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Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Valley Mindfulness is pleased to offer Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) in several officially approved formats.

  • 8-week course (complete MSC program, one evening class per week).

  • 5-day intensive course (complete MSC program over 5 consecutive days).

  • 2-Day Core Skills workshop (condensed weekend program).

In each of these formats, classes sessions include a variety of meditative practice and exercises in which participants explore the experience of self-compassion, examine common obstacles to self-compassion, and learn techniques for cultivating self-compassion in daily life. Class sessions 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.

The Complete MSC Course — two options:

A complete MSC program as developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff includes at least 26 hours of class time.

Most often, we will offer this program in the original 8-week format, with one 3-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 a 5-day Intensive (full-day classes on consecutive days). A common schedule for such an intensive is Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with a lunch break.

The MSC course is open to adults (21+) and is suitable for:

  • Those who are new to meditation and the practices of mindfulness and self-compassion;
  • Experienced meditation practitioners and MSC graduates who want to deepen their practices;
  • 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 aspire to use practices of mindfulness and self-compassion in professional settings.

    The 8-week and 5-Day MSC courses meet one of the prerequisites for entering the MSC teacher training program offered by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Click here for our next 8-week MSC course offerings.

Click here for next 5-Day Intensive MSC course offerings.

 

MSC Core Skills:

MSC Core Skills was developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff to provide many of the key practices and exercises of the Mindful Self-Compassion course in a weekend workshop format.

This experiential and interactive workshop can serve as an introduction to MSC and also as a refresher for those who have taken MSC in the past. It is also suitable as a professional training seminar for healthcare professions. CE Credits can be provided with advance notice.

This workshop is open to adults and is especially suitable for:

  • Those who are new to the practices of mindfulness and self-compassion and would like to learn some practical skills;
  • Experienced practitioners and MSC graduates who want to deepen their practices;
  • 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 aspire to use practices of mindfulness and self-compassion in professional settings.

Click here for our next Core Skills workshhop.

 


 

8-Week MSC Course:

September-November 2020 Complete 8-week course, original format.

An 8-week MSC course will also be offered during the fall of 2020. Dates and times will be posted here in april 2020.

Dates and Times:

  • 8 Wednesday evenings,
    September 16 through November 11, 2020
    6:00 to 9:00 pm.


    (There is no class on Wednesday, November 4.)

    Each of these weekly classes will have a 15 minute break about half-way through the evening.

  • In addition, there will be a special "retreat" class on Saturday, October 17, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. This session is an important part of the MSC course.
  • Introductory (Orientation) sessions will be offered during August and September 2020. All participants must attend one of the Orientation sessions. Dates are posted on the course regisrtation page (see link below).
  • Teacher:

    David Spound and Gail Wingate. Please click here for information about the teachers.

    CE Credits Available:

    Licensed psychotherapists, nurses, and dieticians can earn credits for taking this weekend workshop. Please contact us for details about CE Credits.

    Additional program details:

    • This course fulfills one of the prerequisites for those who intend to enter MSC Teacher Training.
      (NOTE: if you will need a certificate of completion following this course to satisfy the entrance requirement for teacher training, you must not miss more than one class.)
    • The dates and times for each class are posted above; please note that the ending times of classes might be adjusted plus or minus 15 minutes to better fit the needs of the group.
    • Those who live at a distance from Northampton 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 in which participants can eat and rest.

      Program fee:

    • The course fee includes all class sessions and materials (including a workbook and recorded meditations).

    • We offer a sliding scale for the 8-week MSC Course 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 $35,000: $300
      • From $35,000–$65,000: $475
      • Over $65,000: $650

      • Current full-time college and university students without income or family financial support may take this course for $200.

      • This sliding fee scale applies to individuals. When organizations are paying for their employees to attend, the full $650 fee will be charged.

      • We accept credit and debit cards, checks, cash, PayPal, and ApplePay.

    Payment plans are now available. Through our partnership with Square, you can apply to make installment payments for your course, with terms of 3, 6, or 12 months. Let us know if you are interested in a payment plan so that we can send you the link through which you will complete an application.

    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.

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    Registration is now open. Please click here.
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    5-Day MSC Intensive Course:

    July 20–24, 2020
    Complete MSC Course in a 5-Day format.

    Dates and Times:

    Participants must be able to attend the full course (all sessions). It is not possible to take this program and miss a session.

    • Monday, July 20, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    • Tuesday, July 21, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    • Wednesday, July 22, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (no afternoon session).

    • Thursday, July 23, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    • Friday, July 24, 9:00 am to 12:15 pm (no afternoon session).

      There will be a lunch break of approximately 2 hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. There are a variety of restaurants and food stores nearby, and we have a break room in which people are welcome to eat and relax during the lunch break.

      The morning and afternoon sessions will each have a 15 minute break about half-way through.

    • Introductory (Orientation) sessions will be offered during June and July 2020. All participants must attend one of the Orientation sessions. Dates for these sessions are posted on the course regisrtation page (see link below).

    • For those who live too far away for daily commuting to our Valley Mindfulness Center, please note that there are quite a few lodging and food options nearby that can meet a variety of budgets and dietary requirements. Some of these facilities are within walking distance of our center and others are within a short drive.

    Teacher:

    David Spound and Gail Wingate. Please click here for information about the teachers.

    CE Credits Available:

    Licensed psychotherapists, nurses, and dieticians can earn credits for taking this weekend workshop. Please contact us for details about CE Credits.

    Additional program details:

    • This course fulfills one of the prerequisites for those who intend to enter MSC Teacher Training.
    • Those who live at a distance from Northampton 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 healthy 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 in which participants can eat and rest.

      Program fee:

    • The course fee includes all class sessions and materials (including a detailed workbook and recorded meditations).

    • We offer a sliding scale for the course 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 $35,000: $325
      • From $35,000–$65,000: $500
      • Over $65,000: $675

      • Current full-time college and university students without income or family financial support may take this course for $250.

      • This sliding fee scale applies to individuals. When organizations are paying for their employees to attend, the full $675 fee will be charged.

      • We accept credit and debit cards, checks, cash, PayPal, and ApplePay.

    Payment plans are now available. Through our partnership with Square, you can apply to make installment payments for your course, with terms of 3, 6, or 12 months. Let us know if you are interested in a payment plan so that we can send you the link through which you will complete an application.

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    Registration for our July 5-Day MSC Intensive is now open. Please click here.
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    MSC Core Skills Workshop:

    Learn some of the key concepts and practices of the MSC course, in a 2-day weekend workshop format including:

    • What self-compassion is and is not.
    • Self-compassion practices for daily life.
    • How to motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism.
    • A personalized approach to loving-kindness meditation.
    • How to handle difficult emotions with greater ease.
    • How to include both self-compassion and compassion for others into challenging relationships and caregiving situations.
    • How to enjoy life more fully.

    Dates and Times:

    • There are Core Skills Workshops scheduled at this time.
    • Typical Workshop Schedule:
      Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day (with a 75 minute lunch break).

     

    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. However we also welcome participants with no meditation experience who are drawn to participate in MSC.

    What is Mindful Self-Compassion?

    The following course description comes from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion web site:

    "MSC was developed by Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D., leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (www.valleymindfulness.com) 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"

     

     

    "The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. When we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through."
    — Parker Palmer

     

     

     

     
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