Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)
FAQ ABOUT THE MSC PROGRAM
WHO IS MSC SUITABLE FOR?
The Mindful Self-Compassion Program is suitable to anyone who is interested in developing skills in mindfulness, self-compassion and compassion for others. This includes parents, carers, educators, healthcare professionals, therapists, executives, and advocates. Our programs are attended by people from all ages and all walks of life.
DO I NEED TO HAVE ANY PRIOR MEDITATION PRACTICE?
No prior meditation experience is necessary. All meditations are guided. Our programs are suitable for beginners to people with a regular long standing meditation practice. While you may find you meditate more as a result of taking this course, the MSC Program is not designed to turn everyone into meditators - its main goal is to help people (1) recognise when they are suffering and (2) to respond with compassion in daily life.
WHAT IF I HAVE TO MISS A CLASS?
The lessons are cumulative, with each class building on the previous ones. For our 8-week programs, in order to get the maximum benefit, you are encouraged to sign up at a time when you know you'll be able to attend all classes. Unfortunately we don’t allow people to join another group to make up a class. It is important to create a safe place for the group to learn and practice self-compassion. If people come into a class for only one or two sessions, it disrupts the development of intimacy and trust between the group members. After each class, everyone receives a recap letter, together with extra resources, such as videos, audios, and readings. This extra material will help you to catch up if you do have to miss a class.
If the 8 week Program is not practical for you, the 5 day MSC intensive may be more suitable.
DO YOU HAVE CONCESSION OR SCHOLARSHIP PLACES?
Some scholarship support is available upon request. We strive to make our courses accessible to all who are interested. We will do our best to respond to need-based scholarship requests, particularly those from applicants who represent a diverse life experience (including, but not limited to class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation) as well as those who serve underserved populations.
Please be in touch to inquire about financial assistance. Please also know that paying full price tuition if you are able allow us to offer scholarships and reduced rates to others in need. Thank you in advance for contributing what you can to support yourself and others in this work.
CAN I CLAIM A MEDICARE REBATE?
A medicare rebate can be claimed for the 8 week MSC program (but not the 5 day intensive) if you are on a Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP). A MHCP entitles you to a medicare rebate for 10 individual sessions and 10 group sessions per calendar year. The medicare rebate for group sessions taught by a clinical psychologist is $31.65 per session. For our 9 session program (which includes the half-day retreat) you could be eligible to receive a total rebate of $284.85. Please note that you won’t be able to claim a rebate for any classes that you don’t attend. In order to claim, you need a current mental health care plan and referral written to Kathleen Cator, dated before the commencement of our program. To do this, you may need to book a double session with your GP. Please contact us for more information.
ARE THERE RELIGIOUS / BUDDHIST ASPECTS TO THE MINDFUL SELF-COMPASSION PROGRAM?
The MSC Program integrates traditional mindfulness meditation practices with contemporary psychological and scientific research. The exercises and techniques taught are secular, science-based and practical.
Meditation is an ancient wisdom technique that has been practiced by all civilisations. While Mindfulness Meditation is originally from the Buddhist tradition, it is now an evidence-based approach widely available and taught in its secular (non-religious) form in community, business, healthcare, and schools.
WHAT IF I CAN’T SIT CROSS-LEGGED ON THE FLOOR?
When people hear that they will be asked to learn and practice meditation, some are concerned that they will have to sit cross legged (in lotus position) on the floor. Rest assured, we provide everyone with a chair. Some people may choose to sit on cushions or at times to even lie down on mats.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO CLASS?
- A note book
- An open and curious mind
- Dress in loose, layered and comfortable casual clothes
There will be a number of written reflective exercises. Please bring along some writing materials. You may like to buy yourself a notebook, as a gift to yourself, for making the commitment to this course (the first of many acts of self-compassion we will encourage you to do).
We trust that you will have time to have a light dinner/supper before our evening classes. Herbal teas and a simple snack will be provided.
If you have your own meditation cushion or stool, feel free to bring it along. Whatever helps you to be as comfortable as possible.
IS THERE ANY REQUIRED READING?
These books are recommended, not required reading. You may like to choose one which speaks to you.
- Germer, C. K. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. New York: Guilford Press.
- Gilbert, Paul. Mindful Compassion (2013). Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Transform Our Lives. Hachette UK.
- Gilbert, Paul. (2010). The compassionate mind: A new approach to life's challenges. New Harbinger Publications.
- Neff, Kristin, (2011). Self-Compassion: The proven power of being kind to yourself. NewYork: Harper Collins.
CAN I USE THE MSC MATERIAL FOR MY WORK WITH CLIENTS?
The MSC program is an internationally recognised empirical program, designed by its co-founders Dr Kristin Neff and Dr Chris Germer, to be run by skilled and experienced facilitators, who have completed the accredited MSC teacher training. Given that the practices and exercises have been made readily available in the public domain, we ask that you respect the intellectual property and the generosity of the MSC community by acknowledging their original source. Please note that MSC and Mindful Self-Compassion are trademarked, and anyone who advertises their training or courses as MSC or Mindful Self-Compassion are in breach of copyright unless they adhere to at least 85% content and have been trained as teachers to deliver the MSC program.
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