Mindful Self-Compassion: An 8-Week Course

Mindful Self-Compassion: An 8-Week Course

with Hattie Bluestone, DPT & Anahita Holden, PhD
8 Week Series // February 2nd-March 22nd
Sundays, 2-4:30pm

$400 for the series, $200 for Students

Scholarships up to 50% available. Please contact Hattie (hattiebluestone@gmail.com) for more information.


In difficult moments, what would it be like to offer yourself the same kindness, care, and support that you would naturally extend to a dear friend? Mindful Self-Compassion is an 8-week, empirically-supported program designed to cultivate the resource of self-compassion. Developed by Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion, and Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding. The course includes guided meditations, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and take-home practices to integrate self-compassion into daily life.


In this course, you will learn the theory and research behind mindfulness and self-compassion, as well as how to:

  • Relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
  • Motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
  • Respond to feelings of failure or inadequacy with self-kindness, perspective, and a sense of common humanity
  • Integrate compassion for oneself with compassion for others and for our world
  • Establish a meditation practice, or incorporate self-compassion into your existing practice
  • Integrate mindfulness and self-compassion practices into daily life


The Mindful Self-Compassion program offers 7 different formal meditations, 20 informal practices, and 14 experiential exercises, along with the theory and rationale for each one, so that you can become your own best teacher and find tools that support you best.

To register, click here. Space is limited to 20 participants.

This course is designed as a series because each class builds a sense of familiarity that allows the course content to unfold.

More about Self-Compassion:

Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help you stick to your healthy eating and exercise routines. Recent randomized controlled trials found that participants in the 8-week MSC course experienced significant increases in mindfulness, self-compassion, compassion for others, social connectedness, life satisfaction, and happiness, as well as decreases in depression, anxiety, and stress. These gains in wellbeing were maintained one year after the course.

How do you typically react to difficulties in life—work stress, feeling rejected, physical problems, or financial hardship? As human beings, most of us instinctively fight negative experiences and find fault in ourselves when things go wrong: “This shouldn’t be happening!” “What’s the matter with me!?” Unfortunately, this tendency just adds stress to our lives and the critical self-talk defeats us before we know what’s happening. For example, the more we struggle to fall asleep, the harder it is to sleep; fighting with anxiety makes us feel worried all the time; and blaming ourselves for feeling bad just makes us depressed. But what would happen if, instead, you took a moment to calm and comfort yourself when you felt bad, just because you felt bad—much like you’d do for others? In other words, what if you learned the art of mindful self-compassion?

Self-compassion is a skill that can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who find it embarrassing to be kind to themselves. Self-compassion is actually a courageous mental attitude that stands up to harm—the harm that we inflict on ourselves every day by overworking, overanalyzing, and overreacting. With mindful self-compassion, we’re better able to recognize when we’re under stress and face what’s happening in our lives (mindfulness) and to take a kinder and more sustainable approach to life’s challenges. Self-compassion gives emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to recover more quickly from bruised egos, to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, and respond to ourselves and others with care and respect. After all, making mistakes is part of being human. Self-compassion also provides the support and inspiration required to make necessary changes in our lives and reach our full potential.

About the Facilitators:

Hattie Bluestone, DPT is a local physical therapist and yoga instructor. She has practiced Vipassana meditation for more than 10 years, including intensive practice at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and recently completed the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training program through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She has also worked as a psychology researcher at Stanford University, studying the effects of both mindfulness and self-compassion. 


Anahita Holden, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist, meditation teacher, and yoga instructor who specializes in the integration of psychotherapy and evidence-based mindfulness interventions. She received her doctorate degree from UCSB and has a private practice in downtown Santa Barbara. Anahita is a certified facilitator of self-compassion focused meditation through the Heartwork Mindfulness and Compassion Practitioner and Facilitator training. Anahita has practiced Vipassana meditation for over ten years and teaches meditation privately and throughout the community, with an emphasis on sound healing. 

www.anahitaholdenphd.com, Instagram: @anahitaholdenphd, Facebook: Anahita Holden, Ph.D.