MHASO, Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ottawa

Mindful Self-Compassion Training (MSC) is an empirically-supported, 8-week training program 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.

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 well being, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.


After participating in this workshop, you’ll be able 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 savoring and self-appreciation

What To Expect:

Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices. MSC is a workshop rather than a retreat. 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 program rather than mindfulness training, 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. Beneficial change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.


Compassion is a positive, energizing emotion. However, it is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While learning self-compassion, some difficult emotions may arise. MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey enjoyable for everyone.


This MSC Training Course includes 8 weekly sessions of 2.5 hours each, in addition to a full day retreat. Prior to registering, participants should plan to attend every session and practice mindfulness and self-compassion at least 30 minutes per day throughout the program.



No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program.This program fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming an MSC teacher. For more information on MSC and MSC Teacher Training, please visit



This program will be facilitated by Nicole LeBlanc (MA, MSW RSW). Nicole is a clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist and Qualified Mindfulness teacher. She is qualified in the following mindfulness intervention approaches: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (University of Massachusetts, School of Medicine) and Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) (developed by Dr. Jean Kristeller, co-founder of Center for Mindful Eating NH). She is currently a teacher-in-training in Mindfulness Self Compassion Training (MSC) (University of San Diego, School of Medicine).



When: When: April 27th -June 29th, Mondays, 6-8:30pm.

Full day silent retreat held after the 5th session on February 9th from 9:30am-4pm at Davalon Healing Centre ( Car pooling will be arranged from the MSC group site.

Cost: $495 CAD

Where: 200-1489 Merivale Rd. Ottawa, ON, K2E5P3


This program would not be appropriate for anyone who is:

* under the age of 18

*currently struggling with an active addiction

* experiencing psychosis

*in crisis

* experienced a recent trauma.

How do I register?: Visit our website ( and find the link for MSC group under the Groups & Program heading.


Maximum number of participants: 9 students

Refunds, minus a $100 for administration fee, are available up until five (5) days before the starting date.  No refunds following this period.

Receipts are offered for insurance coverage by extended health insurance.

Check with your insurance company prior to course registration to inquire if this course will be reimbursed under your insurance plan. Many companies nationally and internationally have historically covered the cost of this