Self-Compassion for Shame Course

Welcome to the Self-Compassion for Shame (SC – Shame) Course! This new program has been developed by Dr. Chris Germer along with a team of senior MSC teachers. All developers of SC-Shame are on the team supporting this training—Natalie Bell, David Fredrickson, Cassondra Graff and Laila Narsi.

Shame is everywhere. Shame can occur when we feel judged by others or when we judge ourselves. It can happen when we do something wrong and when we’re entirely innocent of wrongdoing. Whenever we feel bad about ourselves, for whatever reason, there is a touch of shame.

Shame is our most difficult human emotion. Shame makes us go small, go silent or go away. Ironically, shame itself is not the problem. The problem is that there’s often no one home to work with shame.

Shame is also one of our deepest emotions. It invisibly shapes our personalities as we grow into adulthood and it prevents us from being fully ourselves with others.

  • What would happen if you were able to care for yourself when you felt shame, rather than being immobilized by fear, attacking yourself, or zoning out?
  • How would your life be different if you could meet shame with compassion and stay connected, think in a balanced way, and make wise, healthy choices?

Chris Germer and the teacher/development team are committed to creating a positive learning environment in which you, and each part of you, feels welcome just as you are.

Shame strikes at the core of our being, but has nothing to do with who we really are.

Chris Germer

About the Course

Self-compassion is the antidote to shame. In this course, we’ll take a unique, non-pathological look at shame through the eyes of self-compassion.

After learning about the theory and research on shame, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the personal and cultural causes of shame in your own life within the context of self-compassion.

Special topics include:

  • Self-criticism
  • Body shame 
  • Self-forgiveness
  • Social justice 

Course Structure:

  • An 8-week course with 24 hours of training—16 hours of class time with 8 hours of practice in small groups.
  • Classes occur weekly for 2 hours each, with talks, exercises, meditation and group discussion
  • Small practice groups are also weekly, 1 hour each, facilitated by members of the development team
  • Additionally, members of the BIPOC and LGBQIAP2S+ communities are invited to participate in affinity groups during the course.
  • Class size: 75-100 participants.

Course Objectives:

At the completion of this activity, participants will begin to:

  1. Summarize the theory and research on shame and self-compassion
  2. Describe how self-compassion is an antidote to shame – the 3 paradoxes of shame
  3. Identify personal childhood and cultural disconnections that lead to shame
  4. Apply new self-compassion practices to relieve the burden of shame
  5. Alleviate body shame with compassion
  6. Direct self-compassion to hidden parts of ourselves
  7. Disengage from habitual self-criticism by cultivating self-compassion
  8. Take positive action to live with less shame in daily life

Participants will be invited to view reading material and informational videos before each class so that our precious class time can be saved for meditations, exercises and group sharing. Classes are 2 hours long, however one session will be a 3-hour online retreat.

Practice Groups

Self-compassion is best learned in community, especially when addressing shame.

Practice groups are a key component of the 8-week course to help participants deepen what they learn and integrate it into their daily life.

You will be asked to sign up for one of the following weekly practice groups and we will do our best to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

  • Mondays, 8-9 am  PT
  • Mondays, 4-5 pm PT
  • Mondays, 5-6 pm  PT
  • Tuesdays, 4-5 pm PT
  • Fridays 9-10 am PT

Affinity groups (optional, additional practice groups offered):


Who Should Attend

This course is open to anyone who has completed the full MSC Course, for example the 8-week program, LOMSC and the 5-Day intensive.    

SC-Shame is a resource-building program, just like the MSC program itself, rather than psychotherapy. However, since we will be touching shame with self-compassion, challenging emotions may arise. The teaching team is committed to co-creating, along with the course participants, a safe and rewarding learning experience.

This course is also open to professionals, such as psychotherapists, mindfulness teachers and educators, who wish to bring fresh insights and skills for working with shame into their work activities.

If you are an MSC Teacher and interested in teaching this course in the future, there will be a prerequisite that you attend the SC-Shame course as a participant.

Fees & Scholarships


  • $695 Supporter Fee
  • $595 General Registration Fee


Scholarships Recognizing the social value of self-compassion and the financial realities that many prospective participants may face, the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion is pleased to offer a number partial scholarships supporting diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging. The scholarships are focused on applications from people of color and those who are members of historically marginalized or under-served communities, especially those who wish to serve these populations and communities.

You can apply for a scholarship using this Scholarship Application.  Places will be offered in  the order application forms are received. Places are confirmed once payment has been made. (Please note that scholarships are based on personal financial need, separate from being financially over-extended or over-committed.)

Continuing Education for Participants in the US

Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 22.0 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 22.0 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 26.75 CE credit.

Cancellation Policy

For any cancellation request, please contact [email protected].

Please review our full refund policy here.

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