courses /

self-compassion training

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.

 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

- St Hilda's Collegiate
- 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

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upcoming sessions


September 13, 2020 7:00 PM
Mana Retreat, Coromandel New Zealand

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 directly (please click on link below which takes you through to the Mana booking site). . A limited number of scholarship applications will be considered for those for whom cost is truly a barrier.

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August 16, 2020 10:00 AM
9 Kotare Ave, Westmere, Auckland.

This one morning workshop is an introduction to the science and practise of mindfulness and self-compassion. 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. 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. See Mara's website for booking details.

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Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) 8-week course with Mara Elwood (Oct-Nov 2020)

October 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. . To book directly with Mara, see her website

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Short on-line course in Mindful Self-Compassion with Sarah Friis and Helen Roach

October 14, 2020 7:30 PM

This is a six-week course comprising weekly 75-minute sessions beginning Wednesday October 14. This will be an introduction to core components of the Mindful Self-Compassion programme. Contact Sarah Friis directly sarah@odsolutions or

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