Teacher Training

Welcome to the journey of becoming an MSC-Teens 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.

The foundation for teaching MSC is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have an ongoing, daily practice. The teacher training pathway is designed for those who wish to teach the full 8-Week MSC-T 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.).

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 the Teacher-In-Training completes their online mentoring consultations, and teaches their first MSC-T program, they will be granted Trained Teacher status. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on the CMSC website in a Directory of MSC-T Trained Teachers. The process involves three steps.

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.

Fulfilling the Required Prerequisites

The required prerequisites for taking the MSC-T 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, 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive or 10-week Live Online MSC (LOMSC).
  • Minimum 6-month gap required between completing MSC-T and starting Teacher Training.
  • Attendance in a least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat
  • Experience working with teens in an education or clinical setting, preferably in groups

Step 1

Teacher Training Course

Teacher Training course, in either the 6-Day Residential or 10-Week Live Online (LOTT) format.

Step 2

Group Consultation Sessions

Teachers-in-Training are required to register for 10 online group consultation Zoom sessions

Step 3

MSC-T Teacher Certification

CMSC intends to support MSC-T teachers in becoming Certified as the program further matures and develops

Step 1

MSC-T Teacher Training Course

Duration / Format: Residential – 6 Days or Live Online – 10 Weeks

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 trainers are 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.

The Teacher Training course is offered in two formats – residential and live online. Sessions include:

  • Condensed, experiential review of each of the MSC-T 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

Residential MSC-T Teacher Training

Cost: $1695 USD (early bird) 1895 (standard) USD (not including room and board)

Residential MSC-T 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.

❖ 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

❖ CEU credits may be available, please check individual course details

❖ Scholarships may be available, please check individual course details

Live Online MSC-T Teacher Training

Cost: $1845 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. 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.

❖ Partial scholarship funding available.

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.

Training Objectives

At the completion of this activity, participants should 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
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies to overcome them
  • Deepen one’s understanding of key elements in teaching mindfulness and self-compassion practice to teens
Participant Requirements

The prerequisites for taking the MSC-T Teacher Training 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, 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive or 10-week Live Online MSC (LOMSC).
  • Minimum 6-month gap required between completing MSC-T and starting Teacher Training.
  • Attendance in a least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups
  • Experience working with teens in an education or clinical setting, preferably in groups

Step 2

Group Consultation Sessions while Co-Teaching your First MSC-T Course

Duration / Format: Live Online – 10 sessions

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 that self-compassion can activate strong emotions and that 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 that 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.

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. Unlike the Teacher Training 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-T 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-T curriculum and not be a modification or adaptation of the curriculum.


Cost: $500 USD ($275 for low-income countries)

❖ 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

I, too, was one of the fortunate ones to participate in the first teacher training of MSC-T. 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 MSC-T.

Michelle Bobowick

Teacher Training Participant

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.

Upcoming MSC-T Teacher Training Courses



September 2022



September 26 and 28, ends December 7

MSC-T Teacher Trainers:
Deidre Hughes and Eileen Beltzner

MSC-T Teachers:
Lea Christo and Marina Barnes

The Research

Several research studies demonstrating the positive outcomes of MSC-T have been published. In the first pilot study (Bluth et al.., 2016), findings indicated decreases in depression, anxiety, stress, and negative affect after a 6-session class. Findings in the second pilot study (Bluth & Eisenlohr-Moul, 2017) demonstrated decreases in stress, and increases in resilience, positive risk-taking (willingness to take on new challenges) and gratitude after the course was over. Further, a within-person analysis indicated that increases in mindfulness and self-compassion were associated – and therefore likely responsible – for the decreases in depressive symptoms and stress; additionally, increases in mindfulness were associated with decreases in anxiety and increases in self-compassion were associated with increases in positive risk-taking and resilience. Another study published in 2021 by Donovan, Bluth, Scott, Mohammed, and Cousineau demonstrated that MSC-T was feasible when taught to students on a college campus, and that perceived stress decreased from pre- to post-program. Most recently, Bluth and colleagues published a study in 2022 in which MSC-T was taught to transgender and gender-expansive teens. Findings demonstrated that anxiety and depression decreased significantly from pre- to post-program, and self-compassion, mindfulness, life satisfaction and resilience improved significantly over this time. Furthermore, at three months follow-up, significant improvements were observed in factors related to suicidal thoughts. Read more about the study with transgender teens here and here.

MSC-T Teacher Trainers

Marina Barnes

Marina Barnes has a strong interest in helping teens build the foundation of emotional well-being through a strength based lens. She is a Trained Teacher for Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (the program formerly known as Making Friends with Yourself); a Mindful Schools Certified Instructor; and a Nonviolent Communication (aka Compassionate Communication) practitioner. Marina is the Wellness Center Coordinator at Saratoga High School in Northern California. Here, she supports students by listening to their struggles and then offering them self-care strategies which include mindfulness and mindful self-compassion practices. Marina also works with student groups in community outreach and supporting student initiatives for improving the school’s climate and culture through the Sources of Strength program. 

Eileen Beltzner

Eileen is a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher, a Making Friends with Yourself MSC Teacher for Youth, a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher for Healthcare Communities, a MSC Mentor, and a Senior Faculty Member at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, Canada. Initially trained as a Special Care Counsellor, receiving this designation from Vanier College in Montreal, Canada, Eileen worked for 25 years with parents and children with a variety of special needs; and developed state of the art programs, both nationally and internationally, for the parents and professionals working with them.

She received her Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier in 1998 and since that time has worked in hospitals, community organizations and in private practice as a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist. As such, she gained valuable clinical experience and expertise working with people from all walks of life, facing and overcoming struggles that are part of the human condition. Eileen’s adventure into MSC began as a professional interest in 2010 and became personal in 2012. Thanks to the MSC teachings her favourite line is and continues to be from peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh, “No Mud … No Lotus.

Eileen teaches the 8-week MSC program, the 5-day in-person MSC Intensive, and a variety of MSC workshops for adults, parents and youth. Currently, Eileen is teaching two MSC training program online; MSC for adults and MFY for young people.

Her most recent book, “How to How to Tame the Tumbles the Mindful Self-Compassionate Way” (2019), introduces parent(s) with young people, between the ages of 7 to 10, to child-sized MSC concepts and practices. For more information about Eileen please go to:

Skip Hudson

Skip Hudson has a wide variety of formal training and experience that allow him to successfully provide social and emotional teaching, as well as a variety of other life-skill related training. He spent over 30 years as an engineer, which provided a platform for scientific and logical exploration of self and of organizations. He also practiced and taught meditation during that same period. Skip has practical experience as a business owner and president of a non-profit. He has over 16 years of youth and young adult mentoring experience in a wide variety of settings, both group and individual.

Skip’s mentoring experience revealed that all people have limited training in dealing with social and emotional issues. He is passionate about guiding people and organizations to being at ease.

Skip has two qualifications related to Mindful Self-Compassion:
Trained Teacher of “Mindful Self-Compassion”
Trained Teacher of “Making Friends with Yourself” (Teen MSC)

Skip is also the author of Matt the Flying Rat, an early ready book conveying messages for youth related to self-belief, resiliency, and focus.

Deidre Hughes

Deidre Hughes (M.A., M.S. Ed.) specializes in leading adults, young adults, and adolescents to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion practices into their daily lives. She is a Trained Teacher for Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) as well as Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T). She is also a Trained Teacher of Project Wayfinder, a program launched at Stanford University’s, which guides participants through contemplative and reflective practices that foster a mindset founded upon meaning and purpose. Deidre has certifications from the International Mindfulness Teachers Association and Mindful Schools. She holds a tenured position at Fullerton College where she coordinates the college’s mindfulness program and teaches mindfulness courses. She also offers mindfulness and self-compassion programs at University of California, Irvine Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute.

Laila Narsi

Laila Narsi, LCSW, CMMT, CMT-P, is the Co-Coordinator for the CMSC Circles of Practice Public Offering as well as a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher receiving her training directly from founders Drs. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer in 2014. Since receiving her Master’s in Social Work in 1997, her passion to provide sound and effective mental health services led her to create The Mindful Self, which is a center for Trauma Informed Psychotherapy as well as Mindfulness and Self-Compassion offerings. Laila a is Certified in EMDR Therapy and is an EMDR Approved Consultant where she specializes in PTSD, Complex trauma, Stress, Mood disorders, and Anxiety.

Laila’s journey in meditation started in childhood where she was mentored by her parents who nurtured a family meditation and movement practice. Since college, she has travelled around the world working with several teachers cultivating her interests in mindfulness, diversity, cultural studies, human rights, and international arts. Laila has also accompanied Dr. Germer in Kenya bringing MSC to other trauma specialists. She returned there a couple of years later to co-teach a Making Friends With Yourself (MSC for Teens) intensive course. In addition, she has been directly trained and mentored by Drs. Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Sharon Salzberg, and Steve Hickman. For more information, please visit Laila’s website at

Lisa Shetler

Lisa is a registered Clinical Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency (AHPRA) and accredited psychology supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia. Having worked extensively across both the private and public health sectors, Lisa works with children, adolescents and families with complex difficulties. She also provides clinical supervision and consultation to other mental health clinicians and schools. She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Adelaide in the field of Child Psychology, an accredited teacher of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for Teens and the Circle of Security Parenting Program. Lisa’s vision for FLOW is to ensure that young people and their families have timely and affordable access to a coordinated, multi-disciplinary team of highly trained clinicians and receive exceptional care. Her goal as a therapist is to ease people’s suffering and improve quality of life. Outside of work, Lisa and her husband provide foster care to newborn babies and young kiddos in need of a safe and loving home.

Oori Silberstein

Oori Silberstein has been a life long student of what makes us happier and more at ease. He has practiced Yoga in high school and Tai Chi in college, and then forgot most of the lessons they taught him for many years. The anxiety he experienced in the business world led him to mediation and Mindfulness in 1999 which changed his life. He quit the business world in 2007 and committed himself to supporting and teaching others. Oori teaches meditation, mindfulness and self-kindness to adults and teenagers. His style is light and playful, and is informed by the belief that we are all whole and have the innate capacity for deep contentment and happiness, but we sometimes need some support accessing it. He has a background in Somatic Experiencing trauma support, hospice work, grief support and has worked and taught in schools and hospitals. He is trained as a Chaplain and is an ordained Buddhist minister. Oori is also interested in sharing mindfulness, self-compassion and meditation to populations that do not currently have easy access to such trainings, by supporting those communities and their members in their own move towards self-reliance and empowerment. He lives with his wife and dog in the mountains of eastern Washington state, and spends his play time split between the great outdoors and his music studio.

Dominique Sullivan

Dominique Sullivan B.B.A, B.Ed , M.Ed is a certified Mindful Self Compassion instructor and teacher trainer. She is a school librarian in Canada by day and supports teens online by night. She is the Zen Librarian! In her early twenties, she struggled with stress and anxiety. Over the last 19 years, Dominique’s quest for wellness has brought her to a place of calm and joy that she wishes to share with others.
As a teacher-librarian, she offers professional development to educators about the power of self compassion for students and staff. School communities need science based solutions for our modern world. Rates of anxiety and depression are on the rise and Mindful Self Compassion for teens can provide strategies to support wellness. Contact Dominique Sullivan by email [email protected] or visit for more information.

Karen Bluth

Dr. Karen Bluth is faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and a research fellow at the University of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, where she conducts research on self-compassion and its influences on the emotional wellbeing of teens. Dr. Bluth is a certified instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion, co-creator of curriculum Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (formerly known as Making Friends with Yourself), Embracing Your Life, the adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion for young adults, and one of the creators of Self-Compassion for Educators, a self-compassion program offered through Mindful Schools. Dr. Bluth is author of the books “The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are”, “The Self-Compassionate Teen: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice”, co-author of “Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for Teen ADHD: Build Executive Functioning Skills, Increase Motivation, and Improve Self-Confidence” (New Harbinger Publishers), and the soon-to-be-released Audible Original “Helping Girls Learn Self-Compassion: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Coaches”.

As a mindfulness practitioner for over 40 years, a mindfulness teacher, and an educator with 18 years of classroom teaching 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 Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens internationally.

Jamie Lynn Tatera

Jamie Lynn Tatera (M.S.) is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher as well as a Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens instructor. She has taught in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has years of experience as a classroom teacher. Jamie Lynn teaches mindfulness holistically and is a certified yoga instructor with specialized training in the therapeutic benefits of yoga for adults and children. She is an author, instructor and teacher trainer of the Self-Compassion for Children and Caregivers curriculum. Jamie Lynn specializes in teaching multi-generational self-compassion as well as training clinicians and educators to teach self-compassion to children.

Jamie Lynn’s playful nature and authentic ability to share her own stumbling blocks and growth on the path to self-compassion make her an effective teacher of both parent-child and parent-teen self-compassion classes. When Jamie Lynn is not teaching, she enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, and hanging out with her family (including her own teenage daughter). Learn more about Jamie Lynn’s work with adults, children, teens and families by visiting or emailing her at [email protected]

Marta Alonso

Marta Alonso is Licensed Clinical Psychologist specialized in mindfulness and compassion treatments and European Expert in Psychotherapy by the EFPA having obtained Europsy certification. She is MSC Teacher Trainer and Mentor and the first certified teacher in the Spanish language. She has taught more than 40 MSC courses, which she introduced in Spain. She is a founding member of the Spanish Association of Mindfulness and Compassion and has been its president until 2017, and is currently a member of the honorary council.

Lorraine M. Hobbs

Lorraine M. Hobbs is the Founding Director of the Youth, Family & School-Based Programs at the University of California, San Diego Center for Mindfulness. During her tenure at the Center, she has developed and implemented curricula in mindfulness for multiple age groups and a course in Mindful & Compassionate Parenting. As a family therapist and former clinical director of adolescent treatment programs, her concern for the adverse effects of stress on the social and emotional development of teens led to pioneering work in the area of self-compassion for teens. She is co-author of Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens & Young Adults, adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion Program and endorsed by Kristen Neff, Ph.D. & Chris Germer, Ph.D. She is certified to teach MBSR (Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction), MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion), and CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training), an 8 week program created by clinical psychologists and contemplative scholars at Stanford University. Lorraine is co-director of the Mindfulness for Adolescents Certification Program. She also consults with educators on integrating mindfulness and compassion-based programs in schools and offers workshops & public talks in the community.