Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Course Intention and Overview

Program details and logistics

Sliding Scale Fees

How to Register



The following course description comes from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion web site (http://www.centerformsc.org/Training):

"MSC was developed by Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D., leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (www.MindfulSelfCompassion.org) and Kristin Neff, Ph.D., pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.Self-Compassion.org).

MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience.

Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing—being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity.

Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we're hurting. Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional wellbeing. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.

MSC can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves especially when we’re suffering—cultivating the same desire that all living beings have to live happily and free from suffering.

Most of us feel compassion when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to receive the same caring attention whenever you needed it most? All that’s required is a shift in the direction of our attention—recognizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of compassion.

In MSC you’ll 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"

Valley Mindfulness is pleased to offer the complete Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course.

A complete MSC program as developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff includes at least 26 hours of class time; it may be offered in different formats:

Most often, the program will be offered in the original 8-week format, with one 2.75 hour class per week plus a half-day retreat class that takes place on the weekend in between the 5th and 6th of the weekly classes.

Once or twice per year, the program will be offered as n intensive over 5 consecutive days (full day classes)

Occasionally, the program will be offered in a weekend format that meets for one full day per weekend, for either 4 or 5 consecutive weeks, depending on the length of the classes.

In all of these formats, classes sessions will include a variety of meditative practices in which participants explore the experience and the cultivation of self-compassion. Classes also include time for group discussion and inquiry.

During the time-frame of the course, participants are strongly encouraged to engage each day in both formal and informal self-compassion practices. A workbook, handouts, and recordings will be provided.


Upcoming courses in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC):

Fall 2017
5 Consecutive Sundays


  • October 15
  • October 22
  • October 29
  • November 5
  • November 12


  • Classes each week will run from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm with a lunch break.
  • The October 29 class will be shorter -- meeting from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Teacher: David Spound

This 5-week program includes the complete MSC curriculum. It is suitable for:

  • MBSR graduates and other mindfulness practitioners who wish to deepen their ability to apply mindfulness to stressful or challenging situations through self-compassion.
  • Those who are new to the practices of mindfulness and self-compassion;
  • Experienced practitioners and MSC graduates who want to deepen their practices;
  • Those who aspire to use practices of mindfulness and self-compassion in professional settings.
    • This program will meet one of the prerequisites for MSC teacher training offered by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Additional program details:

  • The hours for each class are posted above; please note that they might be adjusted on some days to better fit the needs of the group.
  • It is important for participants to engage in some home practice each day of the techniques that have been explored during our classes. Typically, this home practice may involve about 30 minutes per day.
  • For those who live at a distance from Northampton, you may find it helpful to consider one of the housing options that are within walking distance of our center (Bed and Breakfast, AirBnB, etc.). There are a variety of food options within walking distance, too.
  • All class sessions will be held at the Valley Mindfulness Center in the center of Florence, just minutes from downtown Northampton.
    Click here for an online map to Valley Mindfulness, 45 Main Street, Florence, MA.
  • Our center has a private space for people to eat lunch and rest between sessions.


    Program fee:

  • The course fee includes the 5-week program and all materials (including a workbook and recorded meditations).

  • We offer a sliding scale for the fee that is based on household income. We do not ask for proof of income. Please choose your fee based on income as follows:
    • Under $30,000: $300
    • From $30,000–$60,000: $450
    • Over $60,000: $600

    • Current full-time college and university students whose household income falls below our sliding scale may take this course for $200.

    Please let us know if cost is a barrier to your being able to take this course. We will do our best to work with you.


Please consider:

We recommend, but do not require, that those entering the MSC course have some experience with mindfulness meditation. Prior participation in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course would be ideal.


Program Registration is now open.

Please click here to begin
MSC course registration.


Future MSC courses

Additional 8-week MSC courses will be offered in the winter, spring, and summer of 2018.







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