courses /

self-compassion training

'Last year I went to a mindfulness weekend workshop held by Anna at Waihi Beach.  I really enjoyed it and it was exactly what I needed at the time.  A way to be and to contemplate and reflect as I tried to regain my health and make the transition from full on business to being more balanced. Anna’s workshop had a lovely energy and a lovely rhythm and mix of engagement, reflection, relaxation and challenge.  I highly recommend her abnd intend to go again'.

Theresa Gattung

 Self-compassion is a powerful practise of turning towards difficult feelings with a spirit of openness, acceptance and curiosity, and then responding with kindness, empathy and understanding. The rewards of learning self-compassion include:

*the capacity to handle difficult  situations and emotions with greater ease 
* being able to motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism 
* handling  challenging relationships better  * increasing resilience and preventing  burn-out
* finding more joy and happiness in daily life

The good news is that self-compassion is a skill that can be learned by anyone, bringing a greater sense of ease, happiness and better health.  Anna teaches mindful self-compassion (MSC) as an 8-week programme in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as offering intensives, short workshops and day seminars by design.

Recent Conference presentations and workshops

- Russell McVeagh
- Northern Club Pink Ribbon Breakfast
- Auckland Council
- Auckland District Health Board
- Hawke's Bay Primary Care Symposium
- Compassion in Healthcare Conference, UoA
- NZ Psychological Society
- University of Auckland Wellbeing Seminar
- Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents
- Be Pure
- St Kentigern's College
- Baradene College
- International Coaching Federation - - Aspire Conference University of Auckland

Contact us

upcoming sessions


February 1, 2020 9:15 AM
St Luke's Community Centre, 130 Remuera Road, Remuera. Auckland

This one morning workshop is an introduction  to the science and practise of mindfulness and self-compassion. It will include a focus on integrating yin and yang –  both the tender and the fierce aspects of – self-compassion. Yin self-compassion involves “being with” ourselves in a compassionate way, as we naturally do for our friends who struggle. Yang self-compassion involves taking action in the world to protect, provide and motivate ourselves – saying “no” to others who are hurting us, drawing our boundaries firmly; giving ourselves what we need to be fulfilled mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  In this workshop you will learn a little of the theory, research, and concrete practices from the empirically-supported Mindful Self-Compassion program and will include a satisfying mix of experiential learning and science-based insights. It will be relevant for the general public as well as to practising mental health professionals.

book me in

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) 8-week course with Mara Elwood (May-June 2020)

May 6, 2020 6:30 PM
Kotare Venue, 9 Kotare Avenue, Westmere
$595. (Discounts for unwaged)

This is the full 8-week MSC course, inclusive of retreat. (The retreat will be on June 6). To book directly with Mara, see her website

book me in

MSC FIVE-DAY INTENSIVE TRAINING MANA RETREAT CENTRE, SEPT 13-18 2020. enrolments now open. This is a residential retreat

September 13, 2020 7:00 PM
Mana Retreat, Coromandel New Zealand
$1450 (early bird until March 31, 2020) $1550 thereafter

This is the full MSC course in an intensive five-day format, co-taught by Dr Anna Friis and Mara Elwood. This is a live-in retreat at the gorgeous Mana Retreat Centre in the Coromandel, North Island New Zealand during which the full eight-session MSC course will be taught over five days. Accommodation and meals at the beautiful Mana are included in the fee. Early enrolment is advised. Applications for a limited number of scholarship places will be considered.

book me in