New course in September 10-16th, 2017!

We are happy to welcome Steven Hickman and Christine Brähler to give this teacher training for the second time in Sweden with Camilla Sköld as assistant teacher.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on pioneering research by Kristin Neff and integrated with the clinical perspective of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult emotions with care and understanding.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to others, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warmhearted, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption.  Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others, and be fully human.

Rapidly expanding research clearly demonstrates that self-compassion is related to emotional wellbeing, lower anxiety and depression, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.

Teacher Training
The MSC program has been in development since 2009, and a MSC training manual is scheduled for publication in 2017 (Guilford Press). Centre for Mindfulness Sweden is an officially-designated host for Teacher Training in Sweden since 2016.

MSC Teacher Training is an intensive, 6-day, residential program facilitated by a team of senior MSC teachers. The training is built around the eight weekly sessions of MSC with each half day dedicated to a condensed, experiential review of one of the sessions, followed by small group activities designed to give attendees opportunities to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion in that session with the close consultation of one of the Teacher Trainers. In addition, the training includes short talks, group exercises, discussion, and periods of silence. Participants will be provided with the essential materials to teach MSC programs.

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

Target Audience
This 6-day intensive is intended for those who wish to teach the MSC program, those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion in 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.).

Participation Requirements
The prerequisites for taking the MSC Teacher Training are:

 Personal skills

  • 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
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led meditation retreat

 Professional skills

  • Previous participation in a five-day or eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Training.
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or in clinical settings
  • You do not have to be a clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training


  • You must allow at least 6 months to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning Teacher Training.  This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.
  • We strongly recommend that the silent, teacher-led meditation retreat be completed more than two months prior to your attendance at the Teacher Training.
  • You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training.
  • Upon completion of the MSC Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Center for MSC stating that he or she has attended the TT in its entirety and can start teaching MSC as a Teacher Trainee.

Trained Teacher Designation
The purpose of the 6-day Teacher Training is to establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the general public. To receive MSC Trained Teacher status, graduates of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MSC program, either by co-facilitating with a certified MSC teacher or through online group consultation offered through the Center for MSC. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on the Center for MSC website in a Directory of Trained Teachers.

Teacher Certification
Trained Teacher status is a key step toward Certification. Certification is a process of ensuring that an individual has achieved full competency through experience, training and supervision over a period of time and practice. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness offers certification in conjunction with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.  Please see our MSC Certification Pathway if you have further questions about Certification.

Teaching MSC
The MSC program is ideally led by two instructors. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. Self-compassion can activate strong emotions, sometimes including relational pain dating back to childhood. We therefore recommend that one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MSC teacher, be a licensed mental health clinician. We realize that some groups may have members with relatively minor emotional needs, or be too small to require two teachers, so please use your own judgment about how to provide a safe and supportive learning environment.

Participant Guidelines
Our ability to teach others depends largely on discovering the power of self-compassion in our own lives and embodying the practice. Since the core principles and practices of the MSC program are taught through experiential learning, participants are encouraged to focus on their felt experience during teacher training. Ample time will also be allocated for professional dialogue and the nuts and bolts of teaching.

The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Loving-kindness and self-compassion training helps us soothe and comfort ourselves as it paradoxically reveals emotional distress we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface as we grow in our capacity to embrace them. This is intrinsic to the process of emotional transformation through self-compassion.

Self-compassion thrives in an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to presence and compassion. Self-compassion practice should also be easy and enjoyable. The teacher trainers are dedicated to creating such a learning atmosphere for all workshop participants and their future students. 

Needs Assessment
Over the past few years, mindfulness has become mainstream in the general population and is being increasingly integrated into professional practice (e.g., mental health, medical care, education, business, law). As the demand grows, the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year.  Self-compassion is at the growth edge of mindfulness. It’s a “trending health term” (Reader’s Digest, 2012) and an area of burgeoning research. Self-compassion is the emotional heart of mindfulness. Due to the impressive scientific evidence for the connection between self-compassion and emotional wellbeing, and the need for explicit training in self-compassion, the MSC Teacher Training is offered by the Center for Mindfulness Sweden and the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.

Required Reading Prior to Applying to Attend the Teacher Training

On Becoming a MSC Teacher: A Mountaineer’s Guide to Building the Resource of Mindful Self-CompassionBy Christine Braehler, Steven D. Hickman, and Christopher Germer

Required Reading
All books are available on Bokus, Adlibris or Amazon

  • 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

Recommended Reading

  • 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

Assistant teacher
Camilla Sköld, PhD is a registered physiotherapist with a basic training in cognitive relational psychotherapy who is an international teacher trainer in Mindfulness based Stress Reduction, MBSR. She has been teaching the MSC program in Stockholm since 2014. She is the founder of Center for Mindfulness Sweden and she initiated the first academic course in Mindfulness-based approach at the medical university, Karolinska Institutet, KI in 2007. She gained her undergraduate and doctoral at KI in Stockholm. Her doctoral degree is in neuroscience. She has many years of meditation practice that she started in the Zen tradition.

Facts about the MSC Teacher Training
Length of training: 6 days
To apply: Fill in application form here. Last day for application July 29th, 2017.
Dates: September 10-16, 2017. We will start with dinner at 5 pm June 5 and end with lunch at 1 pm June 11. Please see a more detailed schedule for the rest of the days below.
Course fee: 13.900 SEK + VAT
Food & lodging: single room 7767 SEK + VAT (=8816 SEK), double room 6486 SEK + VAT (=7382 SEK) and 4-6 people in a room 6138 SEK + VAT (=6992 SEK) – To book your room contact Stiftsgården Vårdnäs by phone +46 13 36 85 00 or mail at info [@] (reference ”MSC TT September 2017”) All food will be vegetarian. ATTENTION prices for food/lodging may be updated closer to the booked date.
How to get there: 
from either the Linköping airport or train station/bussterminal take a taxi (+46239560, and ask for fixed price according to Vårdnäs agreement (600 SEK). To share a taxi with other participants contact Elisabet at elisabet.lee[@] and send her information of where you will arrive and at what time.
Bus no 39 will depart at 13.20 and bus no 540 will depart from Linköping at 15.20. Please get off at Brokinds gård. Vårdnäs will arrange pick up service with minibuses from there.
For further questions contact: Camilla Sköld

MSC Teacher Training specialized training for Psychologist in Clinical Psychology
To register: Send an email to
Additional fee: To be updated

Opening night – Day 1
2:00-5:30 Arrival
5:30-6:30 Dinner
6:30-8:00 Welcome and Introduction
(No silence this evening/morning)

Days 2-6
7:15-8:00 Meditation (optional)
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-12:30 Morning session
12:30-2:30 Lunch
2:30-6:00 Afternoon session
6:00-7:30 Dinner
7:30-8:30 Discussion (Day 3 – concepts; Day 4 – dancing (optional); Day 6 – What next?)
(“Companionable” silence 10:00 pm – 9:00 am, through breakfast.)

Day 7 –  Closing morning
9:00-11:30 Morning session