Permission to Use Materials from the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC™) Program

Thank you for helping us disseminate self-compassion training, and for wanting to properly cite the source of MSC materials that you intend to use in your own writing or teaching work.

We receive many inquiries from authors who want to use concepts from MSC (i.e., backdraft, self-appreciation) or practices (e.g., Self-Compassion Break, Giving and Receiving Compassion) in their own publications.  The question is:  “What is the source and how do I properly cite the source?”
Others want to include MSC materials in educational material other than the MSC course itself.  “Can I have permission to reprint such material for educational purposes?”

Some people are developing an adaptation of MSC (e.g., MSC for anxiety, for children), or want to include MSC materials in another training program and are wondering about permission to use those materials.  If so, please see below for further information on adaptations and other use of MSC program materials.

Referencing MSC

If you want to acknowledge the MSC program in a publication, you can list the co-developers of MSC in your publication as “Christopher Germer & Kristin Neff” and cite either publication below. We suggest that you reference the workbook for any general audience publications and reference the professional guide for professional publications.

Neff, K. & Germer, C. (2018) The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. New York: Guilford Press.

Germer, C. & Neff, K. (2019). Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program: A Guide for Professionals. New York: Guilford Press.

Using Many MSC Practices or Concepts

Some authors want to provide their readers with many concepts or practices from MSC, reprinted or in the author’s own words.  Such use requires approval from Guilford Press at:

In addition, if your publication will include 8 or more practices and concepts from MSC, please inquire with the Executive Director Steve Hickman at Center for MSC (CMSC) at, because the MSC program as a whole is trademarked by CMSC.

Educational Use

If you want to reprint materials from a published MSC book for use in the classroom, you need permission from Guilford Press.    You can apply for permission from Guilford at:

Guidelines for Adaptations and Other Use of MSC™ Program Materials

The following guidelines are designed to facilitate widespread dissemination of the principles and practices of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC™) program while maintaining the integrity and consistency of the program, the quality of teaching, and the intellectual property of Chris Germer and Kristin Neff (hereafter referred to as the Co-developers). These guidelines are becoming increasingly important as professionals (MSC-trained and untrained) integrate self-compassion training into their work and publish MSC-related training materials.


  • “MSC™” is a registered trademark in many parts of the world. CMSC owns the MSC™ trademark and is responsible for maintaining the consistency and integrity of the MSC program and reducing confusion about what MSC™ signifies to the public. Therefore, approval by CMSC is required for all adaptations that have “MSC” in the title (i.e., subtitle). For approval from CMSC, please email your request to

Use of MSC™ in Professional Activities

  • The co-developers of MSC heartily encourage professionals to use the concepts and practices of the MSC program in the context of their ongoing professional activities (e.g., teaching a course on parenting, mindfulness instruction to organizations, psychotherapy.) These are informal, unpublished, integrations of MSC into professional work.
  • Components of the MSC curriculum (topics, practices, exercises) used in these activities (such as in handouts or PowerPoint presentations), should be cited appropriately. Professionals can reference either the professional textbook, Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Training Program (Germer & Neff, 2019) or the workbook, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook (Neff & Germer, 2018).
  • Since “MSC” is a registered trademark, it cannot be used in the name of an organization or in the URL of a website unless permission is received from CMSC. Permission is usually only given to an organization that represents the entire MSC community in a particular region.

MSC™ Applications

  • An MSC “application” is essentially a full MSC program with some minor changes (language, content) for specialized populations. An application may use the “MSC” in the main title of the program, such as “MSC for Men” or “MSC for Diabetes.” Trained MSC teachers with particular expertise or training should feel free to develop and teach MSC applications for specialized populations.
  • The Center for MSC (CMSC) is available to consult with developers and would like to be made aware of any interesting, new applications of MSC so we can advise, support, and possibly help disseminate these applications.
  • Developers of specialized applications must be at least Trained MSC Teachers. Research on specialized programs should only have Certified MSC Teachers teaching the program to insure a high standard of teaching competence.
  • Developers do not require permission or approval from CMSC to teach new applications of MSC unless they intend to publish or desiminate the program outside of their own professional practice or program their curriculum. In that case, they need permission of the copyright holder of the two manuals, Guilford Press, and the CMSC. See above for for details.

MSC™ Adaptations

Approval by CMSC

  • The mission of CMSC is to support the dissemination of MSC in diverse contexts and populations. An MSC “adaptation” is a structured program that is recognizable by someone familiar with MSC as primarily derived from MSC, which has been approved by CMSC. Developers of an adapted program are strongly encouraged to submit their program to CMSC for “approved” status. When an adaptation is approved by CMSC, it can be advertised as “an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion program approved by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion” and listed on the CMSC website. An approved adaptation can use “MSC” in the subtitle of the program. For example, “Making Friends with Yourself: MSC for Teens” would be an approved adaptation.
  • It is not necessary to obtain approval from CMSC to create a program using material from MSC™ for use in your own practice or program. Approval is required if the developers of the adaptation want their program to be considered an official adaptation of MSC and use “MSC” in the subtitle, or if they wish to publish or desiminate the program outside of their own professional practice or program. In such a case, permission is also needed from the publisher of the manuals by going to
  • However, permission is required any time 8 or more practices are used, or adapted from, the MSC curriculum. Receiving permission from CMSC is a relatively easy process.
  • To receive CMSC approval for an adaptation of MSC™, or permission to use 8 or more MSC practices in your adaptation, please submit your adapted curriculum to Steve Hickman, PsyD at

Criteria for Approval

  • An official adaptation may either be shorter or longer than the standard MSC program. The MSC curriculum contains 7 meditations, 20 informal practices, 14 class exercises, and 34 didactic topics, and consists of 24 hours of classroom activity.
  • Approval by the CMSC Adaptation Committee depends on fidelity of the adaptation to the MSC curriculum. For example, a 6-hour adaptation for a specialized population (e.g., healthcare workers, business leaders) which draws over 90% of its content from MSC is likely to receive approval from CMSC. By comparison, a 24-hour program that is equal parts yoga, hypnosis and MSC is unlikely to receive approval as an adaptation. CMSC will probably offer permission to use MSC material in such an adapted program, but “approval” status is reserved for programs that are distinctly MSC related. Verbatim material from published books requires permission from Guilford Press.


  • Sponsorship refers to adaptations and applications for which CMSC has agreed to support the development and training of teachers as well as other activities of dissemination and ongoing support. Teachers of sponsored programs are formally trained as MSC teachers and subsequently take additional training (online or in-person) in the specific adaptation or application.
  • Applications and adaptations are considered for sponsorship by the CMSC when the developers are Certified MSC Teachers, the program is supported by empirical outcome research, and there is an established cadre of Trained MSC teachers who are committed to sustaining and developing the program into the future.

MSC™ Teacher Training and Online Training

  • CMSC is the only organization with the right to organize MSC™ Teacher Trainings. CMSC has carefully selected organizations in a variety of countries to host Teacher Trainings and we maintain close contractual collaborative relationships with those organizations to provide high quality, integrated training opportunities for all current and future MSC teachers. CMSC has complete authority and responsibility for the content of Teacher Trainings, while the hosts are responsible for the logistics of the trainings.

MSC™ Teacher Training and Online Training

Please contact Guilford Press at or CMSC Executive Director Steve Hickman at for clarification, as needed.

Many thanks for your support as we try to disseminate MSC in the best possible manner.

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