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 process involves two steps.
Step 1: The MFY Teacher Training is an intensive, 7-day program facilitated by 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.
At the completion of the MFY Teacher Training, participants will be able to:
This 7-day intensive is intended for those who wish to teach the MFY program in an educational, clinical, or community setting.
The prerequisites for taking the MFY Teacher Training are:
Upon completion of the 7-day MFY Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance stating that he or she has 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 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. This provides trainees with the essential support needed to teach MFY and maintain the integrity of the program. Upon completion of the required Zoom sessions, “trainees” receive the designation of “Trained Teacher” and can be listed on the Center for MSC website in a directory of Trained Teachers.
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: For those interested in pursuing MFY teacher certification
After teaching at least 4 MFY courses, MFY trained teachers can pursue certification. To do this, he or she would register with UCSD, and then request a mentoring arrangement with a teacher trainer. The MFY teacher will video record their teaching and discuss it in a minimum of 14 mentoring sessions with the teacher trainer. Mentoring sessions will be held on the Zoom platform.
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 Adolescent Mindfulness Certification Program at UCSD CFM, where she mentors educators and clinicians teaching mindfulness and self-compassion to children & teens.
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.