An empirically-supported 9-week program designed to cultivate the inner resource of self-compassion
Begins Sunday May 2nd, 2021
MSC Learning Objectives
This highly transformative 9-week program is designed for adults of any age who are wanting to cultivate greater self-compassion, compassion for others, mindfulness, emotion regulation, self-acceptance, and well-being in their lives. You will learn over 25 meditations, practical strategies, and simple tools that you can practice in daily life and teach to your children, clients, or students.
MSC is primarily a compassion training program, rather than a mindfulness training program like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion.
In the MSC program you’ll learn to:
- Integrate mindfulness and self-compassion skills into your daily life to cultivate greater calm, clarity and peace of mind
- Understand the theory and research behind mindful self-compassion
- Use self-compassion to live in accordance with your values
- Relate to difficult emotions with greater ease
- Respond to feelings of failure, self-criticism, and inadequacy with self-kindness
- Motivate yourself with encouragement, rather than self-criticism
- Enhance and deepen interpersonal relationships
- Manage caregiver or empathy fatigue, balancing compassion for self and others
- Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation
- Teach simple self-compassion skills to others in your life
What to Expect
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
Please note that MSC is primarily a compassion training program, rather than a mindfulness training program like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. It is also important to note that MSC is not psychotherapy, insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.
Although compassion is a positive, energizing emotion, it is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself” (Anon). While learning self-compassion, it is not uncommon for some difficult emotions to arise. MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey enjoyable for everyone. To ensure this program is suitable for your present needs, those interested in participating are asked to complete a confidential background information form when registering.
Program times and dates
This MSC program is being offered over 9 consecutive weekly classes at CoreYoga Studios:
Sunday May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
Sunday June 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
(Please note, unfortunately our venue is not wheelchair accessible)
Each class goes for 2.5 hours, and includes a short tea break. The 8-week MSC program is designed to facilitate the gradual and sequential integration of skills into daily life, week by week, with classes held each Sunday afternoon between 2.00 – 4.30pm.
In addition, there is a single half-day silent retreat session of practice (4 hours) midway through the program, on Sunday June 6th between 12.00 – 4.00pm.
Session 1: 02/05/20: The science of Self-Compassion
Session 2: 09/05/20: Practicing Mindfulness
Session 3: 16/05/20: Practicing Loving Kindness
Session 4: 23/05/20: Making peace with the inner critic
Session 5: 30/05/20: Living Deeply
Session 6: 06/06/20: Retreat ** This is Sunday for 4hrs
Session 7: 13/06/20: Exploring, managing & befriending difficult emotions
Session 8: 20/06/20: Exploring challenging relationships
Session 9: 27/06/20: Practicing gratitude, appreciation, and savouring
As a meditation teacher, Rebecca's approach is grounded in trauma-sensitive principals and draws upon her training with the UCSD Centre for Mindfulness, as well as her training with several inspirational leaders integrating traditional meditation practices with evidence-based neuroscience and psychotherapy, including: the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy Professor Paul Gilbert OBE; Mindful Self-Compassion co-developers Chris Germer PhD, and Kristen Neff PhD (together with senior teachers Steve Hickman, Michelle Becker, Dawn MacDonald, Karen Bluth, and Tina Gibson); Clinical Psychologist and Neurodharma teacher Rick Hanson PhD; and Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness clinician and researcher David Treleaven PhD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is MSC program suitable for?
The MSC program is suitable to anyone who is interested in developing skills in mindfulness, self-compassion and compassion for others. This includes parents, carers, educators, yoga teachers, healthcare professionals, therapists, executives, and advocates. MSC programs are attended by people from all ages and all walks of life.
Do I need to have any prior meditation practice?
No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. All meditations are guided. Our programs are suitable for beginners to people with a regular long standing meditation practice. While you may find you meditate more as a result of taking this course, the MSC Program is not designed to turn everyone into meditators - its main goal is to help people (1) recognise when they are suffering and (2) to respond with compassion in daily life.
What if I have to miss a class?
The lessons are cumulative, with each class building on the previous ones. For our 8-week program, in order to get the maximum benefit, you are encouraged to sign up at a time when you know you'll be able to attend all classes. Unfortunately we don’t allow people to join another group to make up a class. It is important to create a safe place for the group to learn and practice self-compassion. If people come into a class for only one or two sessions, it disrupts the development of intimacy and trust between the group members. After each class, everyone receives a recap letter, together with extra resources, such as links to videos, audios, and readings. This extra material will help you to catch up if you do have to miss a class.
Do you have concession or scholarship places?
Some scholarship support is available upon request. We strive to make our courses accessible to all who are interested. We will do our best to respond to need-based scholarship requests, particularly those from applicants who represent a diverse life experience (including, but not limited to class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation) as well as those who serve underserved populations.
Please be in touch to inquire about financial assistance. Please also know that paying full price tuition if you are able allow us to offer scholarships and reduced rates to others in need. Heartfelt thanks in advance for contributing what you can to support yourself and others in this work.
Are there religious / Buddhist aspects to the mindful self-compassion program?
The MSC program integrates traditional mindfulness and compassion based meditation practices with contemporary psychological and scientific research. The exercises and techniques taught are secular, science-based and practical. Meditation is an ancient wisdom technique that has been practiced by all civilisations. While Mindfulness Meditation is originally from the Buddhist tradition, it is now an evidence-based approach widely available and taught in its secular (non-religious) form in community, business, healthcare, and educational settings.
What if I can’t sit cross-legged on the floor?
When people hear that they will be asked to learn and practice meditation, some are concerned that they will have to sit cross legged on the floor. Rest assured, our studio offers a range of props you are welcome to use for seating, including yoga mats, bolsters, blankets, floor-based seats with a backrest, stools, and chairs. If you have your own personal meditation cushion which you like to use at home, you are always welcome to bring that along if you wish. The aim is for you to be as comfortable as possible, so you also have the option to lie down on a mat during some of the practices if that is more suitable for your body.
What do I wear and bring to class?
Dress in loose, layered and comfortable casual clothes. There will be a number of written reflective exercises in the program. Please bring along some writing materials. You may like to buy yourself a notebook, as a gift to yourself, for making the commitment to this course. Herbal teas and a simple snack will be provided (if you have special dietary requirements you may prefer to bring along a pre-prepared snack each week).
Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately Core Yoga is not wheelchair accessible. We are located in the heart of West End, on the top floor.
Is the course suitable for me if I have a mental health condition?
It is important to remember that MSC is not a substitute for psychological therapy. However, MSC may be recommended as an adjunct to therapy. The journey through the MSC program is a deeply personal process of developing enhanced self-awareness, self-kindness, and intimacy with our present-moment experiences. As part of this process during the MSC program, we ask participants to intentionally bring to mind a small amount of suffering from their lives, so that we can practice using the tools of turning toward our pain and comforting ourselves. If you are already suffering from recent trauma, or are otherwise feeling acutely emotionally unstable due to underlying vulnerabilities with issues such as severe depression, anxiety, dissociation or psychosis, we wouldn’t want to ask you to touch on more suffering, which, rather than being helpful, might be overwhelming. If you have concerns about the suitability of the MSC course for you at this time, please contact the studio to discuss your situation with Rebecca.
Can I use the MSC material for my work with clients or students?
The MSC program is an internationally recognised empirical program, designed by its co-founders Dr Kristin Neff and Dr Chris Germer, to be run by skilled and experienced facilitators, who have completed the accredited MSC teacher training.
Given that the core practices and exercises have been made readily available in the public domain by the program founders, we ask that you respect the intellectual property and the generosity of the MSC community by acknowledging their original source. Once you have attended the MSC program, you are welcome to use select exercises with others (for example your children, students or clients). We ask that you use your discretion in doing this, and that you contact us if you have any questions or concerns about what to offer to others or how much to offer.
Please note that MSC and Mindful Self-Compassion are trademarked, and anyone who advertises their training or courses as MSC or Mindful Self-Compassion are in breach of copyright unless they have been trained as teachers to deliver the MSC program.
"Teaching is not done by talking alone. It is done by how you live your life."
Thich Nhat Hanh