Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported 9-week experiential training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. MSC is not therapy or a form of group therapy. It is not a substitute for medical or mental health treatment.
MSC focuses on building emotional resources. Beneficial change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way. MSC is primarily self-compassion training, not mindfulness training. This is based on the groundbreaking research of Kristen Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer and teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding.
What is Self-Compassion?
Self-Compassion is like having compassion for others, the feelings and experiences are the same, except we include ourselves in the humble art of giving compassion to ourselves, being our own best friend. What would that be like for you?
Training in self-compassion also enables us to love others while retaining a sense of self, ensuring healthy boundaries.
What is the difference between Mindfulness and Self-Compassion?
One way to understand mindfulness is to be aware of the experience of the present moment, with acceptance. We cannot respond with compassion to our own suffering until we turn toward it with mindfulness. So, mindfulness focuses on the experience of the present moment. Self-Compassion focuses on the person having the experience.
This Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training programme will focus on:
  • Establishing group boundaries and confidentiality. This means that participants engage in as much or as little as they feel comfortable doing.
  • Providing a safe, supportive, and encouraging atmosphere to gently explore how we generally respond or react when challenging emotions arise and to provide tools for becoming a warm companion to ourselves.
  • There is a short talk on the week’s topic, meditation, small (Zoom break out rooms with optional participation), and large group sharing. The session also includes experiential exercises and suggested home practice.
  • The intention of this training is for you to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in your daily life.
  • This is primarily a practical group learning MSC programme so that we experience self-compassion in action in a safe and supportive community at your own unique pace, and not just talk about self-compassion.
  • Nurturing MSC in our lives is an ongoing daily process, an adventure rather than a destination. We go slowly at our own pace and take small steps.
  • Compassion is a positive, energizing emotion. However, it is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself” therefore, while learning self-compassion some difficult and perhaps challenging emotions may arise. Your teachers Carmen and Jim are competent, trained, and committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for the process to unfold, and to making the adventure as enjoyable as possible for everyone.
What to expect each week in this MSC programme?
This training programme follows a comprehensive and safe 9-week structure, each week’s topic (2.30 hours) builds on the previous week. So, it is important as far as practical to attend every week to gain the full benefit of the programme.
  • Week 1: Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion
  • Week 2: Practicing Mindfulness
  • Week 3: Practicing Kindness
  • Week 4: Discovering Your Compassionate Voice
  • Week 5: Living Deeply
  • Week 6: Retreat
  • Week 7: Meeting Difficult Emotions
  • Week 8: Exploring Challenging Relationships
  • Week 9: Embracing Your Life
During the 9-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) programme, you will learn to:
  • Be your own best friend.
  • Practice Self-Compassion in your daily life.
  • Understand the empirically supported benefits of self-compassion.
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism.
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease.
  • Transform challenging relationships, old and new.
  • Manage caregiving fatigue.
  • Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation.
Is this MSC training course for you?
Self-compassion can be learned by anyone – regardless your background, education, experience, or even if you feel uneasy when being good to yourself. It is a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption.
Self-compassion provides 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 our true selves in our daily lives.
Expanding research indicates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression, and stress. It is also correlated with healthy habits, such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.
MSC is not a quick fix for anything since no one is broken and needs “fixing”. However, it indicates a path in which we can relate to our wounding and since a lot of our wounding in life occurs in relationships (including relating to ourselves) healing can also take place in relationships in a safe, caring, and supportive MSC community. But most of all it is easier than you think!
You are still not sure? Why not have a chat? This is to help you explore if this is the optimum time for you to participate in this course, bearing in mind your safety and readiness for this kind of emotional work. It is an informal short chat (20 min) over Zoom with Carmen and/ or Jim. The information shared in this chat is confidential to the teachers. Scroll down and fill in the form and we’ll come back to you.
Meet your teachers – co-adventurers

Carmen Manea

I have little inclination to talk about myself and my achievements, and I would rather listen to the stories of those I meet and talk about all those who inspire me. It is important though to tell you a few words about my journey, so you can understand how I came to do the work I’m doing and how I can maybe serve you in this adventure.
Since I can remember, I was a curious and lively, yet sensitive and empathic. I loved trying new things and I couldn’t stand conflicts. I grew up following the society norms – getting a good education, a good job, a house and a family – and felt the pressure to achieve all these or ashamed if I was failing at times. I also learnt that if I put more pressure on myself, the pressure from outside is not that strong.
When I was 30 years old, I had it all: I was having a leadership position being responsible for 120 people, a flat and a partner. I was also stressed, very self-critical, anxious, unhappy, and feeling trapped.
In 2009, I discovered meditation, and slowly my life changed. Yet, only when I discovered and started to practice self-compassion, my relationship with myself radically changed.
In 2017, I left my corporate job, and I dedicated my life to coaching and teaching mindfulness (MBSR), emotional balance (CEB) and self-compassion (MSC). It has been an incredible journey of serving others and growing at the same time because, as one of my teachers was saying, “never ask your students to do something that you are not doing yourself”. So, every time I’m teaching, I’m continuing to learn and go deeper, as life never stops to provide plenty of opportunities for practice.
I’d love to have the chance to learn, grow and practice together.

Jim Keating

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is transforming my life, and in particular my relationship with myself. Having grown up emotionally and physically alone, with a severe inner critic, coupled with an intense all-pervasive feeling of shame, to survive I went into my head and pushed down my feelings.
I have always been drawn to personal service, to volunteering, grounded in community. So, in my mid-teens, I entered a monastery and worked in the wider community and pursued an academic life. Left in my mid-twenties and worked and lived in a homeless shelter. There, I experienced what a caring and supportive community is all about. (It’s also where I met my life-partner, and we are co-parents now). Training in psychotherapy followed, and I ran a practice for several years.
“Be the change, you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi.
This wise invitation from Mahatma Gandhi is my guiding intention, my North Star. Through my ever-deepening practice of MSC it invites me to help make humanity a better place, one person at a time. However, sometimes I fail, and I have slowly come to accept that’s ok for me. There are no experts in this, I like to call myself a co-adventurer, for I believe we each have something of equal value to contribute. We truly, learn and grow from each other. I would very much like for you to join this adventure of self-compassion, being your own best friend, and truly what an adventure, it never ends.
Finally, just for fun, what has been said about me? “Kindness and warmth shine through Jim” I would like to add a keen sense of Intuition, friendliness, and a sense of humour.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Carmen and Jim

We got to know each other in part one of the MSC teacher training. We recognised a similar heart energy, passion and warmth for teaching and learning of MSC. We share similar values, and yet complement each other and bring different embodied qualities to the group. Carmen is a trained Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher. A very experienced Life-Coach and has a business background. Jim comes from a mental health background.
Most important, we trust each other, and are easy together. We are learning from each other and hopefully from each of you, it’s a two-way process. During this course we also engage with a very experienced mentor to ensure that you are receiving the optimum teaching and support that you need. Be assured this does not affect your privacy.
The Experience of Other Participants

Brian Cortifsen Electrician, Denmark
After taking two of Carmen’s courses, I feel like a new person. Having kicked a narcissistic parent out of my life, left me with a big hole in my life. The last year really helped me find my true self, and be the person I really love being. Thank you, Carmen!

Rikke Agergaard HR Consultant, Denmark
I would warmly recommend Carmen’s courses to anyone who wants to cultivate awareness, balance and take responsibility for their emotions and personal growth and development – whether it is in the personal life or professional life. Some important lessons for me was that Carmen taught me to recognize the automatic storylines in my head and deal with emotions in a more reflected way; When a feeling arises you always have the opportunity to stop and choose how/if you want to react to it. The classes with Carmen always left me with more calmness, clarity and with several important personal realizations. Carmen created a safe space for us in the class, and also she managed to create a sense of community between the participants, in which I think we all felt deeply connected as human beings, realizing that we all to some degree deal with the same emotions. This was deeply touching to experience.

Maja Birk Teacher, Denmark
Jeg har deltaget i tre kurser med Carmen – Meditation & mindfulness, Cultivating Emotional Balance, og Self-Compassion. Alle tre kurser har givet mig et sundt og varmt syn på mig selv, mine følelser og det har lært mig at forstå min omverden på en åben og medfølende måde.
Jeg vil varmt anbefale denne kurser til dig, der har brug for at gå på rejse med dig selv og sammen med andre eller dig, der blot er nysgerrig på, hvordan du finder en indre ro, som du kan tage med dig videre – der er ikke noget krav om, hvad du skal kunne, du skal blot være åben og du kan bruge øvelserne lige præcis som de passer ind i dit liv og din verden. Der er ingen løftede øjenbryn, og du bliver mødt med varme, smil og en åbenhed, som er svær at lade ligge, når kurset er færdig.
Jeg har lært mig selv utroligt godt at kende gennem de tre kurser. Blandt andet gør jeg brug af Emotionel Episode Timeline, som er et fantastisk redskab i hverdagen og til at forstå følelser – uden at skulle underkende dem. Jeg har lært at acceptere tingenes tilstand og lade følelserne være til stede, både de gode og de mindre gode. Compassion-øvelsen var fantastisk fordi det skaber udsyn, medfølelse og forståelse. Til sidst vil jeg også nævne Wise Breaks, som gør mig bedre i stand til at klare vanskelige situationer både ude og hjemme.
Mindfulness har bragt meget glæde ind i mit liv, og jeg vil varmt anbefale og ønske for alle at de prøver kurserne.

Karen Buchanan Researcher/Coach/International Development Consultant, UK & Germany
Carmen is a gifted teacher and using incremental approach, guided us on our individual journey to a more mindful way of living. Through experiential learning, every weekly session allowed me to better understand mindfulness and the tangible benefits the practice can bring me. After every session, and particularly after the all-day retreat, I felt a wonderful inner peace and better able to cope with change and uncertainty. I warmly recommend Carmen’s course to you!

Katharina Hill International Coordinator, Denmark & Germany
I participated in Carmen’s 8-week MBSR program online and it was an incredible learning experience, possibly even life changing. I was already in therapy but lacked some hands-on methods for handling stress. During the 8 weeks, I learned mindfulness theory and exercises. I had known about it but only through the exercises and talking about the experiences with Carmen and the other participants I understood how it is true for me and my life.
I chose to participate in Carmen’s program mostly because of her. She has a very professional approach based on profound knowledge and she is an amazing teacher. Kind, patient, honest and warmhearted. She listens and is truly invested in each and every student. I first met Carmen at a workshop and decided to participate in her 8 week MBSR program because I loved her attitude and approach to teaching. Admittedly, the 8 weeks might seem like a big commitment and they were indeed hard work but for me it was all worth it because I learned so much about myself.
Carmen is an incredible coach and guided and motivated me so well with her kind, humorous and down-to-earth attitude. Only through this program I really understood the complex yet simple connection between body and mind and have found the right direction for my healing journey.
It‘s not like that after 8 weeks I magically don‘t feel stressed or anxious anymore. No. But now I know how to deal with it better, am aware of triggers and have come to genuinely enjoy meditation because it centers me. The MBSR has opened many doors for me and I’m always curious what the next thing that I learn about myself will be or how I can improve whatever I do with a touch of mindfulness.
Whatever your motivation is to work with Carmen, I‘m sure she will help you greatly because she is highly professional, very skilled and simply has a beautiful soul who always finds the right words to brighten up your day and keep you going.
General practicalities
  • Course duration: 9 weeks, 2h 30min per week
  • Dates: weekly on Mondays:
    • 2024, January: 8, 15, 22, 29
    • 2024, February: 5, 12, 19, 26
    • 2024, March: 4
  • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm (GMT London)/ 7.00pm – 09.30pm (CET) (2h 30min)
  • [check your local time here (Copenhagen time zone)]
  • Place: online live, via Zoom – you will receive the link a few days prior to the course start
  • Group size: min 8 – max 20 participants
  • Cost: EUR 449 if you pay by November 30th; EUR 495 if you pay by December 21st
  • Registration: Sign up and pay up to December 21st. Please fill in the below pre-registration form
  • Need more information? Fill in the same form and Carmen or Jim will come back to you for a chat
Pre-register or sign up for a call!

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