Becoming an MSC Teacher

Becoming an MSC Teacher

Many people feel grateful for the profound effect of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) in their lives and wish to share it with others.

The foundation for teaching MSC to others is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have a daily, personal practice.  Prospective teachers are supported by CMSC through every step in the journey to becoming a trained or certified teacher of MSC or MFY (the teen adaptation of MSC). MSC teachers are often deeply moved by the transformation of their participants and honored to share in this transformation. Some say teaching self-compassion makes their personal practice even deeper and more meaningful, and feels like a natural extension of self-compassion into the world.

There are 3 designations of MSC teachers:

Teacher In Training | Trained MSC Teacher | Certified MSC Teacher

Teacher in Training

The first step toward becoming a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Teacher is to take a 6-day MSC Teacher Training program (TT).  If you are training to teach teens, you will take the 6-day MFY Teacher Training. After the TT, participants are known as Teachers-in-Training.

Prerequisites for attending a MSC 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
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led meditation retreat


  • Previous participation in a five-day or eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion course (Please note: You must allow at least 6 months to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning Teacher Training.  This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.)
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or in clinical settings
  • You do not have to be a clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training
  • Upon completion of the MSC Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Center for MSC stating that he or she has attended the TT in its entirety and can start teaching MSC as a Teacher in Training. Teachers in Training are considered a Trained MSC Teacher only after completing 10 online consultation sessions (described below, at a cost of $40 per session) and are asked to represent themselves accurately regarding these designations in all promotional material.

Trained MSC Teacher

The process of becoming a fully trained MSC teacher in conjunction with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion encompasses all of the pre-requisites for attending the MSC Teacher Training (TT), as well as the following additional requirements:

  • Completion of the MSC Teacher Training (TT)
  • Teaching or co-teaching a full 8-week MSC group course (after Teacher Training) with at least eight participants.
  • Active participation in 10 online consultation sessions while teaching or co-teaching one’s first MSC group course.  Consultations are hosted by a MSC teacher trainer or experienced MSC teacher with a maximum of six teachers in training and a fee of $40 per session is charged for the service
  • Ongoing personal practice of mindfulness and self-compassion, including sitting meditation and practice in daily life.

Upon completion of these requirements, the teacher trainee can apply for a Certificate of Training from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. This certificate indicates that he or she has fulfilled the necessary requirements and is now trained to teach or co-teach MSC, and can apply for teacher certification. The bearer can now advertise him or herself as a “Trained Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion”. The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion reserves the right not to grant a Certificate of Training if it is determined that the teacher trainee has not successfully completed the requirements and/or needs further consultation or remediation.

Trained teachers can be listed on the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website along with their MSC programs (see In the future MSC teachers will be expected to engage in continuing education in order to maintain their affiliation with CMSC (not yet available).

Certified MSC Teacher

Certification is verification of a teacher’s competence whereas the designation of Trained MSC teacher simply recognizes that a person has completed the requisite training activities. This level of training and verification is highly recommended for those who continue to teach the program, and offers a number of opportunities and advantages as well. The designation of Certification indicates that the individual has been individually mentored by an expert MSC teacher, has received specialized advanced training in teaching the program, has taught a significant number of MSC courses and had his or her teaching reviewed by an expert MSC teacher for competence.

Advantages of becoming a Certified MSC Teacher include:

  • You may represent yourself publicly, including in the directory of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) website, as a Certified Teacher who has received the approval and support of CMSC and the UC San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute.
  • You will be approved to offer MSC or MFY (the teen MSC adaptation) in the intensive format.
  • You will have the support of CMSC to adapt MSC for special populations (subject to review and approval by CMSC)
  • You will be eligible to offer MSC for continuing education credit (for American Psychological Association and California Board of Registered Nursing CE credits) through UC San Diego. Contact UCSD at for more information about this option.

Furthermore, all CMSC Teacher Trainers, Mentors and Teacher Training Consultants are required to be Certified as well. Thus, those who hope to potentially serve in those roles must obtain certification in order to be considered for these positions.

Further Details and Fees Outlined on the
UC San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute Website

"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!"