Becoming an

MSC Teacher

What it means to be a teacher of MSC Teacher

The foundation for teaching MSC is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have an ongoing, daily practice. Becoming an MSC teacher is a wholehearted endeavor and a rich experience for those who choose to embark on this path. There are several prerequisites to meet before being accepted onto the teacher training program and you are encouraged to carefully consider whether you meet these prerequisites before you apply.


The teacher training program is designed for those who wish to teach the full 8-Week MSC course as well as those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion into their ongoing professional activities (i.e., psychotherapy, coaching, nursing, teaching, etc.) and individuals who have a professional interest in the field (i.e., researchers, administrators, etc.).

First Step



Fulfill the Prerequisites to be eligible to apply for Teacher Training.

Second Step

Teacher Training Course

Teacher Training course, in either the 6-Day Residential or 12-Week Live Online Format.

Residential Teacher Training Cost: $1,595
Live Online Teacher Training Cost: $2,195

Third Step

Teacher Training Practicum (TTP)

10-Week Teacher Training Practicum.

TTP Cost: $995 USD (early-bird), $1095 (standard)
TSCO Cost: $175

Fourth Step

Online Consultation Sessions

10 Online Group Consultation Sessions during your first teaching experience.


Objectives of the Teacher Training Course

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen one’s personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Understand the current theory and research on self-compassion
  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
  • Develop the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience and facilitate group cohesion
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming them
  • Embody a mindful and compassionate stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice
Teacher Training Reading List

The following article and books are required references for all MSC teachers, but it is not necessary to read them all before coming to Teacher Training.

Recommended Reading

  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher Germer
  • Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David Treleaven
  • Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy by Christopher Germer and Ronald Siegel
  • Mindfulness and Psychotherapy – Second Edition by Christopher Germer, Ronald Siegel and Paul Fulton
  • The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert
  • The Mindfulness Solution by Ronald Siegel
  • Self-Compassion: Step by Step. CD set by Kristin Neff
Host Organizations & Teacher Trainers

MSC has been in development since 2010 and Teacher Training started in the USA and Europe in 2014. The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion hosts MSC Teacher Training in the US and oversees teacher training through a network of worldwide host organizations including:

North America
Center for Mindfulness Studies in Canada

Arbor Seminars in Freiburg, Germany
Centrum for Mindfulness in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Sussex Mindfulness Centre in the UK
AEMind (Asociación Española de Mindfulness y Compasión) in Spain
Center for Mindfulness Sweden in Sweden
ADM (Association pour le Developpement de la Mindfulness) in France

Institute of Korean Meditation and Psychotherapy (IKMP) in Korea
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore
Hailan Family and Wellbeing in China

Supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion welcomes applications from people from diverse backgrounds and is committed to creating diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in all of its training programs.
Recognizing the societal importance of self-compassion training and the financial realities that many prospective teachers, especially people from diverse and historically underserved communities may face, we offer a limited number of partial scholarships to attend MSC Teacher Training.

If you identify as a person of color, are a member of historically marginalized or underserved communities, or wish to actively serve these populations and communities, and would like to request a partial scholarship, please state this explicitly (and in some detail) on your application form and we will do our best to support you.


Certification is verification of a teacher’s competence whereas the designation of Trained Teacher simply recognizes that a person has completed the requisite training activities. Certification is highly recommended for those who continue to teach on an ongoing basis or wish to teach MSC Intensives or other adaptations.
Trained MSC teachers are eligible to START the pathway towards certification after teaching at least 3 MSC courses, wherein they can do the Collaborative Assessment with an approved MSC Mentor/Teacher Trainer. The process then entails a minimum of 14 hours of individual mentorship over the course of teaching at least two more MSC courses.More information is outlined on the UCSD website here:

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing Education Credits will be offered for US certified psychologists, therapists and nurses. (Please see the list below for details.)

In order to receive CE credits, you must attend all the Teacher Training Sessions. No credit is given for partial attendance. You will also need to fill out the online Evaluation after the training completes. CE Certificates will be emailed about a month after the program completes.

This program is sponsored 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 32.0 CE credit.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs:

This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 32.0 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.

UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 38.25 contact hours.

Please submit the $75 USD fee when registering.

Please contact with any questions regarding CE credits.

Cancellation Policy

There is a $300 USD non-refundable deposit that is part of your application fee.

If you cancel by March 12, 2021 you will be refunded all monies paid except the $300 non-refundable application fee. Refunds may take up to 60 days to receive.

No refunds will be given after March 12, 2021.

CMSC is not responsible for any miscellaneous expenses incurred by trainees. Should this program be cancelled by CMSC for any reason, CMSC will refund all monies paid.

The Training Pathway

The teacher training program consists of four steps and you are required to complete each step in sequence if you wish to become an MSC teacher, to be listed in the CMSC teacher directory and be eligible to teach the standard 8-Week MSC course. Further opportunities for professional development and offering MSC adaptations are possible once teachers attain their Trained Teacher status.

Step 1.


The standard pre-requisites for taking the 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
  • Previous participation in an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course, 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive or 10-week Live Online MSC (LOMSC). This is mandatory and noexemptions will be granted.
  • Minimum six-month gap required between completing MSC and starting Teacher Training.
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat.
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups

Step 2.

Teacher Training Course

Duration / Format: Residential – 6 Days or Live Online – 12 Weeks

The Teacher Training is built around the eight weekly sessions of the MSC course and is facilitated by a team of senior MSC teachers. Participants are provided with the essential materials for teaching the 8-week course in person. Upon completion, trainees will be eligible to join a Teacher Training Practicum (TTP), the second step in the pathway to becoming a Trained MSC Teacher. If participants wish to teach MSC online, the ‘Teaching Self-Compassion Online’ 2-day training (TSCO) is also required after the TTP.

Training sessions include:

Experiential review of each of the 8 MSC sessions

“Teachback” sessions to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion

Short talks, group exercises, discussion and periods of silence

Close consultation with the Teacher Trainers

Residential Teacher Training

Cost: $1595 USD approx. (not including room and board)

Residential Teacher Training is an intensive course held at a retreat venue. Staying on site is typically required to avoid disruption, enhance group cohesion and deepen help participants make the most of the experience.

❖ 6 full days and 5 nights
❖ Start time is generally 3pm on day one and ends after lunch on day 6.
❖ Total contact time: 32 hours
❖ CEU credits may be available, please check individual course details
❖ Scholarships may be available, please check individual course details

Live Online Teacher Training

Cost: $2195 

Live Online Teacher Training provides a more intimate, personalized experience with more contact between trainees and trainers and more time to practice and process learning between sessions.

❖ 2 sessions per week over 12 weeks
❖ Training includes full participation in the entire MSC course over 10 weeks
❖ Sessions are generally 3 hours (MSC session) and 1.75 hours (teaching session) each week,
with a few exceptions.
❖ There is one week off mid-way through the course.
❖ Total contact time: 54.25 ( tbc)
❖ CEU credits may be available
❖ Partial scholarships available. Apply in the application process after registration.

Step 3.

Teacher Training Practicum (TTP)

Duration / Format: Live Online – 10 Weeks

The TTP is an opportunity for a group of up to 16 teachers-in-training to practice their new-found teaching skills in a safe, structured, online environment facilitated by two Certified MSC Teachers/TTP Trainers. Each week focuses on a single MSC session and all trainees come prepared to teach each session, and are then assigned to lead the various practices, topics and exercises of that session, with periods of feedback and discussion.

The TTP provides new teachers with a “laboratory” to find their own voices and to continue to practice what they learned at the Residential/ Live Online Teacher Training, with time between each session to review, prepare and reflect on the process of teaching MSC. Once you have been accepted on the Teacher Training program, you will be provided with a link to register for the Teacher Training Practicum of your choice.


Cost: $995 USD (early-bird), $1095 (standard)

❖ 10 weekly sessions, 2.5 hours each
❖ Total contact time: 25 hours
❖ CEU credits are not available
❖ Choose from a range of dates once you are enrolled on a Teacher Training Program.
❖ Limited scholarship funding is available up to 25%

Teaching Self-Compassion Online

You need to take this course if you’re planning on teaching MSC in an online format. This is a 2-session live-online training available to all MSC teachers. There will be teach-backs, small and large group discussions, and feedback opportunities covering the topics of online presence, safety and connection, inquiry.

The training will include a Teaching Self-Compassion Online Teacher’s Companion Guide.
Cost: $175

Step 4.

Group Online Consultation Session While Teaching Your First MSC Course

Duration / Format: Live Online – 10 Weeks

Whilst co-teaching your first 8-week course, teachers-in-training must enroll in a series of ten, group consultation sessions. There are up to 6 teachers-in-training per session, facilitated by a Teacher Trainer or Senior MSC Teacher. Unlike the Teacher Training and the TTP where you are in the same cohort throughout, attendees in the consultation sessions will vary week-to-week and teachers can expect to hear from a variety of experiences and stages of teaching.

To be eligible for Trained Teacher status after completing this step, the following is required:
➢ Your MSC course must have at least 8 registered participants.
➢ You should be co-teaching at least 50% of the course.
➢ Your course must follow the MSC curriculum and not be a modification or adaptation of the curriculum.


Cost: $400 USD ($275 for low-income countries)

❖ 10 weekly sessions, 1 hour each
❖ Total contact time: 10 hours
❖ CEU credits are not available
❖ Multiple slots offered weekly, sign up any time before or during your first teaching

Apply for Trained Teacher status

Once you have completed the 3 components of the Teacher Training Program steps outlined above, you will be granted full Trained MSC Teacher status. You will receive a certificate, be listed as a Trained Teacher on the MSC teacher directory where you can advertise your courses, and be permitted to teach the 8-week, in-person MSC course independently.