Mindful Self-Compassion skills training course in Ballina

Mindful Self-Compassion skills training course in Ballina
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From Thu 12 September 2019 to Thu 31 October 2019
From Thursday 12 September 2019 to Thursday 31 October 2019
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

8 Week Course: Thursday nights, 5.30-8.30 starting 12 Sept to 31 Oct.

We all have struggles and challenges in our lives, and sometimes these lead to feelings of overwhelm, stress and emotional pain. In fact, recent research shows that more than 70% of us in the western world feel that our lives are very challenging and most of us feel that we haven’t got adequate skills to deal with many of life’s challenges.

Research also shows that we can better deal with most of life’s stressors and challenges by learning to be kinder, gentler and more compassionate towards ourselves; It’s learning to treat ourselves in a similar kind way that we’d treat a friend or someone else who is struggling. Training in Mindful Self-Compassion offers the opportunity to learn lifelong skills to do this for ourselves.

                        For someone to develop genuine 
                        compassion towards others, first
                        he or she must have a basis upon
                        which to cultivate compassion, and
                        that basis is the ability to connect
                        with one's own feelings and to care for
                        one's own welfare...caring for others
                        requires caring for oneself.

                                                                  Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama


The Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) program, is a well-researched and empirically-supported, training course designed by Kristen Neff, PhD and Christopher Germer, PhD. The course has rapidly gained acceptance internationally as a profound way to learn to use the skills of mindfulness and compassion to cultivate emotional resilience in ourselves, so we can respond to difficult moments and emotions in our personal and/or professional life with kindness, care and understanding.


In particular, the course has been shown to have a profoundly positive impact on our capacity to deal with stress.


Other key findings from extensive research of the efficacy of this program show training in self-compassion can:

  • reduce levels of anxiety, depression and stress,

  • boost happiness,

  • increase ease and wellbeing in daily life, and

  • maintain healthy habits such as diet and exercise.


                        “Love it. Love taking time for myself. Feel like I’m                                             slowly learning some self-compassion. And just some                                       more awareness. You guys are lovely teachers.”

                                                                                             Feedback from previous participant



So if you want to feel happier and better about yourself, act gentler and more kindly towards yourself and learn skilful ways for confidently dealing with life’s challenges, whether at home or at work, then consider attending our upcoming training course in Mindful Self-Compassion.


What exactly is MSC?

The emphasis of Mindful Self-Compassion training is on learning mindfulness and self-compassion practices to build emotional resources.

The learning environment is fun, supportive and safe, and encourages you to be your own teacher and treat the MSC experience like an adventure.

You learn skills and tools to soothe your own stress, anxiety, depression and pain while promoting calm, strength and vitality. Mindfulness is the ability to be more aware, to be present so we can stand back to develop more perspective. When we add compassion to mindfulness, we greatly increase the power of transformation and our capacity for resilience. Compassion contains what we all yearn for – feelings of acceptance, comfort, care, happiness, kindness and love.

Mindful self-compassion also means learning to hold difficult emotions, such as fear, anger, sadness, shame and self-doubt, in loving awareness, leading to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.

MSC is an outstanding self-experiential program where you learn the skills of self-compassion from the inside out. The end result is we become stronger as we develop the capacity to be with our difficulties and with ourselves, in a mindful compassionate way, enabling us to deal more effectively with challenges. During the Mindful Self-Compassion classes, the goal is to directly experience and learn practices that evoke mindfulness and self-compassion and can be practiced in daily activities to transform our lives. 

Simply put, self-compassion means becoming a friend to ourselves. The blend of mindfulness and self-compassion allows us insight into our emotions, together with the resources to maintain balance, build resilience and decrease our suffering. 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.

Who is MSC training for?


MSC training is suitable for anyone who wishes to cultivate the skills.

 This training is designed for all adults, from all walks of life, young or old, who want to live a more easeful, happy life, through developing strategies to support themselves in their personal and/or professional life, to cope with stress and to learn new skills to support themselves and others in times of difficulties and suffering.

 The program has been very popular among parents as well as professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses, medical practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, counsellors, school teachers and other educators at all levels, coaches, mindfulness/yoga teachers, as well as public servants and business professionals. Professionals from health, education and business often attend MSC courses, as this training is helpful for dealing with and preventing burnout and enhancing wellbeing, as well as dealing with challenging work settings.

Please note that previous meditation or mindfulness experience is not necessary to participate in the course.

                  Everyone is welcome!

What exactly do you do in Mindful Self-Compassion training sessions?


The MSC training program is delivered over 8 consecutive weeks. You will attend a 3 hour training session each week, allowing time between each session to put the new skills and practices into use in your everyday life. On a Saturday morning, midway through the program, there is a very relaxing, beneficial 4-hour silent retreat session focused entirely on your own individual practice.

Each session brings new topics and themes and thoughtfully builds on the previous one/s. Some of the specific themes you will explore include …

  • Slowing down, self-awareness and savouring the present moment
  • How to become more confident, resilient, joyful and motivated
  • Exploring the science of self-compassion and why most of us ignore this vital skill
  • Simple practices to transform moments of suffering into moments of love
  • How to befriend ourselves and nourish our needs
  • Relating to ourselves and others authentically and wholeheartedly
  • Moments of connection and shared common humanity
  • Building courage and appreciating our values and strengths
  • How to transform our inner critic into an inner coach


We will define Self-Compassion and explore new research and practices in Mindfulness, Loving-Kindness, compassionate voice, reduction of inner criticisms, core values, ways to manage difficult emotions, challenging relationships, forgiveness and self-forgiveness, self-care and how to re-wire the brain for greater happiness and flourishing. The program is continually updated and based on the latest neuroscience research findings.


Each class includes mindfulness and self-compassion related activities such as guided meditations, visualizations, short talks, experiential exercises, small and larger group discussion, self-reflective writing, strategies, and suggested home practices.  The emphasis is on your learning as an individual. Even through there are sometimes group discussions, this is not group therapy. The purpose of these discussions is to explore how the practices work, not for discussing personal difficulties or situations.

In fact, MSC is not therapy in any form. Even though the gained benefits are therapeutic, this course is strictly skill development training. The idea is to learn with minimal struggle, because that wouldn’t be being kind to ourselves!

Each week you will learn both informal and formal practices. Informal practices include learning tools to practice mindfulness and self-compassion throughout your daily life for just a minute or so at a time, and in ways that are obvious only go yourself. The more formal practices include guided mindfulness meditations which can take 15-20 minutes of dedicated time for yourself away from others.

                        “I think the activities are wonderful. Many have                                             been very enlightening for me. I’ve found the                                               informal practices really helpful and use then all                                           the time. When I found one of the formal practices                                       difficult, I really liked that I could just focus on my                                       breath. That is really freeing.”

                       “I enjoy how the structure is broken up with different                                  activities”.

                      “I found it very useful to be part of a group.”

                      “I’ve had lots of beautiful aha moments.”

                                                                                              Feedback from previous participants


The practices are all learned in a gentle, easy way and the emphasis is on finding what is comfortable for you and fits into your life and exploring adapting practices to suit your particular personal and life needs. Many of the discussions revolve around how to apply practices in our daily lives.

To assist in your learning, each course participant is provided with a manual and access to mp3 downloads of the meditations to support your home practices. The manual handout includes all the tools that you learn. The MP3 downloads include 11 guided meditations and informal practices, to aid in formal practicing of the meditations.


What happens once the course is finished? What long term benefits can I expect?

In summary, at the end of the course, you will have learned skills to be able to:

  • stop being so hard on yourself
  • practice mindfulness, self-compassion and lovingkindness in daily life
  • respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • cultivate feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards yourself and others
  • motivate yourself with encouragement and kindness rather than harsh self-criticism
  • handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • cultivate happiness and positive emotions
  • manage stress, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame with more grace and find creative ways of resolving challenges
  • begin to transform difficult relationships, old and new
  • manage burnout, caregiver fatigue and vicarious trauma
  • become more aware and able to attend skilfully to your own needs, as well as others’ needs.
  • practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation
  • understand the theory and research behind Mindful Self-Compassion.
  • be your own best teacher


                        “If you do not know how to take care of yourself,                                               and the violence in you, then you will not be able                                               to take care of others.” 

                                                                                                              Thich Nhat Hanh



Who is delivering the training?

This delivery of the Mindful Self-Compassion program is co-facilitated by trained MSC Teachers, Carmel Herington and Lyndi Smith, thus ensuring an optimal safe and rich learning environment.

Carmel is a highly experienced educator and mindfulness practitioner, based in the Ballina shire. She has taught at universities for 2 decades, frequently incorporating mindfulness and compassion practices into her work and teaching.

As well as MSC, Lyndi is also a meditation teacher, qi gong teacher and a mindfulness facilitator with Mind With Heart, Mindfulness Works and Conscious Beginnings. Lyndi lives in Brisbane and has been training in mindfulness and compassion for 11 years.

We have both personally experienced the wellbeing and life enhancing benefits of learning MSC and continually witness the value of MSC for the wellbeing of participants in our courses.

                        “The facilitators are really thorough, well organised                                           and exhibit all aspects of patience and compassion.                                           Being included and involved has made me feel much                                         better and more valued/appreciated.”

                       “Helpful is the way the facilitators deliver the content                                         and the obvious rapport they have with each other.                                           Creates the perfect ‘climate’ for learning and exploring                                     mindfulness and self-compassion.”

                       “The teachers need to know how admirable their skills                                       and caring attitudes are. Great modelling of behaviour                                     everyone should aspire to.”

                                                                                                        Feedback from previous participants


MSC course fees:

Early Bird until 22 August: $460

After 22 August: $490

(25% discount available for people who have previously attended an MSC course) 

Concession: $400

Bring a friend: $400 each (Share the experience with a friend or loved one).


For more information contact Carmel Herington; email: carmelherington@hotmail.com or phone 0423053250


Key references:
Germer, C.K. (2009), The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, Guilford, New York.
Neff, K. (2009), Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. HarperCollins, New York.
Neff, K. & Germer, C.K. (2018), The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. Guilford, New York
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.

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