Presenter: Kristy Arbon and Anna Friis
Course #: 1255

  • April 29, 2017 - May 4, 2017
    Check In Time: 3:00 pm
    Check Out Time: 2:00 pm

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A 5-day intensive retreat with Kristy Arbon and Anna Friis.

The Mindful Self-Compassion program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness.

Based on pioneering research by Kristin Neff and integrated with the clinical perspective of Chris Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult emotions with kindness and understanding.

Self-compassion is the emotional attitude of mindfulness when we contact suffering. Whereas mindful awareness is typically directed toward moment-to-moment experience, self-compassion focuses on the experiencer. Mindfulness says, “Open to your suffering with spacious awareness and it will change.” Self-compassion adds, “Be kind to yourself in the midst of suffering and it will change.” Mindfulness asks, “What do I know?” and self-compassion asks, “What do I need?”

Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who find it embarrassing to be kind to oneself.

It’s a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm, including the discomfort that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, and self-rumination when things go wrong. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, and respond to ourselves and others with care and respect, and be fully human.

Rapidly expanding research has clearly demonstrated that self-compassion enhances emotional well-being, reduces anxiety and depression, helps to maintain healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and is related to better personal relationships.


Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The MSC program is not group therapy, although participants are encouraged to share their experiences on the path of mindful self-compassion. The emphasis of the program is on enhancing emotional resources and personal capacities. For more information on self-compassion, please see Program flier can be accessed here.

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


Kristy Arbon,

is an Australian living in the United States. She is the Director of Administration and Online Learning for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (, founded by the creators of the MSC program, Kristin Neff, PhD, and Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D. She is a certified MSC teacher and has assisted or co-taught with Chris and Kristin since 2012. She also works for the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a US-based mindfulness oriented organization that support psychotherapists. She previously worked at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies as the Center Manager. She is the founder of HeartWorks Training, an LLC that offers compassion and mindfulness training with supporting online resources.

She has practiced meditation and mindfulness, mainly in the Buddhist tradition, for 25 years and has made a conscious decision to focus her work toward easing suffering, both for herself and for those she comes into contact with. Mindful Self-Compassion practice and teaching are the mainstays of this endeavor for her. She completed Internal Family Systems (IFS) Training Level 1, to complement her MSC work.
Email: Website:

Anna FriisAnna M. Friis

Anna is a registered health psychologist working in private practice in Auckland, New Zealand. Following a high-paced corporate career, and with a master’s degree examining the effects of stress, she has a particular interest in helping people find balance and ease within their lives and workplaces. She is in the final stages of a PhD at the University of Auckland’s Department of Psychological Medicine where she is researching the mental and physical health benefits of self-compassion, with several studies already published to date. She is a devoted practitioner of yoga and meditation.











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