“This course has been transformative for me. I now have a thorough understanding of self-compassion and the tools for using it. Loving-kindness has flooded through me for the first time in 28 years... It has given me courage to face challenges past, present and hopefully future. Thank you with all my heart”
About Mindful Self-Compassion
Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.
The three key components of self-compassion are Mindfulness, a sense of Common Humanity, and Self-Kindness. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment so we can be more present with our experience, Common Humanity enables us to understand our essential inter-connectedness and that we are not alone, and Self-Kindness helps us to respond to ourselves in constructive ways much as we might to a loved one.
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are kind to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, negative self-talk and ‘pushing’ ourselves through times of difficulty. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.
Watch this short video of Ali explaining all about Mindful Self-Compassion
Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.
The course will support you in learning to:
- Practice self-compassion in daily life
- Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion
- Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
- Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
- Transform challenging relationships, old and new
- Manage caregiver fatigue
- Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation
What to expect
The course programme includes guided meditation practices, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The aim is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.
If you’d like to know more here’s an interview with MSC co-founder Chris Germer explaining more and including research findings about how powerful this training can be.
MSC is primarily a compassion training programme rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.
Some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, and as your teacher I am committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone. Some participants will likely have previously participated in an eight week mindfulness course so will be familiar with principles and with the experience of mindfulness practice – however this isn’t essential, so please do get in touch to discuss suitability if you haven’t done a mindfulness course first.
The MSC course is offered in two different formats:
1. The next weekly online MSC course will run:
When: Wednesday mornings, 9.30 am – 12.30 pm via Zoom
Dates: 19th, 26th January, 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd February, 2nd, 9th, 16th March 2022
The next 5-day residential MSC course will run:
Where: At Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex