Annette Boden MSc

Mindful Self-Compassion

Kristin,Chris,and Annette-Derby 2012Compassion – Wishing that oneself or others be free from suffering. Empathy in the face of suffering, and the wish to alleviate it. From the Latin, com(with) and pati (suffer).
Self-compassion includes: 1. Self-kindness Vs Self-criticism; 2. Common humanity Vs Self-isolation
3. Mindfulness Vs emotional entanglement.

Kristin Neff


This page is dedicated to all things related to Mindful Self-compassion and includes links to upcoming programmes, up-coming events, general information and posts. 


For Summer and Autumn 2020 course dates and applications visit the course page here


Self-compassion lily

Teaching the Mindful self-Compassion 9 week programme

After successfully completing the Mindful self-compassion teacher training with Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer– the wonderful world renowned founders and creators of theMindful self-compassion programme at Bangor University, I was one of the very first cohort of European teachers trained to teach the 8 week course.
The programme is gathering momentum world- wide and I am so proud to be offering  training programmes in the UK. The programme is now being translated into 10 languages!

You will find information on the next the full MSC weekly  course starting soon here

The‘six weekly gathering’ will continue to be held at Disley Quaker meeting in East Cheshire which borders with the High peak and will be ‘open to all MSC participants who have completed the MSC course. Other gatherings will take place in South Cheshire also as new courses complete.

For further information and an application form please contact me in the first instance on 07753 957371 or email me . Places are limited and secured by completed application form and £50 non-refundable but transferable deposit. This can be paid online via bacs (please get in touch for details) or by postal cheque made payable to ‘Annette Boden’ and sent to ‘ Room 5, The Knutsford Town House Business Centre, 98 King Street, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6HQ’.
I have had a number of inquiries from people who have completed the course with me regarding completing the programme again.
I myself completed the programme twice to reinforce my learning before undertaking ‘teacher training’  so for anyone who has completed the course with me, wishing to complete this rewarding and life-affirming  programme again I am offering a 50% discount

NB: Full payment of £290.00 for all MSC course attendance options is due at least one month prior to course commencement and no later than one week before. Cancellations made within one week of commencement will be 50% refundable. Payment can be made and a place secured with a non-refundable but transferable deposit of £50 and the balance is due one month prior to commencement and no later than one week prior to commencement.

If you have any questions regarding payment please get in touch.


“The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported, 8- week, 9 -session (a half –day retreat is included) training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the ground-breaking 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 centre for mindful self-compassion

For further and application please email me or call me on 07753 957371


The course fee for the full 9 session official MSC programme includes all handouts/course materials and refreshments. I also offer online/telephone support throughout the course.

On completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance which enables you to meet partial fulfilment of the requirements to apply to become an MSC Teacher. You can then apply for Teacher training.

You will also be eligible and very welcome to continue your journey and join the growing  MSC community ‘six- weekly gathering’, supporting and maintaining your practice. Membership is free with a small attendance fee of £20.00 for each session. The gatherings run every six weeks or so on Saturday mornings from 10.00am until 12.30pm at Disley Friends meeting House.

NB: I am unable to offer the option of alternating between courses due to the nature of the course and the importance of maintaining and supporting group cohesion and safe boundaries for each group during the 8 – week programme. However, you will still qualify for a certificate and meet partial fulfilment of the requirements for Teacher training application with 80% attendance.

The course includes a half day silent retreat.

I would be honoured if you would join me as we take this journey together -will you walk with me?

I offer you this invitation to open your heart, open your eyes, open your ears. Open your mind to become more fully present, right now, right here, in this beautiful moment that you are drawing the breath that gives you life – a life to be treasured, nurtured, and loved.


You can listen to my interview on July 5 2015 where I talk about the benefits of Mindful self -compassion and how it is becoming an integral part of therapeutic interventions. NB: If you want to just listen to my piece drag the player cursor at the bottom of the page to 2:04:00 as I am speaking in the last hour of a three hour programme

“The Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) is an empirically supported, 8- week, 9 -session  ( a half –day retreat is included) training programme designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the ground-breaking 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 interrelatedness, 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. And it’s easier than you think.

After participating in the 8 week  9-session programme, 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 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.

It is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, MSC teachers are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.

MSC includes 8 weekly sessions of 3 hours each, in addition to a 4-hour 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.”© The centre for mindful self -compassion

It is recommended that participants read one or all of following books before or during the program:

This program fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming a MSC teacher. For more information on MSC and MSC Teacher Training, please visit

 This course may also be offered over 5 weekends (Saturdays 10.00am-5.00pm) to complete the 8 sessions and half-day retreat.

For further and application please email me or call me on 07753 957371

I am continuing to focus on  corporate and community well-being as I continue with teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion programme, and other courses and workshops.
I have also enjoyed sharing this body of work in my training sessions.  I have been sharing with corporate businesses for a number of years now, and I look forward to taking a more active role  and supporting businesses from within.

Have a look here at this recent Huffington post article on “Three ways to improve well-being at work” 

MSC for teens and Young adults

I am delighted to be introducing ‘Making friends with yourself’ MSC for teens and young adults. Research has already shown the benefits and positive outcomes for this training and I believe it will be the next great move forward in our civilisation towards compassion and emotional resilience. I have had the privilege of training in Dublin in November with Loraine Hobbs and Karen Bluth- 2 remarkable people who are setting the bar for transforming the lives of teens and young adults so they can flourish as adults- I wish this course had been around for my generation- it really is a game changer in developing self-confidence and emotional resilience. Watch this space for further information or get in touch to discuss how I can bring this to your school or community college.



I am really looking forward to exploring deeply and sharing generously with you all.
I thought this article might be of interest Loving Kindness meditation and 18 science -based reasons why it is worth having a go at! I would also like to share with you an article on being more compassionate towards ourselves from Steve Hicks, one of my Mindful self-compassion teachers which I think you will enjoy
Take the Self Compassion test


About Annette

I am an integrative psychotherapist by profession and have completed training courses in Compassion Focused therapy under professor Paul Gilbert.

I have a regular meditation practice and include gratitude practice and loving kindness meditation in my daily formal practice.

Some years ago I completed the MBSR with Sarah Talbot so, I am really pleased to share the MSC programme which is a beautiful and natural progression from the MBSR for anyone wishing to continue to develop and deepen their mindfulness practice.

I have completed  training with the Mindfulness Association and am a member of The mindfulness Association

As part of my ongoing committment to my mindfulness practice and my own wellbeing, I take regular retreats up at Samye ling in Scotland  under the compassionate expertise and guidance of my meditation teacher David Oldham. I also go to Holy Isle from time to time to develop my mindful self-compassion practice and nurture myself – this is such a beautiful and uplifting place.





















Mindful Self Compassion has changed my life for the better in so many ways, both personally and professionally, and I live in daily gratitude for all that I have been taught by those who have walked before me and led the way. It has been particularly helpful in enabling me to manage and adapt to the limitations of CFS and Fibromyalgia- it has eased my physical and emotional pain. There is no looking back for me now and my passion is to share this knowledge and the practices that have given me a quality of life I could have never imagined.

I have been fortunate enough to complete the Mindful Self Compassion intensive programme twice up on Holy Isle with Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer – the wonderful world renowned researchers founders and creators of The Mindful Self-Compassion programme before completing my MSC teacher training with Kristin, Chris, and Michelle Becker, and Steve Hickman – the MSC teacher training team from The Centre for Mindful Self- Compassion, at Bangor University in July 2014.

Do get in touch by email or call me on 07753 957371 if you are interested in applying to take this truly life changing transformational programme / one of the adapted MSC 4 week courses/ or MSC introductory day retreats.

As I begin each teaching  as a trained MSC teacher , I see this as the beginning of a journey I believe I have been preparing for all of my life. I am home and I am ready, and I would be honoured if you would join me as we take this journey together -will you walk with me?

I offer you this invitation to open your heart, open your eyes, open your ears. Open your mind to become more fully present, right now, right here, in this beautiful moment that you are drawing the breath that gives you life – a life to be treasured, nurtured, and loved.

Feedback from the  MSC course 

I was very moved to receive this feedback which has been graciously offered to be shared publicly as a recommendation of the course:
“As a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist specialising in the Compassionate Mind approach to alleviating distress, I signed up for the Mindful Self Compassion course on the recommendation of fellow therapists.  The course lived up to its reputation as it introduced me to many practical skills which my clients, and myself, can use with a clear rationale provided at every step of the way.
Annette is a truly wonderful course leader who teaches compassion from the’ inside out’; not from a lofty position, but by example, as an ordinary person who strives to apply self compassion when things go wrong. Thank you Annette for being a role model in this, and for such an inspiring and memorable 8 weeks which I can take forward in my professional and personal life”.
Shiraz F
CBT therapist North West England, UK


MSC Blogs

This is what Kathleen Kator said in an interview about motivation and self-compassion
I have found Kristy Arbon’s recent blog about love and fear to be really helpful when I have had moments of struggle with my plans and goals, intentions, and resolutions. And, I found this blog about overcoming self-criticism ,which included words of wisdom from Kristin Neff interesting too and so I am sharing it here.


A news posting and hot topic: ‘The price of shame and the hope of overcoming the suffering it causes through empathy and compassion’.

In the Mindful self-compassion programme we teach practices that help you turn towards difficult, strong emotions and meet them with compassion. Shame is one of those emotions we take a deeper look at and work with. Shame is a universal emotion and underlies strong emotions such as anger and fear. If we learn to manage shame we can move towards a resolution of many emotional and relational conflicts. We teach “how self-compassion is an antidote to shame”. We are social beings and being accepted by others is something that we work hard towards, and spend a great deal of effort trying to avoid rejection. We can feel negatively about ourselves through ‘negative core beliefs- these are limited in number and are universal- there is common humanity in that! Public humiliation is something that we might dread and go to great lengths to avoid. However in the increasingly inter-connected world of on-line sharing we live in, public humiliation seems to feed into the vicious cycle of cyber bullying.

In her moving and brave TED talk speech last week 12 March 2015 entitled “The price of shame” Monica Lewinsky received a standing ovation. This was a well deserved response to a brave and powerful speech about cyber bullying, shame, and humiliation, and how empathy and compassion can help overcome its devastating effects.  She bravely gave her account of personal suffering from shame and public humiliation, and referred to a number of studies, including a 2014 study which showed “humiliation to be a more intensly felt emotion than either happiness or even anger”.

Recalling the pain and suffering she endured and the reason for breaking her ’10-year silence’ she spoke openly about the shift that is needed in the ‘culture of humiliation’ “We need to return to a long-held value of compassion, compassion and empathy, online we’ve got a compassion deficit and an empathy crisis” and she quoted Brene Brown saying “Shame cannot survive empathy”

She continued “I’ve seen some very dark times in my life, it was the compassion and empathy from my family, friends, professionals, and sometimes even strangers that saved me” She continued to share her strategy for overcoming the pain of shame and humilitation and spoke about the need to “Have some compassion for yourself”.

Fear of failure and/or  criticism – internal and external  can hold us back and limit our ability and capacity for positive change and creativity, so with this in mind I would like to share with you a couple of clips on Self-compassion with the wonderful Kristin Neff and managing the fear of criticism    with the inspiring Brene Brown that are well worth watching.

You might also like to have a listen in on an interview I did in December 2014 on the benefits of self- compassion. The interview starts and runs for the last hour of the show so move the cursor to 2:00:00 to listen in to my interview or just listen to the whole show if you like- it’s all good stuff!