Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T) Teacher Training

Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T) Teacher Training

The program formerly known as Making Friends With Yourself (MFY) Teacher Training

New! CMSC plans to offer a live online Teacher Training in this program starting in first quarter of 2022. To be notified when this training opens for registration, please complete this short interest form. For questions, please contact Marina Barnes, CMSC Program Director of Youth Services, at this email: marina@centerformsc.org.


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. The 10-Week MSC-T Teacher Training establishes a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public. To receive MSC-T Trained Teacher status, graduates (or Teachers-in-Training) of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MSC-T program through online group consultation offered through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on the CMSC website in a Directory of Trained MSC-T Teachers.  The process involves two steps:

Step 1: MSC-T Teacher Training

The MSC-T Teacher Training is an intensive, 10-week program facilitated by MSC-T teacher trainers, including the creators of the program, Karen Bluth, Ph.D. and Lorraine Hobbs, 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 following elements are included:

  • Two initial introductory 3-hour sessions in the first week. 
  • For a total of eight-weeks where each week consists of:
    ~ 2 hours per session MSC-T course (led by two experienced MSC-T teachers who are not the Teacher Trainers)
    ~ 2 hours “teachback” (practice teaching) in small groups led by the Teacher Trainers
  • A final 3-hour wrap-up session to address next steps, nuts and bolts of teaching MSC-T and CMSC policies, procedures, and ethical guidelines.

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

Target Audience This 10-week intensive 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
  • Ongoing daily sitting meditation practice
  • Completion of a 5-day or 8-week MSC course
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat. Some MSC silent retreats are listed here. However, the retreat does not need to be MSC-based in order to meet the requirement.
  • Experience working professionally with teens in an educational or clinical setting, preferably in groups.
  • Please note: You must allow at least 6 months to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning MSC-T Teacher Training.  This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey and give you time to embody the practices of MSC. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.

Upon completion of the 10-week MSC-T Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance stating they have attended the MSC-T Teacher Training in its entirety and can begin to teach MSC-T as a Teacher-in-Training. 

Step 2: Group Consultation Sessions (Zoom Sessions)

Graduates of the Teacher Training (Teachers-in-Training ), are required to register for 10 online group consultation Zoom sessions while teaching their first 8-week MSC-T program with a minimum of 6 participants. These Zoom sessions are 1 hour in length if more than 3 are registered, and 30 minutes in length if 1-3 students are registered. These sessions provide trainees with the essential support needed to teach MSC-T and maintain the integrity of the program. (Please note: These sessions have an additional total cost of $400 for ten sessions). Upon completion of the required consultation sessions, “trainees” receive the designation of “Trained Teacher” and can be listed on the CMSC website in a directory of Trained Teachers

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.

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, we offer a limited number of partial scholarships to attend MSC-T Teacher Training.

If you identify as a person of color, are a member of historically marginalized or underserved communities, or wish to actively serve these populations and communities, and would like to request a partial scholarship, please state this explicitly (and in some detail) on your application form and we will do our best to support you. 

Costs of Becoming a Trained MSC Teacher*

When considering the financial investment of becoming a trained MSC-T teacher, please bear in mind there are costs associated with each of the two training stages – the teacher training course and the consultation sessions.

You may also want to consider additional costs of meeting the standard prerequisites before being accepted onto the program, such as the 5 day intensive or 8 week MSC course. 

An estimated breakdown of costs of the teacher training pathway are outlined below:

  1. 10-Week Online Teacher Training – $1895 USD
  2. Zoom Consultation – $400 USD

*Scholarships are sometimes available to cover part of the tuition and/or accommodation fees, and can be applied for on the MSC Teacher Training Application after registration. 

Teaching MSC-T

The MSC-T program is led by two instructors. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. We know self-compassion can activate strong emotions and teens’ emotions can be unpredictable. It is important for teachers to be able to hold a safe container and support the group. We therefore recommend one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MSC-T teacher (in the instance that a second MSC-T teacher is not available), be a licensed mental health clinician.

How to Approach the Training Our ability to teach others depends largely on discovering the power of self-compassion in our own lives and embodying the practice.  Self-compassion thrives in an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to presence and compassion. The teacher training team is dedicated to creating such a learning atmosphere for all workshop participants and their future students. As many of you know, teens require authenticity and transparency; a strong practice of our own enables us to support the journey of these young minds and hearts with depth and wisdom.

Step 3: MSC-T Teacher Certification

CMSC intends to support MSC-T teachers in becoming Certified as the program further matures and develops, as Certification is an indication of teaching competence through mentorship and direct observation of teaching. However, Certification is currently not available yet. Please check back for updates on this process.

The Founders

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 MSC-T (The program formerly known as MFY): 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 MSC-T (The program formerly known as MFY) internationally.

Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.A., is Director of Family Programs at the UCSD San Diego Center for Mindfulness.  She is a family therapist and former clinical director of adolescent treatment programs. Lorraine is a certified MBSR teacher, a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher, and is certified in CCARE (Compassion Cultivation, Altruism, Research & Education), a program created by clinical psychologists and contemplative scholars at Stanford University. Lorraine offers mindfulness and compassion-based interventions to medical personnel and the community through the department of Integrative medicine and community-based hospitals in Indiana and Ohio. She teaches at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness and is an MBSR Mentor through the UCSD Professional Training Institute. During her tenure at the Center for Mindfulness, she developed and implemented curricula in mindfulness-based interventions for multiple age groups, including a program in mindful and compassionate parenting. She is a pioneer in self-compassion training for parents and teens and is co-creator of MSC-T (The program formerly known as MFY): A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens, adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion Program and endorsed by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. Lorraine provides teacher training in the MSC-T curriculum throughout the U.S. and internationally.  She is Director of the Youth and Family Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.


“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel as I begin to settle into this new, wide world of self-compassion for teens. Lorraine Hobbs and Karen Bluth wove together their two worlds to create a program that is fun, informative, engaging and transformative.” 

~Celedra Gildea, teacher training participant, San Diego (April 2016)  

“I, too, was one of the fortunate ones to participate in the first teacher training of Making Friends with Yourself (MFY). It was an absolute gift to see the beautiful sequencing of this material, as well as the heartfelt incorporation of so many of the key components of MSC. Karen and Lorraine’s work on this program demonstrates an exquisite example of the development of curriculum for a new population… I was touched to see the beautiful duo of Karen and Lorraine, as co-teachers/trainers they modeled genuine love and respect for each other and a deep trust and knowledge of the material. It is an exciting and hopeful time for MFY.”

~Michelle Bobowick, teacher training participant, San Diego (April 2016)
The reference to Making Friends with Yourself (MFY) refers to Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T).


*Please Note: As of September, 2021, the program formerly known as Making Friends with Yourself (MFY) was renamed to Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T). Testimonials dated earlier than September, 2021 will refer to Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T) as Making Friends with Yourself (MFY). 

Upcoming Teacher Trainings

No Course found
"The MSC trainings have softened my inner critic and strengthened my inner champion. I am less anxious about imperfection, and celebrate vulnerability as a strength to meet challenges with courage, to deepen my capacity for joy. The best part is I get to embody it and humbly offer it to others as an MSC Teacher!"