Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Course

with Ali Lambie at St Mary’s Lodge, St Mary’s Road, Portsmouth, PO3 3BB

Friday evenings 6.30 – 9.30 pm February and March 2019


“This course has been transformative for me.

I now have a thorough understanding of self-compassion and the tools for using it.

Loving-kindness has flooded through me for the first time in 28 years... It has given me courage to face challenges past, present and hopefully future. Thank you with all my heart”

(September 2018 participant)


Mindful Self-Compassion

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically-supported training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Kristin Neff and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer, MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.


The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential inter-relatedness, so that we know we aren't alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.


Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn't receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It's a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.


Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships.


The course will support you in learning to:


Practice self-compassion in daily life

Understand the empirically-supported benefits of self-compassion

Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism

Handle difficult emotions with greater ease

Transform challenging relationships, old and new

Manage caregiver fatigue

Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation


What To Expect

The course programme includes guided meditation practices, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.


MSC is primarily a compassion training programme rather than mindfulness training like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds.  Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.


Some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, and as your teacher I am committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.


Some participants will likely have previously participated in an eight week mindfulness course so will be familiar with principles and with the experience of mindfulness practice – however this isn’t essential, so please do get in touch to discuss suitability if you haven’t done a mindfulness course first. Participants should plan to practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day.


Participants are also encouraged to read one or both of following books before or during the course:


Self-Compassion, by Kristin Neff

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, by Christopher Germer


Course teacher

Ali teaches mindfulness and self-compassion courses and other workshops for the general public, for doctors, therapists and within workplace settings. She has a Masters degree (distinction) in Teaching Mindfulness-Based Courses with the University of Bangor. She holds a Certificate in Teaching Mindfulness (advanced level), is a Certified Teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion, and is accredited by the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations. Ali is a trained mindfulness supervisor working with the Mindfulness Network, for whom she also teaches residential courses and retreats. She previously worked as a Counsellor within the NHS for 18 years, including eight years as Manager of an NHS Primary Care Counselling Service. 


Course dates and venue

The course is made up of eight weekly sessions 6.30 – 9.30 pm on the following Fridays:

1st, 8th, 15th February, miss a week, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th March

and a ‘retreat day’ on Sunday 3rd March (10 am – 2 pm) at the Meon Hall, Meonstoke, SO32 3NP


The weekly classes are held at St Mary’s Community Room, St Mary’s Rd, Portsmouth PO3 6BB and the retreat day in the Meon Hall, a comfortable, bright and airy venue which is located in the lovely Hampshire village of Meonstoke, in an area of outstanding natural beauty within the South Downs National Park.


Booking a place / cost

The cost is £295, which includes the eight classes, ‘retreat day’, comprehensive course handbook and audio recordings for use at home in between classes.

To book a place or for further info please email us at southseamindfulness@gmail.com