What it means to become an MSC Teacher

The foundation for teaching MSC is to embody the qualities of mindfulness and self-compassion and to have an ongoing, daily practice. Becoming an MSC teacher is a wholehearted endeavor and a rich experience for those who choose to embark on this path. There are several prerequisites to meet before being accepted onto the teacher training program and you are encouraged to carefully consider whether you meet these prerequisites before you apply.

The teacher training program is designed for those who wish to teach the full 8-Week MSC course as well as those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion into their ongoing professional activities (i.e., psychotherapy, coaching, nursing, teaching, etc.) and individuals who have a professional interest in the field (i.e., researchers, administrators, etc.).

The Training Pathway

The teacher training program consists of three components and you are required to complete each component in sequence if you wish to become an MSC teacher, to be listed in the CMSC teacher directory and be eligible to teach the standard 8-Week MSC course. Further opportunities for professional development and offering MSC adaptations are possible once teachers attain their Trained Teacher status.

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First Component

Teacher Training course, in either the 6-Day Residential or 12-Week Live Online format.

Second Compenent

10-Week Teacher Training Practicum

Third Component

10 Group Consultation Sessions during your first teaching experience.

Steps to becoming an MSC Teacher

Prerequisites
The standard pre-requisites for taking the MSC Teacher Training are:

  • Established daily mindfulness practice of at least two years
  • Ongoing, daily, sitting meditation practice
  • Ongoing practice of loving-kindness and self-compassion in daily life
  • Previous participation in an 8-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course or 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive. (Live Online MSC does not typically counted as a substitute for an in-person course).*
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led, mindfulness-based meditation retreat. Some MSC silent retreats are listed here, however the retreat does not need to be MSC-based in order to meet the requirement.*
  • Experience teaching meditation in groups
Objectives
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen one’s personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Understand the current theory and research on self-compassion
  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
  • Develop the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience and facilitate group cohesion
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming them
  • Embody a mindful and compassionate stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice
Reading List
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen one’s personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Understand the current theory and research on self-compassion
  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
  • Develop the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience and facilitate group cohesion
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming them
  • Embody a mindful and compassionate stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice
Host Organizations & Teacher Trainers
At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen one’s personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Understand the current theory and research on self-compassion
  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
  • Develop the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience and facilitate group cohesion
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming them
  • Embody a mindful and compassionate stance toward students of the MSC program as they confront challenges to their practice

Step 1

Attend Teacher Training course

Step 2

Attend 10-Week
Teacher Training Practicum

Step 3

Attend 10 Group Consultation Sessions, whilst co-teaching an MSC course as a Teacher-in-Training

Step 4

Apply for Trained Teacher status

* Due to the pandemic, we are now permitting Live Online MSC and other online versions of the standard 8-week course, to count as a valid pre-requisites. Certain online silent retreats, run by well-established retreat centers and reputable teachers may also count toward the silent retreat pre-requisite, subject to the discretion of the Center for MSC.

Step 1.   Teacher Training Course

Duration / Format:      Residential – 6 Days  or  Live Online – 12 Weeks

The Teacher Training is built around the eight weekly sessions of the MSC course and is facilitated by a team of senior MSC teachers. Participants are provided with the essential materials for teaching the 8-week course. Upon completion, trainees will be eligible to join a Teacher Training Practicum, the second step in the pathway to becoming a Trained MSC Teacher.

Training sessions include:

Condensed, experiential review of each of the 8 MSC sessions

“Teachback” sessions to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion

Short talks, group exercises, discussion and periods of silence

Close consultation with the Teacher Trainers

Residential Teacher Training

Cost: $1595 USD approx. (not including room and board)

Residential Teacher Training is an intensive course held at a retreat venue. Staying on site is typically required to avoid disruption, enhance group cohesion and deepen help participants make the most of the experience.

❖ 6 full days and 5 nights
❖ Start time is generally 3pm on day one and ends after lunch on day 6.
❖ Total contact time: 32 hours
❖ CEU credits may be available, please check individual course details
❖ Scholarships may be available, please check individual course details

Live Online Teacher Training

Cost: $2195 

Live Online Teacher Training provides a more intimate, personalized experience with more contact between trainees and trainers and more time to practice and process learning between sessions.

❖ 2 sessions per week over 12 weeks
❖ Sessions are generally 3 hours (MSC session) and 1.75 hours (teaching session) each week,
with a few exceptions.
❖ There is one week off mid-way through the course.
❖ Total contact time: 54.25 ( tbc)
❖ CEU credits are available
❖ Partial scholarships available

Step 2.   Teacher Training Practicum (TTP)

Duration / Format:      Live Online – 10 Weeks

The TTP is an opportunity for a group of up to 16 teachers-in-training to practice their new-found teaching skills in a safe, structured, online environment facilitated by two Certified MSC Teachers/TTP Trainers. Each week focuses on a single MSC session and all trainees come prepared to teach each session, and are then assigned to lead the various practices, topics and exercises of that session, with periods of feedback and discussion.

The TTP provides new teachers with a “laboratory” to find their own voices and to continue to practice what they learned at the Residential/ Live Online Teacher Training, with time between each session to review, prepare and reflect on the process of teaching MSC. Once you have been accepted on the Teacher Training program, you will be provided with a link to register for the Teacher Training Practicum of your choice.

Summary:

Cost: $995 USD (early-bird), $1095 (standard)

❖ 10 weekly sessions, 2.5 hours each
❖ Total contact time: 25 hours
❖ CEU credits are not available
❖ Choose from a range of dates once you are enrolled on a Teacher Training Program.
❖ Limited scholarship funding is available up to 50%

Step 3.   Group Consultation Sessions, whilst co-teaching an MSC course as a Teacher-in-Training

Duration / Format:      Live Online – 10 Weeks

Whilst co-teaching your first 8-week course, teachers-in-training must enroll in a series of ten, group consultation sessions. There are up to 6 teachers-in-training per session, facilitated by a Teacher Trainer or Senior MSC Teacher. Unlike the Teacher Training and the TTP where you are in the same cohort throughout, attendees in the consultation sessions will vary week-to-week and teachers can expect to hear from a variety of experiences and stages of teaching.

To be eligible for Trained Teacher status after completing this step, the following is required:
➢ Your MSC course must have at least 8 registered participants.
➢ You should be co-teaching at least 50% of the course.
➢ Your course must be taught in-person, it must follow the MSC curriculum and not be a modification or adaptation of the curriculum.*

Summary:

Cost: $400 USD ($275 for low-income countries)

❖ 10 weekly sessions, 1 hour each
❖ Total contact time: 10 hours
❖ CEU credits are not available
❖ Multiple slots offered weekly, sign up any time before or during your first teaching
experience.

Step 4.   Apply for Trained Teacher status

Once you have completed the 3 components of the Teacher Training Program steps outlined above, you will be granted full Trained MSC Teacher status. You will receive a certificate, be listed as a Trained Teacher on the MSC teacher directory where you can advertise your courses, and be permitted to teach the 8-week, in-person MSC course independently.

Upcoming Teacher Trainings

25

January

Centrum voor Mindfulness

Netherlands

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15

March

The Ammerdown Centre

United Kingdom

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4

April

Rolling Ridge Retreat Centre

United States

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16

June

Casa de Retiros Nossa Senhora Aparecida

Brazil

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4

July

Hotel Mennorode

Netherlands

Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Mauris blandit aliquet elit, eget tincidunt nibh pulvinar a. Vivamus suscipit tortor eget felis porttitor volutpat. Proin eget tortor risus. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada.

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- Brad

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- Jessica

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- Tyler