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Mindful Self-Compassion

9 Week Program ~ Online


The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) course is an empirically-supported training program developed out of groundbreaking research by Dr. Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Dr. Christopher Germer. It consists of 9 weekly classes, plus a half-day retreat, designed to cultivate self-compassion in daily life.


Each class includes instructional talks, experiential exercises, guided meditations, and group discussion. There are also home practices offered each week.

Winter Schedule 2024

You'll meet once per week (live stream online), for 1.5 hours on the first day of class and 2.5 hours for all other classes. You will also have opportunities to engage with ongoing home practice material throughout the rest of the week. This course includes one half-day retreat.

Fridays from 9:30am-12pm* PT

Class 1: Feb 9
Class 2: Feb 16
Class 3: Feb 23
Class 4: Mar 1
Class 5: Mar 8
Class 6: Mar 15

Half-Day Online Retreat: Saturday March 23 (10am - 2pm PT)
Class 7: Mar 29
Class 8: Apr 5

Class 9: Apr 12


*The first class on 2/9 will run 1.5 hours from 9:30am-11am PT


Live Online via Zoom

Sliding Scale Tuition:

$395, $565, or $725

We offer a “Pay what you can" model. Please pay more, if you can, to help support those less able to pay. Full refunds are available after the free info session, before the first class.


Kim Levan and Kristen Genzano (read bios)

Registration for this course is now closed.


To receive an email when our next course dates are published, please subscribe to our newsletter here!

Free Info Sessions

Attend a free info session to learn more about the program, ask questions, and explore whether MSC is the right fit for you.

Friday, January 19 from 9:30-10:30am PT

Live Online via Zoom

Registration Closed

Monday, February 5 from 6-7pm PT

Live Online via Zoom

Registration Closed

Continue Education

Continuing Education Credits are provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness and awarded in the following categories: American Psychological Association and Board of Registered Nursing.


There is an additional $60 fee for CE credits.

To sign up for the program with CE Credits,

please email rena @ and she will help you register.

MSC Scholarships + Payment Plans

If you are in need of financial support to participate in this course, we invite you to apply for a scholarship. We review and award scholarships on a first-come, first-served basis while funding is still available. We also offer payment plans. If you are interested in either form of assistance, please apply here:

A story from a recent MSC graduate

I've been struggling with neuroplastic pain (chronic pain) for over a year now and although I've been seeing a pain therapist and implementing lots of mind-body approaches, self-compassion turned out to the BIG piece I've been missing.

I realized, through this course, how "harsh" i was being toward my situation and the pain itself, trying to ignore it, push it away, or treat it as an enemy (even when I THOUGHT I wasn't). As soon as I started implementing the methods, practices, and new skills to my situation and treating it with genuine compassion and kindness, I noticed a drastic reduction in my symptoms. Almost in a matter of days. Within a few weeks, my symptoms are almost gone. I used to go full days without much relief from the symptoms (even if the pain levels were very low, they were always "there"). Now I go hours even as much as half a day with no symptoms and when they do appear, I feel so much more confident in how I relate to them. I'm able to calm my nervous system and regulate my system efficiently, using the skills I've learned in this class.

I could go on and on about how this course has changed my life but I'll just leave it with this: To say this has been a transformative experience is an understatement.

~ MSC Graduate, Fall 2023 Cohort

Image by Jakob Owens

In this course, you will gain tools and resources to:

  • Improve overall health and well-being

  • Reduce anxiety, depression, and stress

  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism

  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease

  • Transform challenging relationships

  • Manage caregiver fatigue

  • Practice the art of savoring and self-appreciation

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.

A string of such moments can change the course of your life.


Who Can Benefit from MSC?

The course is suitable for anyone struggling with life's challenges, however big or small. Anyone who wishes to build resources for emotional resilience and inner strength can benefit from taking MSC. Individuals who have benefitted from our programs so far include:

  • professionals in caregiving roles such as therapists, teachers, medical professionals

  • business professionals wanting to build self-confidence and relate more authentically to themselves and others

  • people caring for children or aging parents

  • people coping with chronic illness

  • people who wish to make more positive life choices, from a place of self-acceptance and self-worth

  • people working at the intersection of climate and social justice


Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing.
A memory to someone. A home to a life.



Course Requirements

  • No previous meditation or mindfulness practice necessary.

  • To get the most out of the experience we ask that you commit to:

    • attending a minimum of 6 of the weekly classes​

    • 30 minutes a day of home practice (if possible) between classes 

  • The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is highly recommended to purchase as a companion to the MSC course.


This program satisfies one of the prerequisites to becoming an MSC Teacher. For more information please visit the CMSC website.

The Instructors

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Kim Levan 


Kim is a resident Pause Meditation instructor, a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher, a Transformational Coach and Behavior Change Specialist. For over twelve years she has facilitated experiential learning opportunities that support individuals and organizations to enhance well-being, increase personal agency and find collaborative ways of working through complex challenges. Originally from the UK, Kim now lives in Mendocino, California, where she teaches MSC and other mindfulness-based programs, offers private coaching and hosts a range of workshops that promote human flourishing and support planetary health.

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Kristen Genzano


Kristen Genzano is a psychotherapist, a Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher, and the founder of North Star Therapy Collective – a boutique group practice based in Portland, Oregon. She’s been practicing mindfulness for 20 years and self-compassion for over a decade. As a therapist she works with clients on being kinder and more accepting of themselves and others. She’s passionate about teaching MSC because of the profound impact it’s had on her personally. Currently Kristen splits time between Portland and her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. She spends her free time reading, hiking, and relaxing with her dog (Kaya) and her spouse (Justin).

Self-compassion is a way of emotionally recharging our batteries.


Is MSC Effective?

People who take the MSC program increase their levels of self-compassion by an average of 43%.
A randomized, controlled trial demonstrated that MSC significantly increased self-compassion, compassion for others, mindfulness, and life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression, anxiety and stress. These improvements were maintained one year later.
Improvements were linked to how much a person practiced mindfulness and self-compassion in their daily lives.
For the full-text article, please click here (PDF).


Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you're good enough, self-compassion asks, what's good for you?



What People Are Saying About MSC

I’ve noticed that my outlook on life has become more positive and I feel grateful for a lot more than I did prior. Going from a glass half empty to a glass half full person!

-H.N., Spring 2023

[MSC offered] a lot of helpful lessons that have improved overall wellbeing. I'm feeling more connected with my mindfulness practice.

-D.S., Spring 2023

Kristen and Kim provided a safe space, deep understanding and compassion during this course. For me, they were expert guides through this Mindful Self Compassion journey.

-J.B., Winter 2020

Mindful Self-Compassion takes mindfulness a step further by not only slowing down and tuning inward and recognizing what you think and feel, but also what you need to hear, and then gently offering that to is truly a gift to offer yourself the loving, kindness you need.

-Anonymous, Fall 2019

It has really helped me self-soothe and stay calm when experiencing stormy emotions. [MSC] has helped me work with my inner critic and decrease patterns of catastrophizing, It has helped me to stay centered in the present moment.

-A.S., Spring 2023

This course was eye opening as far as how I treat myself. As someone who had worked in mental health and been in therapy for years I had already learned a lot about positive self talk and my own personal narratives but this was more powerful. I felt genuine comfort and acceptance from myself in ways that I have never felt before when applying practices from this course.

-R.C., Winter 2020

I really enjoyed this course. Connecting with the teachers and all the participants for the 8 weeks was lovely. The space we created as a group was safe for sharing and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. I came away with a variety of tools to use and look forward to making them my own. I was sad to have the course end since I enjoyed the self-kindness it promoted each week.

-J.E.,Winter 2020

This course and the leaders Kim and Kristen demonstrated practical and compassionate exercises to help with moments of suffering as well as practice to turn towards our emotions and thoughts with care and kindness as you would offer a loved one, friend or neighbor in need.

-S.S., Fall 2019

I learned new tools and pushed through my internal barriers towards growth, change, and ultimately – compassion for myself. Thank you to this cohort for your sharings and insights, I learned so much from you all!

-M.L., Spring 2023

This course provides excellent and concrete ways to learn how to be self-compassionate, which is so key for improving symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

-L.M., Winter 2020

My life is just as stressful as it was before I started the Mindful Self-Compassion group, but the way that I respond to that stress has changed. I find myself pausing and taking the time to be kinder and more patient with myself, and that has helped me to feel more connected to what really matters in my life. 

-Anonymous, Fall 2019

Loved the retreat -- such a wonderful, luxurious way to honor ourselves through facilitated self-care activities... more, more!   

-J.F., MSC Fall 2019

Join MSC Today!

Registration for our winter course is now closed.


To receive an email when our next course dates are published, please subscribe to our newsletter here!


We'd love to talk with you.

Phone: 503.343.4831

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