Presenter: Kristy Arbon and Anna Friis
Course #: 1503

  • September 15, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Check In Time: 4:00 pm
    Check Out Time: 2:00 pm

A 5-day Mindfulness 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.

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

Kristy Arbon is the Founder and CEO of HeartWorks Training, supporting people in their practice of self-compassion, mindfulness, somatic awareness, shame resilience and tapping into emergent self-wisdom. Her work has deep roots in Mindful Self-Compassion, Internal Family Systems, Sensory Modulation, Brene Brown’s shame resilience model, Buddhist philosophy, social justice, strengths perspective, Somatic Experiencing and exploration of archetypes. She offers teaching, mentoring, and consultation in self-compassion and mindfulness study, practice and teaching.

Kristy is a qualified social worker, a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher, and a qualified fitness instructor. She has completed Internal Family Systems Level 1 training and is currently doing Somatic Experiencing training. She is the developer of the Somatic Self-Compassion curriculum and she adapted the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) curriculum for the online environment for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC). She has been working with the developers of the MSC program, Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, since they started up CMSC together in 2012.

She is passionate about supporting people in learning about their personal story and their strengths, and in using self-compassion practices to go out and do the important work they feel called to do in the world.

Kristy was born in Australia and has lived in the US for the last 14 years with her American husband. She is currently based in St Louis, teaching in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil, Bhutan and online.

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  Ph.D  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.


Reservation Type Price Number of Places
Mana: Accommodation & Meals show details + $695.00 (NZD)  / booking  
Mana: Single room supplement additional $30 per person per day show details + $150.01 (NZD)  / booking  
Tutor fee: Full (collected on behalf of Anna Friis and Kristy Arbon) show details + $804.00 (NZD)  / booking  

*Please note that a maximum number of 10 places can be purchased for this event per order.