Course Information

Compassion: MSC Online Intensive Foundation Training

When: 9 Nov 2024 - 7 Dec 2024
Where: Online Event
Tutors: Ali Lambie, Caroline Hoffman


5 x Saturdays as follows:

9th November, 16th November, 23rd November, 30th November, 7th December 2024

What is compassion?

Compassion is the capacity to be sensitive to the suffering of ourselves and others and the willingness to relieve and prevent it (Paul Gilbert, 2014). It is a capacity inherent in all of us but for many reasons does not always come to flourish. Fortunately, it can be trained, developed and deepened through practice. Compassion is characterised by kindness and receptivity as well as courage and responsibility. Many believe compassion should be directed towards others rather than ourselves but self-compassion is not selfish. Research increasingly shows that self-compassion is – like mindfulness – key to mental health and goes hand in hand with greater openness and empathy towards others.

What is Mindful Self-Compassion?

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the ground-breaking 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 practice of MSC fosters 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. 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.

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.

What does the online MSC programme offer?

In this online course, participants will experience the full MSC curriculum (offered elsewhere over 8 weekly classes + retreat session or over 5 days intensive residential training). Each session includes meditations, daily life practices, self-reflective exercises, and group sharing. With the support of highly experienced teachers and an evidenced-based curriculum participants will experience self-compassion directly and learn resourcing practices for greater ease and wellbeing in all aspects of life.

The emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources as we develop the capacity to be with our difficulties, and with ourselves, in a loving, compassionate way. Each session we will explore a theme to deepen our understanding and capacity for self-compassion, whilst applying it to many aspects of our lives.

Please note that this MSC course meets the pre-requisite for MSC Teacher Training.

What to expect

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 therapeutic, but it’s not therapy insofar as the emphasis 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. This capacity develops during the course as we explore guided practices and experiential exercises, share conceptual frameworks, engage in group discussions and in home practice between the classes.

Compassion has the effect of soothing and comforting us as it paradoxically opens us to emotional discomfort. While some difficult emotions may therefore arise when practicing self-compassion, our highly experienced teachers are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.

Learning objectives

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 encouragement 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

Participant Requirements

This course is open to all. No previous mindfulness experience is required though it can be very helpful. So you may be new to mindfulness, or maybe you have been practising or teaching mindfulness for a while. A key motivation is the wish to explore elements of the approach that directly address the experience of inner criticism and struggle in relationship with ourselves, and with others.

Please ensure you are able to attend the entire event. If this is not possible, please contact us to discuss before submitting an application.

MSC teacher training

This course serves as pre-requisite to MSC Teacher Training which can be taken online via the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion or in the UK in residential format over six days hosted by Sussex Mindfulness Centre. A full Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training Pathway is a collaboration between UK partners - the Mindfulness Network, MSC-UK and Sussex Mindfulness Centre - find out more about this pathway.


Participants are requested to buy the MSC workbook that accompanies this training:

Neff, K. and Germer, C. (2018) The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. New York: The Guilford Press


One session of the MSC programme will be offered in the morning followed by a break of two and a half hours for lunch and self-care as we engage in this intensive training. The next session will follow later in the afternoon. Timings as follows:

9.30 am – 12.30 pm and 3.00 – 6.00 pm UK time (except for 7th December which is 9.30 am – 12.30 pm only).

All times are UK. If you are attending from a different time zone, please check equivalent timings in your time zone.

All times given are UK, GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). If you are attending from a different time zone, please check equivalent timings in your time zone.

What to bring/wear:

We advise you create a space where you won’t be disturbed or distracted by other devices or interruptions. Pen and paper, as well as a comfy chair, cushions and a blanket would be helpful to support your practice space at home.


The training will be delivered via Zoom. Participants will receive a confirmation email with information about how to join online meetings via Zoom nearer the start date. Use of a laptop or equivalent well-functioning device is recommended

Our rates:

Full rate for online course: £395.00 (includes £100 non-refundable deposit)

Bursary-assisted places are available on this event until 3 months before the event starts. Bursary applications need to be submitted and decided prior to booking onto the event. To find out more about our bursary schemes and to apply, please first visit our website here:

Employer's rate - Recognising the administrative overhead of dealing with employers, we will be adding a £50 surcharge if the employer is paying directly; where possible we would advise applicants to pay themselves and reclaim on expenses to avoid the charge.

The Application Process:

Our application and payment process involves the following steps:

  1. We receive your application form and assess it to ensure that this event is suitable for you. We endeavour to make assessments within a week but if the tutor is on annual leave or on retreat this can take a little bit longer.
  2. Upon offering you a place, we will then invoice you for the full amount.
  3. Your place is fully confirmed once we receive your full payment.
  4. We will email you the joining instructions in advance of the course.

Payment and Cancellation Policy:

Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully for information regarding payments and cancellations.

For more information:

Please email us at


Click here to sign up to this event.