5 Day Mindful Self- Compassion Intensive

Sedona Mago Retreat Center | March 10-15, 2024

This in person offering is an intensive version of the 8-week, empirically-supported MSC program, developed by Christopher Germer, PhD, a leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy and Kristin Neff, PhD, a pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion. This program fulfills a prerequisite for becoming a MSC teacher, and is being Co-Led by Christopher Germer, Ph.D and Sydney Spears, Ph.D.

5 Day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive Details

Led by Christopher Germer and Sydney Spears

Retreat Mentors Include:
Carolina Bautista-Velez, Noriko Harth, Trymaine Gathier

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically- supported, mindfulness-based, self-compassion training program. MSC participants from across the globe learn the skills of self-compassion and mindfulness to enhance their capacity for emotional well-being, including more helpful ways of exploring our typical responses to difficulties that arise in our lives and learning tools for becoming a warm and supportive companion to ourselves.

MSC is therapeutic, but it’s not therapy. The emphasis of the program is on building the resources of self-compassion and mindfulness through a process of self-discovery. We begin with mindfulness, through which we turn with loving awareness toward difficult experiences (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Next, we learn to turn that loving awareness toward ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected, presence during difficult moments in our lives.

MSC is not a substitute for medical or mental health care.


MSC activities include short talks, experiential exercises, meditation, group discussion, and home practices.

Upon completing MSC, participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate motivating yourself with encouragement rather than self-criticism
  • Encounter difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
  • Develop response to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness
  • Explain how to transform difficult relationships, old and new, through self-validation
  • Use the art of savoring and self-appreciation
  • Identify core mindfulness and self-compassion exercises to implement in daily life
  • Discuss simple self-compassion practices to patients, students, or clients
  • Describe the theory and research supporting mindful self-compassion
  • Identify fierce and tender aspects of self-compassion and their role in overall well-being

To create an optimal learning experience, Intensives are only taught by Certified MSC Teachers (the highest level of teacher training available). All participants are encouraged to engage in the Intensive to the extent that they feel comfortable, and not more.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for members of the general public based on the values of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness. MSC is particularly helpful for:

  • Those who would like to cultivate the capacity to comfort and soothe themselves and to motivate themselves with encouragement when they suffer, fail, or feel inadequate;
  • Those who struggle with a strong inner critic or perfectionism;
  • Those engaged in the care of others, like mental health and other healthcare professionals who wish to share self-compassion with their clients through their own embodiment of the practice.

Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in MSC. All are welcome!

This workshop offers Continuing Education credits; details can be found below in the FAQ section.

Access to Materials

Any materials that are offered during the course will be available on your CMSC online learning platform for up to 90 days after the date of the intensive.

Register Early and Save!

  • $950.00

    $950.005-Day In Person Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive, March 2024

    The cost of the course registration does not include room and board. Upon registration you will be sent a welcome email where you may book your accommodations at the group rate with Sedona Mago Retreat Center.

    Early registration savings end January 31st, 2024. Regular price is $1,050.

    Early Bird Pricing

Sedona Mago Retreat Center

Sedona Mago provides both private and shared rooms. Shared rooms reflect a per person rate and a private room is single occupancy. If you wish to room together with a family member or friend, please select the shared room option. If you are coming alone and register for a shared room, we will assign you a roommate of the same gender. All rooms include private bathrooms.

Sedona Mago does not allow commuter attendance, due to local County environmental impact laws. When you register you will be sent a welcome email with details on pricing and how to book your accommodations. Room cost include 3 meals each day in addition to snack offerings as well and range from:

Shared (2 people) $1,256.00

Private $1,506.00

If you have questions about making reservations at Sedona Mago Retreat Center you can contact the Reservation Team at [email protected]

Retreat Teachers

Christopher Germer

Co-Founder, CMSC

Christopher Germer, Ph.D., is a co-developer of the MSC program and a co-founder of the Center for MSC. He is the author of the popular book, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, and co-author (with Kristin Neff) of the professional text, Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program, and a workbook, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. Chris is an MSC Teacher Trainer and leads MSC intensives and workshops around the world. Chris is also a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. Chris has been integrating the principles and practices of meditation into psychotherapy since 1978. He has co-edited two influential volumes –Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy – and he is a founding faculty member of both the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School. Chris maintains a small private practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA, specializing in mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy.

Sydney Spears

CMSC Director of DEIB and MSC Certified Teacher

Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LCSW is a certified Mindful-Self Compassion teacher and Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging for the Center of Mindful Self-Compassion. She also works part-time at the University of Kansas-School of Social Welfare specializing in teaching diversity, anti-oppression, social justice and clinical social work courses. Sydney has deep passion for advancing social equity for racialized people and all other underserved populations experiencing systemic injustices. Additionally, Sydney is highly committed to providing and integrating anti-oppressive and trauma-sensitive practices within her psychotherapy practice as a licensed clinical social worker. Her counseling service specializes in working with survivors of chronic stress and trauma generated from family relationships and sociocultural trauma.

FAQs & Important Information

  • How do I purchase Continuing Education credits for this course?

    CE Credits can be purchased at check out by adding to your order.

    Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 24.0 hours of credit. (Please check with your local board to verify that APA approval is accepted.)

    California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 24.0 CE Credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. (For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if APA CE Credit is accepted.)

    Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 28.75 contact hours. (Please contact your local board to see if California BRN CE hours are accepted.)

    Fees for CE hours: $75

  • If I'm unable to attend, can I request a refund?

    All monies paid for the Registration/Lodging/Accommodations will be refunded in full (less a $25 administrative fee) if a refund request is received 14 or more days before the Program begins.

    If a refund request is received between 13 days and 48 hours before the Program begins, a $200 administrative fee will be applied. Any requests 48 hours or less before the Program begins is non refundable.

  • Is my registration fee taxed?

    ​​Information on sales tax collection that may affect your purchases of courses through CMSC:

    In accordance with Marketplace Facilitator/Provider laws, CMSC is now required to collect and remit sales tax on sales in some areas of the United States and Canada. This is required even as we are a registered non-profit.

    What does this mean for you? It means that when you purchase a course with CMSC in some states or provinces ( U.S. & Canada), the sales tax will be automatically calculated and collected at the time of checkout. This ensures compliance with tax regulations in your area.

    If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please don't hesitate to reach out to our customer support team: [email protected].

  • Important Info: Mindful Self-Compassion is not a substitute for Therapy

    Our programs are designed to teach participants the tools needed to develop and cultivate a mindfulness and self-compassion practice.

    It is not a substitute for mental health care, personal therapy or medical treatment.

    Personal safety and emotional wellbeing are the foundation of self-compassion training and you are primarily responsible for your own safety.

    Teachers and facilitators are not expected or able to provide medical and/or psychological care. Course experiences may bring up challenging memories or feelings.

    If you have a history with a serious mental health condition or other concerns you think may impact your ability to take this course, please contact CMSC or your healthcare professional to determine if this course is right for you. Your personal contact information may be used in the event the teacher or facilitator reasonably determines a need to call emergency services on your behalf.

  • Important Info: Productive Participation in Courses & Workshops

    Participation is at the discretion of the teachers and facilitators at all times.

    If, in the opinion of the teachers and facilitators, you are unable to participate productively and appropriately in the course or workshop you have registered for, you may be asked to discontinue.

    Decisions of removal are to ensure CMSC provides the safest space possible for our participants and teachers. Please see our refund policy regarding necessary participant removal.

  • How do I book my room accommodations?

    Once you register for the course you will be sent a confirmation email with the link to purchase your room. Room cost includes 3 meals each day in addition to snack offerings. Costs range from a Private Room: $1,506 to Shared Room (double occupancy, per person) $1,256.

Here For You

A song written and composed by Karen Kuflik