Mindful Self-Compassion

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

An 8 Session Program in Bangalow, Thursday evenings, April 28 – June 16

Facilitated by James Bennett-Levy
Assisted by Judy Rankin

Do you sometimes (or often) find yourself being overly self-critical? anxious? feeling not quite good enough? angry? distressed at the hard time you are giving yourself?… sound familiar? The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program has been developed by leading compassion writers/researchers A/Prof. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer from the USA. The MSC program teaches the skills of motivating oneself/others with (self-)compassion, mindfulness and kindness rather than self-criticism.

MSC is an evidence-based self-experiential 8 week program, the purpose of which is to create a different (kinder) relationship with yourself, and to learn the skills of self-compassion. So many people in western society have learned to be hard on themselves – relentlessly self-critical, expecting themselves to excel in every dimension, enough is never enough. For those suffering from depression or anxiety, the self-criticism sometimes extends to self-disgust, self-loathing, and self-hatred. The MSC program is purposely experiential (rather than conceptual) – because self-compassion isn’t a ‘head thing’, it’s something we need to embody. Compassion is an orientation, a motivation and a set of embodied skills. As the Dalai Lama has said, compassion is about sensitivity to suffering (mindfulness) and the desire or motivation to alleviate it (compassion).

This 8 week program will be held in Bangalow April 28 – June 16. MSC is a skills training program – not a group therapy program. Many of those we anticipate coming will be health professionals, educators, people working in community services, carers in various roles, and people who find themselves doing a lot of giving to others and don’t necessarily have a great attitude towards themselves. So if this fits for you, or if you have clients or friends who you think would benefit from the program, please pass on the information. It is open to all. There will be a limited number of places for people who can get a doctor’s referral to do MSC under a mental health program.

You can to find out more about MSC from the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion website http://www.centerformsc.org/; by getting a further information from cbt.training@ucrh.edu.au; or by going to the Compassionate Mind Australia website, and following links to Mindful Self-Compassion Videos and Practitioner Tools http://compassionatemind.org.au.

Have a think. If you are interested in doing MSC, or you have friends/colleagues for whom the program may be just the thing, please apply soon as we expect the places may fill quite quickly.


Workshop Details

Where? Yogalates Studio, 72 Byron Street, Bangalow
When? Thursday evenings, 5.30-8.30, April 28 to June 16 and one Sunday morning, probably May 22.
Cost? $400, or $360 early bird by April 14



aboutusjamesJames’ experience of MSC:

“I did my first program with the founders of MSC, Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff in the USA in 2012. By the end of the 5 day intensive, I was hooked. Since then, I’ve been back to the USA to do the program twice more including the Teachers Training. In Australia, I’ve been leading MSC workshops for the past two years. In almost 40 years as a clinical psychologist, its probably the most life-changing program I’ve been involved with.”

More about James


Judy Rankin“In 2011, James introduced me to Professor Tania Singer who studies the neuroscience of compassion. We spent a morning together discussing the differences between the neural circuitry underlying empathy versus compassion. This provided me with a new understanding of how compassion works therapeutically to support clients to change. I also realised how using compassion as a guiding principle in motivational interviewing had inadvertently built my resilience in working with others’ suffering. Continuing my learning in this area, last year I attended a Mindful Self Compassion 5-day Intensive. That experience has deepen my appreciation of the power of mindful self-compassion practices in healing and accepting emotional and physical pain in self and others.”