In this pioneering work, Germer and Neff describe how to teach self-compassion step by step. Professionals who want to introduce self-compassion to their clients to enhance their psychological resilience and emotional well-being will find this book a rich resource.”

–Brother David Steindl-Rast
Cofounder, www.gratefulness.org

“Over the past decade, Germer and Neff have spearheaded a revolution that has spread rapidly around the globe. MSC teaches us to extend compassion to ourselves–instead of simply mindfully witnessing–which can create parallel ripples in how we treat one another. This book describes the tools and techniques that Germer and Neff have developed to teach MSC. I urge you to learn about this approach and join Germer and Neff in helping people change how they relate to themselves.”

–Richard C. Schwartz, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance

“The innovative approach to self-compassion training pioneered by Neff and Germer is internationally recognized for helping people learn to be kinder to themselves. MSC has set countless people free from the tyranny of hostile self-criticism; consequently, there has been a growing need to understand how to teach the program. Based on years of experience and research, this clearly written, step-by-step book outlines the central features and focus of MSC. It is full of insightful and practical guidance, and will be a source of wisdom for all interested in how to help people bring more compassion to themselves and others.”

–Paul Gilbert, PhD, FBPsS, OBE
Centre for Compassion Research and Training, University of Derby, United Kingdom

“Years of refinement have gone into making MSC the preeminent self-compassion training program, and now its creators have given us a great gift–a text that helps the professional develop an MSC program from the ground up. The book brings us up to speed on the theory and science of self-compassion, guides us through the nuances of teaching it, and presents a detailed session-by-session outline. This well-written resource is essential reading for any helping professional interested in teaching self-compassion.”

–Russell L. Kolts, PhD Department of Psychology, Eastern Washington University

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