Making Friends With Yourself (MFY) Teacher Training

Making Friends With Yourself (MFY) Teacher Training


New! CMSC plans to offer a live online Teacher Training in this program starting in October 2021. To be notified when this training opens for registration, please complete this short interest form.

Welcome to the journey of becoming an MFY teacher!

This journey requires a big heart and a passion for the well-being of teens.

The 6-day MFY Teacher Training establishes a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public. To receive MFY Trained Teacher status, graduates of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MFY program through online group consultation offered through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on theCMSC website in a Directory of Trained MFY Teachers. 

The process involves two steps:

Step 1: The MFY Teacher Training is an intensive, 6-day program facilitated by MFY 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 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 MFY through the PowerSchool Learning website.

Training Objectives

At the completion of the MFY Teacher Training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight sessions of MFY
  • 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 6-day intensive is intended for those who wish to teach the MFY program in an educational, clinical, or community setting.

Participant Requirements

The prerequisites for taking the MFY Teacher Training are:

  • Established daily mindfulness and self-compassion practice,
  • Completion of a 5-day or 8-week MSC course,
  • Experience working with teens in an educational or clinical setting, preferably in groups.

Upon completion of the 6-day MFY Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance stating that they have attended the MFY TT in its entirety and can begin to teach MFY as a Teacher Trainee.

“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)

Step 2: Group Consultation Sessions (Zoom sessions)

Graduates of the Teacher Training (i.e. Teacher Trainees), are required to register for 10 online group consultation sessions (i.e., Zoom sessions, which are 1 hour in length if more than 3 are registered, and 30 minutes in length if 1-3 students are registered) while teaching their first 8-week MFY program. (Note: These sessions have an additional total cost of $400 for ten sessions). This provides trainees with the essential support needed to teach MFY and maintain the integrity of the program. 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.

Teaching MFY

The MFY 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 MFY teacher (in the instance that a second MFY 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 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.

“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)

Step 3: MFY Teacher Certification

CMSC intends to support MFY 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 Making Friends with Yourself: 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 Making Friends with Yourself 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 Making Friends with Yourself: 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 MFY curriculum throughout the U.S. and internationally.  She is Director of the Youth and Family Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.


Upcoming Teacher Trainings

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"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!"