Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training intensive

The next week-long Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training course starts on 24 March 2025. The intensive training takes place at the peaceful and beautiful Holland House residential retreat.

Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training 2025

The training represents the third step on the pathway to becoming a recognised teacher of the eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion programme. The training runs from Monday, 24 March to Sunday, 30 March 2025. It is led by Zoe Shobbrook-Fisher and Ali Lambie, on behalf of the Center for Mindful-Self-Compassion and the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, which is part of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

This week long Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training is an intensive, seven-day, residential programme facilitated by a team of senior teachers. The training is built around the eight weekly sessions of the Mindful Self-Compassion programme. Each half day is dedicated to a condensed, experiential review of one of the sessions. These are followed by small group activities designed to give trainees opportunities to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion with the close consultation of one of the teacher trainers. In addition, the training includes short talks, group exercises, discussion, and periods of silence. Participants will be provided with the essential materials to teach Mindful Self-Compassion programmes.

Apply here

To apply for the Mindful Self-Compassion intensive teacher training retreat please start by completing the registration form by clicking on this link. If you are also interested in the online teacher training practicum that follows you can sign up for this too. We’ll send you the application form once we’ve received your form, or you have alerted us of your interest via smc@spft.nhs.uk. You can find out more about the application process below.

Cost of teacher training retreat

  • Early bird until 1 October 2024: Single occupancy room: £1700
  • From 1 October 2024: Single occupancy room: £1850 (balance must be paid in full by 1 December 2024)

The teacher trainers

Portrait photo of Zoe Shobbrook-Fisher

Zoe Shobbrook-Fisher has been part of the Center for MSC Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training team since 2019. Zoe teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Minfulness Based Stress Reduction. She leads retreats and supervises mindfulness and MSC teachers for the UK Mindfulness Network, as well as the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She is an accredited counsellor / psychotherapist who worked for 11 years as a university student / staff counsellor and wellbeing group facilitator.

Based in south-west London she delivers beginner, deepening mindfulness and compassion-based programmes to a wide range of groups. She is committed to making the training courses accessible to diverse populations, including workplace and community settings, mental health charities and NHS staff and patients. Zoe has always been dedicated to paths of the heart and authenticity, and loves sharing the ways that mindful self-compassion supports this for herself and others. Her self-compassion practice includes her love of singing and dance-based movement meditation.

Photo portrait of Ali Lambie.

Ali Lambie has a Masters degree in teaching Mindfulness-Based Approaches from the University of Bangor. Prior to training as a mindfulness teacher she was a counsellor for many years and spent eight years as manager of a counselling service within the NHS.

Ali lives in the south of England and set up Mindfulness Hampshire in 2011. Since that time she has offered regular courses, workshops and retreats locally and further afield. In 2013, Ali came across the work of Dr Chris Germer and Dr Kristin Neff in the form of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). This made a huge impact and she immersed herself in this field, gradually becoming a Certified Teacher and then Teacher Trainer of MSC: this work is her passion. These days Ali is fully self-employed teaching MSC and supervising and training others both in the UK and internationally with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion in the USA. Ali enjoys supporting other teachers in her various roles and often has newer teachers working alongside her too. She has a deep love of the countryside and part of her practice is mindful walking in the woods each day.

Objectives of the teacher training intensive

At the completion of the teacher training intensive, participants should be able to:

  • Deepen your personal practice of responding to difficult emotions with mindfulness and compassion
  • Summarise current basic theory and research on self-compassion
  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight group sessions of MSC, plus the retreat day
  • Develop the skills necessary to facilitate MSC groups, including how to guide meditation, teach from each participant’s direct experience, and facilitate group cohesion
  • Identify obstacles to mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming them
  • Embody a mindful and compassionate stance toward students of the MSC programme as they confront challenges to their practice.

Who is the training for?

This seven-day intensive teacher training is intended for those who wish to teach the Mindful Self-Compassion programme, those who would like to integrate mindfulness and self-compassion in their ongoing professional activities (i.e., psychotherapy, coaching, nursing, teaching, etc.), and individuals who have a professional interest in the field (i.e., researchers, administrators, etc.).

Course pre-requisites

Personal skills

  • Established daily mindfulness practice of at least two years.
  • Ongoing, daily, sitting meditation practice
  • Ongoing practice of loving-kindness and self-compassion in daily life
  • Attendance in at least one 5-day silent, teacher-led meditation retreat.

Professional skills

  • Previous participation in a five-day or eight-week Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training
  • You do not have to be a clinician to take the MSC teacher training

Please Note . . .

You are encouraged to allow some time to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning teacher training. This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.

Where is the training?

This teacher training will be held at the beautiful Holland House Retreat Centre, Pershore, WR10 3NB.

Next steps …

After the seven day intensive training the next step on the teacher training pathway is the online ten-week practicum.

This will help establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the Mindful Self-Compassion programme to the general public.

To receive Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Trained Teacher status, graduates of the teacher training and practicum are expected to receive support while teaching their first eight-week MSC programme. This is done through online consultation sessions.

Application process

  1. Submit your registration form and pay the £500 non-refundable deposit. See our cancellation policy in our terms and conditions.
  2. Once this has been received, you will receive a confirmation email which will include a longer online MSC Teacher Training Application. This application includes a brief 200-word statement where you can share your reasons for taking the training and your reflections.
  3. If your application is not accepted, a full refund will be granted. If your application is approved, the relevant balance of your payment will need to be made. The amount depends on the date you apply (before or after the early bird rate).

Bursary places

We would like to make this training to be available to as many people as possible and there is a very limited number of bursaries. People applying for the bursaries are asked to register for the training, pay the deposit (ie stage 1 above) and at the same time complete and return a Bursary Application Form to SMC at smc@spft.nhs.uk which should address the following questions:

  • Why do you wish to attend this training, and what are the specific financial or other barriers to your attending?
  • How do you imagine implementing or integrating MSC into your life?

Decisions about the award of a bursary place will be made by 1 November 2024. Anyone applying for a bursary should expect to pay at least the cost of the deposit (£500), and probably more. The exact bursary amount will depend on the number of people who have paid the full price.

Teacher Training Practicum

The Teacher Training Practicum (TTP) consists of ten 2.5 hour online sessions in which you practice teaching the different aspects of the MSC programme and receive feedback from Zoe and Ali.

There is usually a limit of 16 places for the TTP, so space is limited. The dates for the TTP following the March 2025 teacher training intensive is: Thursdays from 1 May to 10 July 2025, (with a break for half-term on 29 May). It will run from 16.00 to 18.30 BST (British Summer Time).

You can apply for the TTP at the same time as for the teacher training intensive retreat.

  • Early bird rate (before 1 October 2024): £700
  • Standard rate (from 1 October 2024): £800
  • Full payment for the TTP is due by 1 December 2024.

To reserve a place, please contact smc@spft.nhs.uk to pay a non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of £300. Please note that the final confirmation of a place on the TTP is dependent on successful completion of the Teacher Training. In the event that you are not successful in completing the teacher training, your deposit can be carried over to a subsequent TTP.

If you are unable to attend the May 2025 TTP, details of other TTPs will be available via the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website.

Cancellation Policy

  • Should your application for the Teacher Training Practicum not be accepted, or if this course is cancelled by the organisers, you will be refunded your deposit. Under any other circumstances, your deposit is non-refundable.
  • If the course is cancelled by the organisers, Sussex Mindfulness Centre is responsible only for a full refund of the course fee paid and not for any other expenses incurred.
  • Please see our Terms and Conditions which also outlines what payments are refundable. See section 6a.