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MSC: Core Skills Weekend with Anna Friis and Mara Elwood

January 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - January 31, 2021 @ 2:00 pm

$160.00 – $580.00
A hand holding a heart shaped rock.

Mindful Self-Compassion: A Core Skills weekend workshop

This workshop has been designed as a gentle immersion into the key practises of the mindful self-compassion (MSC) programme.  People who want to dip their toes into MSC for the first time, or refresh or rekindle an existing practise, are all welcome to join. With warmth and care, held at the beautiful Mana retreat, Mara and Anna will guide you to a deeper discovery of yourself with meditation, self-compassion practises, and rest

MSC combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion to enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (emotions, sensations, thoughts). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warm, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives.

Burgeoning research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, coping with life challenges, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying, compassionate relationships. Self-compassion includes the capacity to comfort, soothe and validate ourselves, but also to protect and provide for ourselves, and to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals. Fortunately, anyone can learn self-compassion.

What you will learn

• Practice self-compassion in daily life
• Understand the evidence-based benefits of self-compassion
• Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
• Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
• Manage caregiver fatigue
• Increase your happiness with savouring and self-appreciation

Please Note: This workshop contains the highlights of the MSC training but is not the entire course and therefore does not fulfil the pre-requisite for attending teacher training or participating in other CMSC programs for MSC graduates.

What you can expect:
• Clarify what you are learning
• Apply skills immediately in real-time
• Address difficulties
• Deepen your understanding of Self-Compassion
• Review, personalize and apply practices
• Optimize learning in community through Common Humanity

Participant Guidelines:

The MSC program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Compassion has the paradoxical effect of both soothing and comforting as well as opening us to emotional distress that we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. Therefore, some difficult emotions are likely to surface during the program as we grow in our capacity to embrace and heal them. The teachers are committed to providing an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to developing compassion for oneself and others.

It is recommended, but not required, that participants read the following two books before the training retreat:

Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristin Neff

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Germer


  • Training with Anna Friis and Mara Elwood
  • A greater sense of ease, happiness and better health
  • Shared Accommodation including linens and towel (limited single room accommodation available)
  • 3 wholesome, vegetarian meals per day
  • Exclusive use of facilities for your retreat

What do others say about training with Anna and Mara:

“Working with you has changed the most important relationship in my life .. the relationship with myself. For that, I am truly grateful.” Vanessa


The Teaching Team

Anna Friis Bio Photo

Dr Anna Friis PhD

 Anna is a health psychologist working in private practice in Auckland New Zealand, with a particular focus on mindfulness and compassion-oriented therapy. Following a high-paced corporate career, she has a particular interest in helping people find balance, ease and joy within their lives and workplaces. Anna has a PhD in  Health Psychology from the University of Auckland, during which she created new scientific knowledge of the mental and physical health effects of self-compassion among diabetes patients. Her work has been published in several leading endocrinology journals.

She is a certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and speaks regularly on this topic at conferences and workshops throughout New Zealand.  Anna’s Website >>>


Mara Elwood BA, B.Ed., MA Ed., PG Dip. Arts Therapy

Mara is a certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and teaches regular classes and workshops in MSC, Mindfulness and Meditation. She believes that presenting mindfulness, meditation, and compassion training in a secular way, may enhance their availability and reach in the world. Mara has studied Vipassana Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and received training in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and Non-Violent Communication (NVC).

Mara holds a Master of Arts degree in teaching and has taught a wide variety of ages. She is currently studying to receive a Clinical Master’s degree in Arts Therapy and has completed her Post Graduate diploma in Arts Therapy. Mara is a prolifically creative person and brings this energy to the way she teaches and engages with different groups. She believes that all people are inherently creative, and everyone is an artist.


January 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
January 31, 2021 @ 2:00 pm
$160.00 – $580.00
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Mana Retreat Centre
608 Manaia Road, State Highway 25, RD1
Coromandel, 3581 New Zealand
+64 7 866 8972
View Venue Website


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Payment is required in full at the time of booking, by credit or debit card, or direct bank transfer using our secure POLi payment gateway.

We draw special attention to two of our guidelines before registration: Mana provides lacto-ovo vegetarian food only, this means no fish or chicken and is an alcohol and drug free environment.

Mana caters for Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan.

Cancellation Policy

This group requires a minimum number of participants to go ahead, if that number is not reached we reserve the right to cancel the event.

Should you, for any reason, decide to cancel your registration; please note our cancellation policy :

  • A $50 administrative fee is applied to all cancellations.
  • A Tuition cancellation fee may apply in certain circumstances.
  • These policies are reassessed in certain circumstances.


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