May 30 – June 5, 2018
Winnipeg, Manitoba CA

Price = € 1275

Includes VAT, course materials, administrative costs for the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, registration as a MSC-teacher.

Tentative Schedule

Wednesday, May 3o, 2018
Start: 3:00 pm

Full Days (Wednesday – Tueday)
Day Start: 9:30 am,
Lunch Break: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Day End: 5:30 pm

Wednesday, June 5, 2018
Last Session Ends: 12:00 pm

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Registration Process

As part of the registration process, you will complete an online application form. You will describe your reason for wanting to attend this MFY Teacher Training, an indication of your professional training and experience with adolescents, a description of your personal meditation and self-compassion practice. Regarding meditation practice, you will be asked to describe the tradition in which you practice and any retreats or other meditation experiences in which you have participated. Upon submission of your registration application, you will receive a registration confirmation email. The MFY Teacher Training Team will review the applications and may contact you for additional information. You will receive an email indicating the status of your application after the review is complete. Should your qualifications not be accepted for this training, a full refund will be issued to you.

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Cancellation Policy

A refund, minus your €150 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit, will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date. In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, we are responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.


As an adaption to the Mindful Self-Compassion program, the Making Friends with Yourself program is part of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC). CMSC is part of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor.


Please Note

1) We strongly recommend that you allow at least 6 months to elapse between completing your MSC course and beginning MFY Teacher Training.  This will allow you to reflect on whether you really want to begin the teaching journey. However, you may register for teacher training at any time after you complete the MSC course.

2) We strongly recommend that the silent, teacher-led meditation retreat be completed more than two months prior to your attendance at the Teacher Training.

3) You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MFY Teacher Training but you do need experience working with adolescents in a clinical and/or educational setting.

4) Upon completion of the MFY Teacher Training, participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance from the Center for MSC stating that he or she attended the MFY Teacher Training in its entirety. Your next step towards ‘Teacher Training Status’ includes signing up for ‘Zoom’ classes.

More Information

If you work with adolescents and are interested in bringing a Making Friends with Yourself teacher training to your area, please contact Lorraine Hobbs at UCSD Center for Mindfulness, or Karen Bluth at UNC:

Recommended Reading

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel, M.D.

The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time by Dzung Vo

The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are, by Karen Bluth, PhD

Teacher Training for Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens & Young Adults (MFY)

Faculty: Lorraine Hobbs, MA & Karen Bluth, Ph.D. 

Making Friends With Yourself (MFY) is an empirically-supported 8-week program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion in teens. MFY teaches core principles and practices that enable teens to respond to the challenges of these critical years with kindness and self-compassion. Adolescence is a time of change and growth. It is the period of life reserved for rebellion and self-discovery, but as the demands in life increase for teens, this time is often fraught with confusion, anxiety or depression. For many teens, these challenges lead to disconnection and isolation.

The MFY program is designed to facilitate awareness, self-kindness and an understanding of our common humanity in response to these growing challenges. Through developmentally appropriate activities and carefully crafted practices and meditations, teens have an opportunity to learn how to navigate the emotional ups and downs of life with greater ease. This program creates an opportunity for teens to bring greater compassion and empathy toward themselves and others. Preliminary research studies have shown that this program demonstrated a significant decrease in depression, anxiety, perceived stress and negative mood and increases in resilience and ability to embrace new challenges with greater ease.

“So like stressful situations and stuff happens. Or tests or skating competition or whatever. I’m able to handle it more easily and more quickly, and able to, I don’t know, to calm myself down and put it into perspective.” – Teen participant

Self-compassion can be learned by any teen, and is particularly helpful to those encountering any kind of emotional struggles. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing teens to begin to be kinder to themselves amidst their suffering.

“It’s cool to see after we took [the class] how much life in general has improved, like not necessarily the situations, but the ways I can handled it. This is so important, so I’m going to take it [the program] again and then maybe make it even better.” – Teen participant

This curriculum was adapted from the adult Mindful Self-Compassion created by Drs. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer, and has been endorsed by the founders.


MFY Teacher Training

The MFY Teacher Training is an intensive, 7-day program facilitated by the creators of the program, Lorraine Hobbs, MA and Karen Bluth, PhD. The training is built around the eight weekly classes, followed by small group activities designed to give attendees opportunities to practice teaching, guiding and facilitating discussion of that session with the close consultation of the teacher trainers. In addition, the training includes short talks and group exercises. An essential part of the training also includes how to include parents in how they can support their teens throughout the program, which helps prepare participants to work with potential resistance and anxiety in teens. This intervention can help prevent the daily practice from becoming a potential battleground between a parent and teen. Participants will be provided with the essential materials to teach MFY.


Training Objectives

At the completion of the MFY Teacher Training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the core themes and practices presented in each of the eight sessions of MFY
  • Understand the rationale for the modifications made from the adult MSC program
  • Describe different ways of involving parents so that they can appropriately engage and support their teens in their practice
  • Identify obstacles for teens to learning mindful self-compassion practice and strategies for overcoming these obstacles
  • Deepen one’s understanding of key elements in teaching mindfulness and self-compassion practice to teens

Target Audience

This 7-day intensive is intended for those who wish to teach the MFY program in an educational, clinical, or community setting.


Participant Requirements

The prerequisites for taking the MFY Teacher Training are:

  • Established daily mindfulness and self-compassion practice,
  • Completion of a 5-day or 8-week MSC Course,
  • Experience working with teens in an educational or clinical setting.

“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel as I begin to settle into this new, wide world of self-compassion for teens. Lorraine Hobbs and Karen Bluth wove together their two worlds to create a program that is fun, informative, engaging and transformative.” Celedra Gildea, teacher training participant, San Diego (April 2016):


“I, too, was one of the fortunate ones to be participate in the first teacher training of Making Friends with Yourself (MFY). It was an absolute gift to see the beautiful sequencing of this material, as well as the heartfelt incorporation of so many of the key components of MSC. Karen and Lorraine’s work on this program demonstrate an exquisite example of development of curriculum for a new population… I was touched to see the beautiful duo of Karen and Lorraine, as co-teachers/trainers they modeled genuine love and respect for each other and a deep trust and knowledge of the material. It is an exciting and hopeful time for MFY.” Michelle Bobowick, teacher training participant, San Diego (April 2016):

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Please Note:

  • The design and structure of the MFY Teacher Certification pathway is currently underway. If you plan on pursuing MFY certification, please refer to the guidelines for MSC trained teachers (, with the provision that there will be changes appropriate to the MFY teacher training.
  • You do not have to be a mental health clinician to take the MFY Teacher Training, but it is important to have had clinical or educational experience with teens.
  • Upon completion of the MFY Teacher Training, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance stating that he or she has attended the MFY TT in its entirety and can begin to teach MFY as a Teacher Trainee.

Trained Teacher of MFY Designation

The purpose of the 7-day MFY Teacher Training is to establish a basic level of training and proficiency sufficient to begin offering the program to the public. To receive MFY Trained Teacher status, graduates of the Teacher Training are also expected to receive consultation while teaching at least one 8-week MFY program, either by co-facilitating with a certified MFY teacher or through online group consultation offered through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness Professional Training Institute. All Trained Teachers are eligible to be listed on the Center for MSC website in a directory of Trained Teachers and the Making Friends With Yourself website.

Teaching MFY

The MFY program is ideally led by two instructors, particularly if the size of the group is 12 or over. This model enables one instructor to monitor the emotional needs of individual participants while the other is teaching. When teens struggle, they tend to resist in the form of isolation, withdrawal, non-attendance or an attitude of non-compliance. These behaviors or attitudes can reflect a natural coping style that can be worked with through the process of inquiry. We know that self-compassion can activate strong emotions, and it is important for teachers to be able to hold a safe container with self-awareness and embodied presence while simultaneously supporting the individual and the group. We therefore recommend that one of the teachers, or an assistant to the MFY teacher, be a licensed mental health clinician. We realize that some groups may have members with relatively minor emotional needs, or be too small to require two teachers, so please use your own judgment about how to provide a safe and supportive learning environment.

MFY Teacher Training Participant Guidelines

Our ability to teach others depends largely on discovering the power of self-compassion in our own lives and embodying the practice. Since the core principles and practices of the MFY program are taught through experiential learning, just as they are in the MSC teacher training, participants are encouraged to focus on their felt experience during training. Ample time will also be allocated for professional dialogue and the nuts and bolts of teaching.

The MFY program is a journey—an adventure in self-discovery and self-kindness. Loving kindness and self-compassion training helps us soothe and comfort ourselves as it paradoxically reveals emotional distress we may have been unconsciously holding inside, often for many years. As we begin this journey of teaching teens how to grow in their capacity to embrace difficult emotions, it is important to have our own experience to draw from. As many of you know, teens require authenticity, transparency and creditability, and a strong practice of our own enables us to support the journey of these young minds and hearts with more depth and wisdom.

Self-compassion thrives in an environment of safety, support, privacy, individual responsibility, and a common commitment to presence and compassion. Self-compassion practice should also be easy and enjoyable. The teacher trainers are dedicated to creating such a learning atmosphere for all workshop participants and their future students.

Needs Assessment

Over the past few years, mindfulness for teens has moved into the mainstream in the general population and is being increasingly integrated into professional practice (e.g., schools, psychotherapy practices, inpatient units, hospitals, pediatric offices, sports, chronic pain, etc.). As the demand grows, the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. Self-compassion is at the growth edge of mindfulness. It’s a “trending health term” (Reader’s Digest, 2012) and an area of burgeoning research. Self-compassion is the emotional heart of mindfulness. There is substantial and impressive scientific evidence supporting the connection between self-compassion and emotional wellbeing for adults, and recent research in youth has shown similar effects. This increasing demand supports the need for explicit training in self-compassion, offered through the MFY Teacher Training.