Live Online course with Marina Barnes and Lea Christo

Mondays, April 15 - June 10, 2024 (with no session on May 27th) from 4:30 - 6:00pm PST

MSC-T (Formerly Making Friends with Yourself) teaches core principles and practices that enable teens to respond to the challenges of these critical years with kindness and self-compassion. This course is only for 14-18 year olds only.
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About MSC - Teens

Instructors: Marina Barnes and Lea Christo


No prerequisites needed 

The Challenge:  

Adolescence is a time of change and growth. It is the period of life reserved for rebellion and self-discovery, but as the demands in life increase for teens, this time is often fraught with confusion, anxiety or depression. For many teens these challenges lead to disconnection and isolation.

The Response:  

To support teens in coping more effectively with the ongoing challenges of their day-to-day life, teen experts Karen Bluth, Ph.D., and Lorraine Hobbs, M.A., co-created Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (MSC-T), an empirically-supported, 8-week course designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion in teens.

Following in the footsteps of the adult MSC program and endorsed by MSC co-developers Chris Germer, Ph.D. and Kristin Neff, Ph.D., the teen adaptation is rooted in the three key components of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity and mindful, balanced awareness.

MSC-T teaches core principles and practices that enable teens to:

  • Respond to the challenges of these critical years with kindness and self-compassion
  • Identify their own suffering so they can learn to give themselves what they truly need
  • Know they are not alone in their suffering
  • Encourage an open-minded acceptance of the struggles they are facing
  • Feel supported and accepted in an emotionally safe, connecting, and guided learning environment with peers

In this 8-session course, which meets for 75 minutes per session, teens engage in developmentally appropriate activities and carefully crafted practices and meditations, which provide them with the opportunity to learn how to navigate the emotional ups and downs of life with greater ease. Backed by research, findings indicate increases in emotional well-being and greater resilience after taking the course.

Meet Your Instructors

Marina Barnes

Trained MSC Teacher, Trained MSC Teens Teacher

Marina Barnes brings mindfulness into high school classrooms and is a Self-Compassion Teacher & Coach — using nonviolent communication and the practices in MSC as the core of my coaching practice. I am a MSC and MSC-Teens Trained Teacher, a MSC-Teens Teacher Trainer and Mentor, and a Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Practitioner. I am currently a student of Dr Gabor Mate’s Compassionate Inquiry yearlong professional training and plans to incorporate this modality into my work.

Lea Christo

Certified MSC Teacher

Lea Christo, MSW, LICSW is MSC and MSC-T Teacher trained through the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, a Professor of Practice at Assumption University appointed Coordinator of the Resiliency Certificates and faculty in the graduate School Counseling Program.


  • Where can I find the scholarship or refund policy?

    Please refer to our public policies here:

  • Will I be taxed on my registration?

    ​​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].

  • What would be grounds for participant removal?

    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 continue to participate productively in the course, 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.

  • What are the parameters of participation?

    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.