Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Course Intention and Overview

Program details and logistics

Sliding Scale Fees and Early Registration Discount

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.

This program is offered in two formats: an 8-week course (one class session per week) and a 5-day intensive.

Most often, the program will be offered in the 8-week format with weekly classes of 2.75 hours each 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 a 5-day intensive somewhere in New England.

In both formats, classes sessions will include a variety of 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 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):


Summer 2017 —
Special 5-Day non-residential intensive format,
July 17-21

Led by David Spound and Trish Magyari

"I think non-residential Intensives are the way to go, especially in a lovely place like Northampton in July, and I'm thrilled that David and Trish are teaching together. A magic combo."
-- Chris Germer

This program includes the complete curriculum as covered in the original 8-week MSC course. It is suitable for:

  • MBSR graduates and other mindfulness practioners 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.

Program details:

  • This program will be limited to 20 participants.

  • During the 5 day program, daily sessions will take place from 9:30 am to 4:45 pm with a 1 hour 45 minutes lunch break. (Exact class hours might be adjusted on some days to better fit the needs of the group.)
  • Participants will be encouraged to engaged in some MSC practices each evening during the program, perhaps for 30–60 minutes.
  • Two online follow-up sessions (video conferencing) will be offered to provide ongoing support for the practices that are learned during the 5-day program.
    • The dates for these sessions have not yet been determined. Most likely, one session will take place 1-2 weeks after the program and one will take place one month after that.
    • These sessions will be recorded so that those who cannot participate "live" can watch them later at their convenience.
  • There will be an optional (no charge) perod of meditation and/or yoga from 8:30 to 9:15 am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

  • For those who live at a distance, there are several housing options 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 MindfulnessCenter 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 space for people to eat lunch and rest between sessions. This space will be available only to those in our program.


    Program fee:

  • The course fee includes the 5-day program, all materials, and two online follow-up meetings.
  • We offer a sliding scale based on household income:
    • Under $30,000: $375
    • From $30,000–$60,000: $525
    • Over $60,000: $675

    • $50 discount for all registrations received and paid in full no later than July 7.

    • We are able to offer a lower fee for up to two people whose household income is less than $15,000. Please contact us for details.

    • Current full-time college and university students may take this course for $200.


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.

Important: Due its intensive nature, this 5-day course is NOT recommended for those currently in crisis or with unstable mental health conditions. If there is any question about this, please feel free to contact us.


Program Registration is now open.

Please click here to register.



Future MSC courses

Additional 8-week MSC courses will be offered in the fall of 2017.







  Home | Programs & Services | Mindfulness | About | Contact | Links & Resources
© 2006–2017 David A. Spound. All rights reserved.