MSC :: Mindful Self-Compassion
May 12-17, 2013 • EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA
January 5-10, 2014 • Joshua Tree, CA Save the Date. Information coming soon.
Early-Bird Registration Fee: $825 + Room & Board
“For someone to develop genuine compassion towards others,
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an intensive training retreat version of an empirically-supported 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on groundbreaking 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 kindness 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 warm, 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.
Christopher K. Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion-based treatment. He has been integrating the principles and practices of meditation into psychotherapy since 1978. Dr. Germer is a Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a founding member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. He lectures internationally on mindfulness and self-compassion, is a co-editor of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy, and author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.
Kristin D. Neff, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She was one of the first scholars to define and measure self-compassion in an academic context, has written numerous research articles on the psychological benefits of self-compassion, and is a co-developer of an empirically-supported, 8-week mindful self-compassion training program. Dr. Neff is the author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. In addition, she is featured in the award-winning book and documentary The Horse Boy, which chronicles her family’s adventure with autism.
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:
This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work. Participating in a MSC program satisfies a prerequisite for becoming a MSC program teacher, and teacher training will begin at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness in 2014. A modest, regular meditation practice is required to become a MSC teacher but meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this professional training. All are welcome!
The developers of MSC, Christopher Germer, Ph.D. and Kristin Neff, Ph.D, will be leading this training. Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring how we typically respond when difficult emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. For more information on self-compassion, please see www.Self-Compassion.org and www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org
The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing and comforting as well as opening us to emotional distress that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. The teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.
It is recommended, but not required, that participants read the following two books before the training retreat:
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 a “trending health term” (Reader’s Digest, 2012) and an area of burgeoning research that is following in the wake of mindfulness. However, misunderstandings about self-compassion abound, such as conceptual confusion with self-esteem, self-indulgence, and existing notions of self-care. Despite impressive scientific evidence for the connection between self-compassion and emotional wellbeing, explicit training in the skill of self-compassion is relatively rare. This course at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is the first empirically-supported self-compassion training offered in the United States for professionals and the general public.
UC San Diego School of Medicine, Continuing Medical Education 2251 San Diego Ave., A-160 San Diego, CA 92110-2981
Content is subject to change without notice. Please refer to the activity website for the most current information.