Teacher Training in Mindful Self-Compassion
Program – MSC Teacher Training (step 2)
Gives permission for – Teacher Training Practicum (step 2)
Prerequistes – MSC-program, daily practice, one 5-day silent retreat, reading materials
Start – January 31 – February 6, 2021
Last day to complete application – October 2nd, after that date depending on availability
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.
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.
The MSC program has been in development since 2009, and a MSC training manual is scheduled for publication in Swedish 2020 (Natur och Kultur). 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 the standard 8-week MSC course.
Opening night – Day 1
6:30-8:00 Welcome and Introduction
(No silence this evening/morning)
7:15-8:00 Meditation (optional)
9:00-12:30 Morning session
2:30-6:00 Afternoon session
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
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.).
The 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
- Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat. Some MSC silent retreats are listed here, however the retreat does not need to be MSC-based in order to meet the requirement
- Previous participation in a five-day or eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Training. (Live Online MSC does not typically counted as a substitute for an in-person course)
- 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
- Other mindfulness-based training programs do not count as a substitute for the standard MSC course pre-requisite
- You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MSC Teacher Training
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
Becoming an MSC Teacher – the Teacher Training Pathway
- Step 1 – 6-Day Residential Teacher Training
- Step 2 – Teacher Training Practicum (TTP)
- Step 3 – Teach first MSC course with Zoom Consultation
- Step 4 – Apply for Trained Teacher status
- Step 5 – Certification – trained MSC teachers are eligible to START the pathway towards certification after teaching at least 3 MSC courses. This step is optional and most teachers don’t become certified.
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.
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.
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 Center for MSC.
Required Reading Prior to Applying to Attend the Teacher Training
All books are available on Bokus, Adlibris or Amazon. When registered to this workshop you will receive a discount code, which give you 25% off for the books in Swedish at Natur & Kultur.
The Swedish or English version of the books:
- 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
- Mindful Self-Compassion: Så bygger du inre styrka och hållbarhet med självmedkänsla. Kristin Neff och Christopher Germer, Natur & Kultur 2019 or in English The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A proven way to accept yourself, build inner strength and thrive. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, Guilford Publications 2018.
- Att lära ut mindful self-compassion: En guide för dig smolder 8-veckorsprogrammet. Christopher Germer och Kristin Neff, Natur & Kultur 2020 or in English Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Professionals by Kristin Neff and 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
Facts about the MSC Teacher Training
Length of training: 6 days
How many: 20-50 participants
Where: Syninge kursgård, 45 min north of Stockholm by car or buss
Dates and pricing: Look at the Registration tab
Last day for application: October 16th, 2020
Times: We will start with dinner at 5 pm the first day and end with lunch at 1 pm the last day.
Food & lodging: Look at the registration tab. All food will be vegetarian
Teachers: Michelle Becker from Center for MSC, US and Camilla Sköld
Teacher: Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, CA utilizing mindfulness and compassion based psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is a teacher trainer for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-founder, along with Dr.’s Germer, Neff and Hickman, of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. She is also co-founder of the San Diego Center For Well Being and co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program. Michelle enjoys helping individuals, couples, families and groups to find a meaningful and satisfying way of life.
Co-teacher: Camilla Sköld, PhD is a registered physiotherapist with a basic training in cognitive relational psychotherapy who is an international certified 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.