Mindful Self-Compassion
July 11  (Tuesday evenings)

Mindful Self-Compassion


8-week course

Why MSC?

Interested in learning to be kinder to yourself when you’re suffering? Wish you had better tools for handling difficult emotions? Want to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism and start to leave that harsh inner-critical voice behind? The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program includes exercises, meditations, and lessons on mindfulness, compassion for ourselves, difficult emotions, transforming the inner critic, and more.

We feel compassion and respond with kindness when a close friend is struggling. What would it be like to be able to offer yourself the same caring attention when you need it most?

A screenshot of nine people with serene faces and eyes closed, meditating together online. Includes mindfulness instructors Karen Schwisow and Carolyn McCarthy.

What to Expect

This 8-week course includes:

  • Guided instruction in mindful self-compassion practices and meditations
  • Skill building exercises for managing difficult emotions and developing compassion
  • Learning how to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
  • Learning how to stop being so hard on yourself and open to more happiness and joy
  • Group dialogue and small group exercises
  • Eight 2.5 hour classroom sessions
  • A weekend retreat day of practice

This class provided me with the tools to meet difficult emotions, and allow them to be there rather than fight them. It helped me begin to change the conversation I have with myself, from one of harsh criticism to an open and curious dialogue laced with self-compassion. I’d recommend that anyone take this class, it has irrevocably changed my life for the better.

Kelen Tamurian

Fox Island, WA

Each of the eight weekly classes includes instruction in mindfulness, compassion, emotional awareness and a series of skills. Far from being only “classroom learning,” each MSC unit includes hands-on experiential meditations and exercises along with opportunities to discuss your learning with peers and the instructor. You’ll receive real-world tools you can put into practice between classes, and experience the deep immersion of an extended weekend retreat day partway through the course.

More about MSC

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) was developed by Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, and Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion. MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience.

In MSC you will learn:

  • How to stop being so hard on yourself
  • How to handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • How to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
  • Mindfulness and self-compassion practices for home and everyday life
  • The theory and research behind mindful self-compassion

Mindfulness strengthens being able to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting.

Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.

Preparing for MSC

We recommend watching this five-minute message from Executive Director Tim Burnett on what our classes look and feel like before enrolling in  MBSR or MSC.

If you’re unsure about registering for a course, please contact the Mindfulness Northwest office. We want to be sure there is sufficient support for you and that the timing is right for taking our courses.

Carolyn is fantastic with presenting the material, helping everyone feel at ease, and holding space for people in a very warm and peaceful manner.

AnaMia Keely Padilla


Tuesdays, July 11 – August 29, 2023
6:00 – 8:30pm PST

Day of Self-Compassion Retreat:
Saturday, August 19, 9am – 4pm PST


Carolyn McCarthy


Offered Live Online. Zoom link will be sent to you by email once you register.


$370 – $615 (or $93 – $154/month)

  • Sliding scale: Choose what’s right for you.
  • Payment plan option: 4-months, no-interest.
  • Limited scholarships available: No need to apply; just choose a scholarship tuition during registration.


Up to 26 Clock Hours are available for eligible Washington State (K-12) teachers, administrators, and educational staff associates who take this course. Mindfulness Northwest is an approved provider through Washington State OSPI.


Register for this program

Registration is closed for this program.