Mindful Self-Compassionate Skills: A 5 Day Intensive

Facilitators: James Bennett-Levy & Tina Gibson

Date/Time: 5-9 June 2017

Cost: $900 / $820 early bird

Location: Byron Bay Community & Cultural Centre




The Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) Program, designed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff, has rapidly gained acceptance internationally as a profound way to learn to cultivate the skills of self-compassion – for therapists and community members alike. MSC is an empirically validated program, which can be offered as a 5 day intensive or an 8 week/3 hr week program.

Our Byron workshop is the 5-day intensive version. It will be co-taught by James Bennett-Levy and Tina Gibson. Both Tina and James are experienced Australian MSC teachers, who time and again have witnessed the – at times revolutionary – value of MSC for the wellbeing of workshop participants. James and Tina combined successfully to teach the program in South Australia in 2016, and are now offering it in Byron in 2017. Click here for a summary of some of the feedback from South Australia.

Tina GibsonMSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult emotions with kindness and understanding. Christopher Germer, one of the designers of this program, notes “Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing – being aware in the present moment when we’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress (mindfulness) and responding with kindness and understanding (self-compassion). Mindful self-compassion also means holding difficult emotions – fear, anger, sadness, shame and self-doubt – in loving awareness, leading to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.”

MSC is through and through a self-experiential program. Learning the skills of self-compassion from the inside out. As a springboard to learning to treat oneself with warmth and kindness rather than harshness and self-criticism, there are few more powerful programs than MSC. While there are clear implications of the program for work with clients for therapists to reflect on, MSC is focused fairly and squarely on oneself.

Learning objectives

For participants to learn to:

- Motivate themselves with encouragement rather than self-criticism

- Relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance

- Respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness

- Begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation

- Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation

- Integrate core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into daily life

- Be enabled to teach simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients

Key references

Neff, K., & Germer, C. K. (2013). A pilot study and randomized controlled trial of the Mindful Self-Compassion program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69, 28-44.

Christopher Germer: The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, Guilford Press.

Kristin Neff: Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

Tina Gibson

Tina is currently the only Australian qualified to lead MSC Teacher Training. She has extensive experience facilitating compassion- based mindfulness programs, and has been chosen to co-facilitate the first Australian MSC Teachers Training in April 2017.

James Bennett-Levy

James’ self-experiential approach to the training of therapists and to working with clients has created two classic CBT texts, the Oxford Guide to Behavioural Experiments in Cognitive Therapy (2004) and Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy (2011). The same self-experiential learning principles have been applied to therapist training in his latest book Experiencing CBT from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice/Self-Reflection (SP/SR) Workbook for Therapists (2015) and the forthcoming Experiencing Compassion-focused Therapy from

the Inside Out.