12-Week Online Cohort-Based MSC Teacher Training

CMSC is Happy to Announce a New Format for Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training

To date, teacher training in Mindful Self-Compassion has been offered as a 6-day residential intensive with groups from 30 to 60 trainees, typically with one teacher trainer per 14 trainees. This is a model that has worked well over the years and CMSC expects it to be the “gold standard” for MSC teacher training for the foreseeable future.

However, there are a number of factors that make an online Teacher Training potentially useful, especially under the current circumstances, but even beyond the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 crisis. A few of the features of this online, cohort-based model are:


  • Eliminating barriers for people in isolated geographical regions
  • Enables people with physical challenges and disabilities to participate much more easily
  • Reduces financial barriers by cutting the total cost of attendance (including travel) at an in-person teacher training by more than half in many cases. People also would not need to miss a week of work or close a private practice for a week.
  • Provides a more intimate, personalized experience with significantly more contact between trainees and trainers over a 12-week period rather than 6 days. This format also provides a much smaller cohort of trainees with more opportunity to develop supportive relationships with peers.
  • Allows trainees to experience the full MSC program as participants for a second time in the demonstration program, which does not happen in current teacher training. In addition, many teacher trainees have taken MSC as a 5-day Intensive, and so experiencing an 8-week MSC course would be extremely valuable.
  • Provides a week between sessions of teaching or teachbacks for preparation, review of reading material, and personal MSC practice
  • Provides an opportunity for the cohort members to connect between sessions through the online platform of the MSC Teacher Café with a private space dedicated to the cohort for mutual support, encouragement and camaraderie.

Please Note:
This teacher training is intended to train people to teach the in-person 8-week MSC course and, although it is offered online, does not qualify one to teach MSC online, which is a much more complex endeavor. CMSC reserves the right to be the sole provider of Live Online MSC courses and only Certified MSC Teachers may teach that program.

This pilot training is proposed to include the following elements:

  • An initial cohort of 24 trainees who must meet all the usual pre-requisites for MSC Teacher Training, including: having taken the MSC course greater than six months prior to the training; having an established practice of mindfulness and compassion; and having completed a 5-day or longer teacher-led, silent residential meditation retreat. No exceptions to these requirements will be made for this pilot offering of Online Teacher Training.
  • Potential trainees will register and complete a Teacher Training application that will also include an item or two addressing online learning and the applicant’s concerns or desires about this format of training.
  • All those who are tentatively accepted into the training may have a short (20 minute) Zoom meeting with one of the trainers to answer questions and for trainers to get to know the candidate.
  • Upon acceptance into the training, all participants are required to purchase the Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program book and to read Part 1 of that book prior to the start of the training.
  • Trainees who miss more than 6 hours of the 63.5 hour training will not be allowed to complete the training.

Training Sessions Include:

  • Two initial introductory 3-hour sessions (led by three trainers) in the first week
  • Nine-week, 3 hours per session MSC course (led by one trainer), with a one-week break after Session 4 to accommodate an additional large group meeting with all three trainers (to address conceptual issues and questions as well as to provide feedback on the training itself) This course will be recorded for the use of the trainers only.
  • Weekly “teachback” (practice teaching) sessions of 1.75 hours in groups of 12 held between each session of the online MSC program (each session led by one trainer as a sub-cohort with a mid-course re-assignment to new sub-cohorts)
  • A final 3-hour wrap-up session to address next steps, nuts and bolts of teaching MSC and final evaluation of the program.
  • All trainees who successfully complete the online teacher training (just like those who complete the traditional in-person training) will then be eligible to join a Teacher Training Practicum as the next step in their process toward becoming a Trained Teacher of MSC.

MSC Trained Teacher Status:

This online training is the first step in a three-step process towards becoming a fully trained MSC teacher authorized to teach the 8-week MSC course. For more information about the MSC teacher training pathway, including pre-requisites and stages of training, please view this page on Becoming an MSC Teacher.

Training in an Online Format:

Online learning is not for everybody. Some people thrive in an online environment and others don’t. Everybody is different. Please ask yourself, honestly, if you feel you can be as present and embodied in the online environment as you might be when you are physically present with someone. In this teacher training, we will be providing multiple opportunities for trainees to interact with one another, even more than in the regular teacher training, but some people might have a deeper and more comfortable learning experience when they are with others in person. Kindly reflect on your own learning needs before applying for this training.


January 11-March 31 – Midnight UTC
with Steve Hickman and Tina Gibson – FULL

February 15-April 29 – 1730 UTC
with David Spound and Ali Lambie

March 11-June 1 – 0800 UTC
with Tina Gibson and Mila de Koning

March 16-June 3 – Midnight UTC
with Steve Hickman and Dawn MacDonald

April 2-June 21 – 1400 UTC
with David Spound and Mila de Koning

April 16-July 6 – 1900 UTC
with Steve Hickman, Anna Friis and
Megan Prager


Register soon, as space is limited.

New start dates and times will be added soon.