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.
The teacher training pathway 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.).
As a Trained MSC Teacher you will be eligible to teach the standard 8-week MSC course. Trained Teachers who progress to Certified Teacher status will also be eligible to teach the MSC intensive and Core Skills Workshop.
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.
Fulfill all of the prerequisites to be eligible for Teacher Training.
Teacher Training Course
Teacher Training course, in either the 6-Day Residential or 12-Week Live Online (LOTT) format.
Teacher Training Practicum & Teaching Self-Compassion Online*
10-Week Teacher Training Practicum.
*2 TSCO sessions required if you plan to teach online.
Group Consultation Sessions
10 Online Group Consultation Sessions while co-teaching your first MSC course
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. Read about scholarships for people of color, historically marginalized and underserved communities.
The Trained MSC Teacher Pathway
The teacher training program consists of four steps and you are required to complete each step in sequence if you wish to become a Trained MSC Teacher eligible to teach the standard 8-Week MSC course.
The standard prerequisites 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 no exemptions will be granted.
- Minimum six-month gap required between completing MSC and starting Teacher Training.
- Attendance in a least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat
- Experience teaching meditation in groups
Once you have met the prerequisites you may register for the teacher training course of your choice. You are then invited to submit your application, including how you have met the prerequisites. Your application will be reviewed by the Teacher Trainers and, upon approval, you will be accepted into the program.
The Teacher Training course 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 standard 8-week course.
Upon completion, trainees will be eligible to join a Teacher Training Practicum (TTP), the third step in the pathway to becoming a Trained MSC Teacher followed by the ‘Teaching Self-Compassion Online’ course (TSCO), if they wish to teach MSC online.
The Teacher Training course is offered in two formats – residential and live online. Sessions include:
- Condensed, experiential review of each of the 8 MSC session
- “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
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 are available
❖ Partial scholarship funding available.
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.
- On Becoming a MSC Teacher: A Mountaineer’s Guide to Building the Resource of Mindful Self-Compassion by Christine Braehler, Steven D. Hickman, and Christopher Germer
- Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals by Christopher Germer & Kristin Neff
- The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding CE credits.
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:
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
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.
NOTE: The TTP has been a mandatory part of the Teacher Training Prathway since January of 2020. It will become mandatory for ALL Teacher Training graduates prior to January 2020, who have NOT begun teaching MSC, to take the TTP starting January 2022, at a 50% discount.
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.
❖ Partial scholarship funding available up to 25%
Teaching Self-Compassion Online (TSCO)
This course is required if you plan on teaching MSC in an online format. 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 includes a Teaching Self-Compassion Online Teacher’s Companion Guide.
Two sessions, 2 hours each
CEU crdits are not available
Choose from a range of dates once you are enrolled on a Teacher Training Program
Scholarship funding is not available
While 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 to apply for Trained Teacher status after completing this step, the following is required:
➢ Your MSC course must have at least 8 registered participants.
➢ You must have a co-teacher or assistant, very few exceptions are granted.
➢ 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.
➢ If teaching online, you must have attended the TSCO training.
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 4 steps of the Trained Teacher Pathway, outlined above, you can apply for 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 MSC course in person (and online if you have completed TSCO).
Become a Certified Teacher
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. Only Certified MSC Teachers are eligible to teach MSC Intensives, Retreats and Core Skills workshops. Should you wish to teach in these formats, you would be required to work towards Certification, the next level of teacher training.
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: https://mbpti.org/programs/msc/msc-teacher-qualification-and-certification/.
Upcoming Teacher Trainings
Le Moulin de Chaves
July 12 – July 18, 2021
Christine Brähler et Inken Dechow
August 16, 2021 – November 3, 2021
Tina Gibson and Anna Friis
Casa de Espiritualidad Cristo del Pardo
August 21 – August 27, 2021
Chris Germer and Marta Alonso Maynar
September 13 – November 22, 2021
Mila De Koning and David Spound
Live Online en Español
September 29, 2021 – December 1, 2021
Luis Gregoris De La Fuente and Marta Alonso Maynar
October 5 – December 21, 2021
Mila De Koning and Ali Lambie
Nazareth University of Light
Sao Paulo Brazil
December 3 – December 9, 2021
Chris Germer, Luis Gregoris De La Fuente and Marta Alonso Maynar
Training Fees and Scholarships
When considering the financial investment of becoming a trained MSC teacher, please bear in mind that there are costs associated with each of the four steps.
An estimated breakdown of costs are outlined below. All costs are listed in USD.
Step 1. Prerequisites – cost varies depending on where and when you choose to complete these requirements.
Step 2. Teacher Training Course – 6-Day Residential – $1595 or 12-Week Live Online – $2195
Step 3. Teacher Training Practicum – $995/$1095, TSCO – $175
Step 4. Group Consultation Sessions – $400
Total CMSC fee: $2990 to $3865*
*The cost of the Residential Teacher Training does not include room and board.
Scholarships for MSC Teacher Training
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, CMSC offers a limited number of partial scholarships to attend the MSC Teacher Training Course and Teacher Training Practicum
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.
If you attend a Residential Teacher Training that is hosted by an organization other than CMSC, please visit the host’s course page. Scholarships are sometimes available to cover part of the tuition and/or accommodation fees, depending on the host venue.
We would like to support you as best we can so please reach out if you have any questions about scholarships and discounts available.
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.
Ongoing Support & Resources
Once you start your training you will be welcomed into the global community of MSC teachers. You will receive a login to the Teacher Dashboard, a private members area of the CMSC website, where you can create a public teacher profile, list your courses on the course directory and access official resources and information for teachers. You will also be invited to the Teacher Café, an international online community space for teachers to share ideas, gain inspiration and support one another. If you are not based in the US and/or if you took MSC in a language other than English, you may be invited to join a teacher group hosted independently by teachers in your country.
In addition to the standard teacher training pathway, CMSC offers periodic trainings, workshops and events to help teachers stay connected, build community and develop their teaching skills. These offerings are communicated via the quarterly Teacher Bulletin and Teacher Dashboard.