The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program is an 8 week experiential program in learning how to relate to life’s challenges with less reactivity and more wisdom and clarity. In this evidence-based, highly experiential course, participants will practice and didactically explore how to more positively relate to all aspects of life (including stress, pain, anxiety, and illness) to bring about greater balance, clarity, and life satisfaction. Through guided meditation and gentle movement instruction as well as group discussion and inquiry exercises designed to enhance awareness, participants will come to understand mindfulness as a way of tapping into inner resources and as a way of responding to life’s challenges rather than reacting.
This highly participatory, practical course includes:
“A moment of self-compassion can change your day. A string of them can change your entire life.”
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is offered as a 8-week or 5-day 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
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.
The Mindful Self-Compassion program is offered in two different formats for the maximum flexibility:
The 8-week format - consists of 8 weekly, 3 -hour sessions with 15 min breaks in a classroom/discussion group format, plus a 4-hour retreat. This class is often most easily integrated into our lives and offers an extended opportunity to deepen and solidify our practice.
The 5-day format - consists of a 5-day intensive in a retreat format. The course is typically offered in a retreat setting and offers the ability to learn self-compassion while taking time away from our ordinary stressors and immersing ourselves in practice.
In this Program, You will Learn:
How to stop being so hard on yourself
How to handle difficult emotions with greater ease
How to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
How to transform difficult relationships, both old and new
Mindfulness and self-compassion practices for home and everyday life
The theory and research behind mindful self-compassion
How to become your own best teacher
This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate self-compassion into their work. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this MSC program. All are welcome! Participating in this program satisfies a prerequisite for becoming a MSC teacher, namely, participation in a MSC Training course.
Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The MSC program is not held in silence, although there are periods of silence, and it is also not group therapy, although participants are encouraged to share their experiences on the path of mindful self-compassion. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. For more information, please see centerformsc.org.
The following reading is recommended, but not required:
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Drs. Neff and Germer
Please visit our Schedule page to see logistics and enroll in this course, or contact us if you are interested in enrolling or learning more.