Program Adaptation Incubator Extends the Reach of MSC Program

By Susan Swearingen and Steve Hickman

CMSC is passionate about creating an even broader reach of self-compassion and having a greater positive impact on individuals and society. As CMSC co-founder Chris Germer has said, “the future of MSC is in adaptations” and the Program Adaptation Incubator (PAI) project was formed to support that vision of extending the reach and influence of self-compassion practice to more people, populations and settings.

As part of CMSC’s strategic growth plan, the organization has identified five specific populations where we are supporting the development of adaptations; teens, men, classroom teachers, healthcare professionals, and a number of clinical populations. 

In support of these adaptations contemplated by skilled and talented MSC teachers, we have formed the PAI to be an open fertile space for those interested in exploring and pursuing adapted programs. These sessions are for sharing ideas, providing mutual support and encouragement, networking, and brainstorming. 

A key intention of the PAI is to also identify the needs of adapters and to identify the CMSC resources that might help support and further those efforts. Some of the most adept and wise MSC teachers, who have expertise in working with special populations or settings, face tremendous challenges when faced with the somewhat daunting task for developing a new curriculum, empirically testing it, disseminating it and training people to teach it. The PAI aims to help these people overcome the obstacles and develop robust and effective programs that touch hearts, relieve suffering and change lives.

Working collaboratively with program adapters, the CMSC PAI aims to pave the way for the future success of these adaptations through sharing CMSC resources like marketing, research, business planning, dissemination and training. For example, the last session featured a presentation on the newly developed “Self-Compassion for Healthcare Communities (SCHC)” six-week program. Krista Gregory, Natalie Bell and Phoebe Long shared their journey in working with Kristin Neff to develop, test, research and implement the SCHC curriculum. 

Attendees learned some of the pitfalls they encountered, what they learned in the process, the research results, and they also gained some tips on the challenges of adapting a solid program like MSC. Attendees engaged in an open dialogue with questions and insights from other teachers with similar experiences that resulted in helpful feedback for the developers and new connections across the community of MSC teachers.  “I was so very inspired by Krista, Phoebe, and  Natalie, and have just signed up for their training. I found the meeting really supportive in terms of my own research because elements of their research over the last 3.5 years mirrors some of my own experiences and challenges of my own research.” shared Kate Diggory, PhD candidate who has applied MSC to her program iCare-Caring for Carers with Self Compassion.

The PAI space is dedicated to learning within the MSC teaching community to encourage mutual support in the evolution of self-compassion in the world. The PAI welcomes anyone that would like to get insight into how to go about adapting the MSC program, gathering feedback from this diverse and talented group of teachers on your adaptation work, and connecting across the global MSC network. 

You’re welcome to listen to the last meeting recording and if you’d like to be included on future meeting invitations or have any questions, please contact Susan Swearingen, PAI Manager.

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