Mindful Self Compassion (MSC)


An 8 week program in developing a caring relationship with yourself and others. In this program, you will learn how to be with difficult emotions and moments in your life with kindness, care and understanding.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported program developed by Drs. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion.  MSC teaches core principles and essential tools for treating yourself in a kind, compassionate way whenever you suffer, fail or feel inadequate rather than the typical response of self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others, and be fully human.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who did not receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves.

Growing research continues to show that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships. To learn more about MSC CLICK HERE

What to expect
In the MSC program, participants will meet as a group with a teacher(s) for 3 hours once a week for 8 weeks in addition to a 4 hour retreat. Participants will learn and apply the three key components of self-compassion using meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. Participants will be provided materials (handouts and a CD) to support what they are learning in the weekly sessions and for use during home practice.

MSC is primarily a compassion training program rather than a mindfulness training/retreat, although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. The goal of the MSC program is to provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring how we typically respond when difficult emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves. Unlike group or individual therapy, the emphasis will be on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities rather than addressing old wounds.

Following this program, participants should be able to:

  • practice self-compassion in daily life
  • understand the empirically-supportive benefits of self-compassion
  • respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • handle difficult emotions with greater ease and acceptance
  • transform difficult/challenging relationships, old and new
  • motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism
  • manage caregiver fatigue
  • practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation

Our therapeutic groups are small (about 12 people).

Who should attend
No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is necessary to attend MSC. This program is designed for anyone who wishes to integrate and cultivate greater self-compassion into their lives and/or work. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program. It is recommended that participants read one or both of the following books before or during the program:

  • Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristin Neff
  • The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, by Christopher Germer

Participants can use our meditation Zafu cushions and yoga mats during the sessions or are welcome to bring their own. Chairs will also be available. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable causal clothing. Handouts and audio materials will be provided and are included in the program fee.

Fee: $600 In-Person (HST and materials included)*. 

The MSC program is not covered under MSI. However, those with extended healthcare benefits (i.e., private health insurance) may be eligible for reimbursement. Please contact your health insurance provider for details as to whether therapeutic group sessions offered by a Registered Psychologist are covered.

Note that any fees not paid by medical insurance may be tax deductible as a medical expense.

In order to make our therapeutic groups more accessible to everyone, payment plans are available for those who require it.  A valid credit card is required for this option.

Please be aware of our payment, cancellation and refund policies.

Completed registrations indicate understanding and acceptance of our Payment, Cancellation and Refund Policy.

CLICK HERE for our policies

Enrollment is limited as our groups are small (about 12-13 people). Pre-registration is required.